__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 30

Menswear | Mark Graham

SPlT the Difference… Mark Graham looks at polka patterns for men This year, spots have been seen at all the global fashion weeks, in collections as diverse as Burberry Prorsum, Acne, Marni, Canali and Kris Van Assche. Polka dots are timeless prints that go through peaks and troughs on the men’s catwalks, falling in and out of vogue when the mood takes designers and brands. The great thing about polka dots is that there are as many variations as there are dots. From large filled circles to tiny pin-dot motifs, there isn’t one defining look – which means we can all put our own individual stamp on the trend. This is also a print that hasn’t been ‘owned’ by any particular brand or label – unlike, say, zig-zag stripes (Missoni) or small floral prints (Liberty) – so from high street to designer, they work on any budget. This year’s democratic print of choice, you might say. As far as the high fashion designers went, Christopher Bailey at Burberry Prorsum returned to a favourite muse, David Hockney, in a collection full of bold hues and contrasting patterns, most notably large, colourful, polka dots. This is the artistic side of the trend, delivering colour and interest in equal measure - a balanced dot to background ratio. At the other end of the spectrum, Kris Van Assche and Canali stuck to neutral

30 EILE Magazine

tones, with many pieces featuring tightly packed circles. This more structured, geometric approach is perfect for those who want the pattern but not the colour, more dot than background. These days, you will occasionally come across suits with micro-dot patterning; Jigsaw is stocking a couple this season. The print is usually in a jacquard (embroidered into the fabric) and extremely subtle. This understated approach helps add depth and structure to lighter, warmer weather items. I would never advise wearing head-totoe polka dots, but if these suits appeal to you, look for one in navy and keep the cut slim and sharp. However, the easiest way to wear polka dots is to decide which half you’re going to apply them to, top or bottom, and then team with complementary colours or neutrals. Accessories are the pieces where, traditionally, polka dots have resided in menswear. Be it ties, scarves, pocket squares or socks, they add a laissez-faire attitude to any look. The polka dot neck-tie is a timeless classic, that is available in every conceivable variation and colour. Go for something with a matte finish, no shiny versions, and look for shantung silk or wool construction. Stick to traditional masculine colourways of navy, maroon and chocolate brown with white dots, and you can’t go wrong. Drakes and Reiss

have some lovely ties in stock this season. Spotted socks are a youthful and quirky option that will inject a touch of personality into any ensemble. Welsh brand Corgi make some of the best polka dot socks on the market, but they can be found anywhere on the high street, from Topman and River Island to Zara and Reiss. Opt for a contrasting colour combination and have some fun with your outfits. SS14′s polka dot trend can be as individual as you are, with a limitless choice of patterns, colours and scales. Think of it like the DPI – dots per inch – of a computer screen or a Lichtenstein cartoon painting - the higher the DPI, the smaller the dots. The dots can be uniform and perfectly spaced or random and haphazard, like a human Dalmatian. There’s something very approachable and likeable about a guy in polka dots. If you’re still not convinced, try a pair of swimming shorts on holiday, or start with a simple t-shirt. For those of you worried about resembling a male Minnie Mouse, remember, polka dots are as masculine as you are.

Profile for EILE Magazine

EILE Magazine – Issue 11 (April 2014)  

The LGBT Magazine, for those who want another view. Features interviews with musicians Cindy Gomez and Liv Monaghan; openly-gay election can...

EILE Magazine – Issue 11 (April 2014)  

The LGBT Magazine, for those who want another view. Features interviews with musicians Cindy Gomez and Liv Monaghan; openly-gay election can...