HALB Fall/Winter 2010-11

Hello fellas. As the fashion season’s changes are upon us, I guess it is no surprise that military is a big trend for fall 2010-11. As much as I love military styling and tailoring, it can sometimes become too literal for me. However, after looking through HALB’s (Tete Homme’s new venture out of Japan) look book, it seems that even camouflage has been made new again.

As seen above, the light tones in the camo are what really stand out, which makes the jacket glisten. Instead of a jarring green-on-brown-on-orange as is typical for the army standard, HALB has softened the look for wearability, which is a huge “eff yeah” for the consumer.

Durable fabrics are emphasized by a cinched waist and a beaten look is achieved by exposed stitching on the back panel. For me, this is a success because HALB has escaped the necessity to rip and tear to achieve that fresh out of battle look. An aged aesthetic can have many steps, but unnecessary rips tend to look cheesy and often cheapen a look. HALB still manages to look expensive because their craftmanship can be seen beyond the vintage details.

But the details are not limited to a worn out look, as can be seen by the above models wearing similar camo in a couple different ways. The angular pockets on the model in the left photo work for him, because his body is impeccable but for those with a waist, it is not the most flattering. Even though he is thin as can be, the angle actually adds width to his hips. My favourite styling detail is the thick leather belt cinching the solid black jacket. It adds a bit of attitude to the formality of the jacket, which works nicely with the evolved camo.

Layering – like all fall/winter collections – is important to HALB, as knits are piled under hooded coats for added warmth. With the ubiquity of short walking shorts this summer, it is interesting (and practical) to see such a mass reversal. The model seen above could not be more covered up, but since the jacket is of a lighter weight material, the finished result isn’t what you would typically see in sub zero layering. It looks comfortable rather than stifling, which is important to note because we often think of the colder months as unfashionable (yet HALB proves they do not have to be).

Although HALB obviously recognizes the military trend for fall/winter, they have approached it in a much more subtle way. Patterns are subdued and styling is kept minimal. It isn’t full of Sergeant Pepper jackets and brass button detailing, but it does contain form fitting silhouettes and essentials for the bitter frost. Not only does HALB want to keep us gents warm, but they want us to be at our best, which is exactly the message I look for in a successful fall/winter collection.

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