Sophisticated and fashion forward, River Island’s menswear for spring 10 is a heady mix of detail-drenched stories, and overall is a slouchy range in a series or tonal or clashing palettes.
A retake of Japanese workwear includes heavy railway worker four-pocket cotton jackets, soft double-faced cotton shirts with pockets in the side seam and denim shirts with elbow-length sleeves. Checked shirts come with corduroy collars.
A sun-bleached classic lads’ holiday range is all about lightweight pieces in clashing prints and motifs, with a retro twist. This means colour-flecked cotton T-shirts, space-dyed marl-style hoodies, holiday print mini shorts and sun-stained stripes and checks across shirts.
Budding Ferris Buellers are catered for with a 1950s collegiate look filtered through the lens of a John Hughes film – think heavy knits, chinos, cool cotton T-shirts, printed and checked shirts and trilbies, all in bold colour clashes. There are two nautical stories – one singularly navy and the other in washed-out tones of blue and ecru with red highlights.
Blazers, Breton-striped knits and anchor motif ties are all spot on. Details include contrast taping, mid-collar button fastenings and brass buttons. A fade-to-grey story creates a cleaner, sleeker look, with rounded-collar shirts, one-button single-breasted suiting and ruched-sleeve parkas.
- Panama flamingo-print shirt
- Checked seersucker shorts suit
- Soft double-layered cotton half-sleeve shirt with seam pockets
- Graphic intarsia knit
Right for the market?
Overall this range is an excellent bellwether of trends. The soft-handle fabrics and considered detailing give a premium feel, taking its cue from brands like Engineered Garments, YMC, Folk and Norse Projects.
If anything, this could be just a touch too directional for the masses. Each branch of River Island will undoubtedly dilute the look for its audience but the menswear collection has raised its game to take on the mighty Topman.