This leaves out Richard James' experiments with denim and camouflage and his brilliant and original uses of color, not just in those old suit linings but in the insides of wallets and belts, or as clocks around socks, something that every designer since has aped. Â It ignore's James' reverence for the details of British tailoring, something Etro started copying a few years ago, churning out suits that looked like what RJ has done for years. It also ignores that RJ designs are often creative yet classic enough to wear year after year, something most designers can't offer. Â In most cases -- one can argue otherwise about his suits, maybe -- the quality of manufacture is such that the garments will last, last, last. Harrumph.
I am talking about the RTW collections here. I think they are many similarities between RJ and Etro. While RJ gets mostly inspired by Savile Row and adds some little details that might look new and interesting to a younger crowd and mainstream fashion, the funky linings, camouflage, denim that you mentioned . Etro did also bring original reintepretation. The Â use of Â two buttons collar, the diagonal stripes, the use of multi color stripes, etc...were adopted early in the Etro collection. One needs to look at H by Hillfiger or even enter a Banana Republic to noticed that "stylists" or "Designers" such as Etro, Richard James, and Paul Smith which were once considered a bit Dandy and risque to wear by the mainstream are now copied for the masses. Â The Prada, Helmut Lang or even Jill sander were copied very rapidly by stores such as Zara because they were mostly for the Women Market while Smith and James and also Etro were targeted to men, it took a while to get its root. Our Â Sunday brunch conversation was mostly about who really originated it. Paul Smith seems to be the obvious candidate but we felt that he tried to spread his reach by diluting the look and the brand. Â We concluded that it was a late eighties interpretation of Savile Row meets Carnaby St (I guess that would be somewhere around Regent street?). The look was perfect for the nineties when youngster made tons of money and got rid of the grungie look but still wanted to establish their difference. The idea was that this was not business as usual, business has changed forever, Â you can now wear a suit with horrible sneakers. William