A Springtime Thaw at Duckie Brown

Martin Marks

It's good to see designers marching to the beat of their own drum. In the case of Messrs Steven Cox and Daniel Silver of Duckie Brown, that drum seemed to herald a post-industrial utilitarianism for the men of spring 2012. Yesterday's show began on a heavy note -- nylon stealth bomber jackets and sleeveless matched with dramatically pleated trousers, presented in monochromatic waves of black.

As the show progressed, the movement from one look to the next mirrored the effects of a springtime thaw, darkness transitioning into powdered indigos and dusty grays. The open weave three-button jackets were immaculately tailored, while tracksuit tops and sweatshirts gave a chav-aesthetic to some of the pieces. This hardness was counterbalanced by the delicacy of sheer khaki work shirts and gray shifted hem shirts. There was, through it all, a sense of irony that toyed with the notion of springtime and masculinity, notes that reverberated most fully in the final pieces, which were exclusively crafted from floral prints -- of pink roses and gray roses and bruised roses, in such enlarged proportions that they, when worn, seemed to say, "Springtime is about roses, and therefore, this is Spring." It's somber and playful, masculine and tender at the same time -- coming together in a wholly appropriate beat.

Photos by Patrick McMullan

PAPERMAG's Complete Spring 2012 Fashion Coverage

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