With his spring/summer 2011 collection 'Home Sweet Home', Umit Benan obviously set a gold-standard in the genre of avantgarde fashion and proved once again his intrinsic safety. His summer collection is a cultural and musical clash: A quintessential mixture of the Mods-movement and Kreuzberg–style – but surprisingly luxurious.
Home Sweet Home is flavored with a breezy archaicness at first sight. But a closer look clearly supplies a particular sense for softness and femininity, strongly underlined by floating fabrics, marvelous knitwear in natural materials, high-waisted multi-pleated trousers and immaculately tailored blazers.
The mixture of colors works on the spectator as if looking at a landscape: Different earth tones, sun-bleached stone grey and a melange of nuances in green and orange emulate nature. Summed up this is Nature meeting Luxury in its purest form.
Always been keen on on creating characters using older role models, Benan has shot his lookbook with the great musician Burhan Ocal who has already recorded with Stars like Miles Davis, Sting, Steve Swallow and Pharrel Williams among others. The multi-cultural character with Turkish roots had his striking success when he won the Who's On Next competition, which was by the way, the first men's edition of the contest.
I love how Umit mixes classic tailored pieces like the formal jackets with the fluid and drapery lines of the harem trousers or almost knee long breezy shirts. Definitely you can feel his Turkish background in his use of Nero collared wide shirts which also would not be a very unusual sight on Turkish peasants but he never looses a laid back luxury in his design. This luxury is supported by using wool instead of cotton for the Harem trousers for example.
Umit Benan is definitely filling a gab for wearable masculine avangarde fashion for men. Unfortunately he can just be bought online at www.thecorner.com in the UK. I hope that will change and shops like B store and Hostem will pick up Umit Benan soon.