Almost a year to the day I first encountered the design work of Nicolas Petrou. The launch of PETROU\MAN deservedly received a fair bit of blog love (with Filep Motwary first out of the blocks) as folks were all excited to see the Cypriot designer turn his hand to menswear for SS10. The fanciful images he created for the look book which aim to represent elements of everyday life certainly capture the eye and the imagination. Inspired by men's active sportswear, the debut offering is a mix of patterns, mesh and is a reinterpretation of classic jackets and shirts. I quickly became a fan and was then fortunate enough to document his sophomore collection during New York Fashion Week back in February. I was able to witness first hand the designer's skill in creating a rich, unusual texture achieved through his combination of fabrics and prints. It also allowed opportunity to marvel at the intricate, hand finish detailing including hand dyed tartan suits and embroidered shirts and jackets celebrating the nomads much used tool; the humble safety pin. The collection confirmed that this exciting designer was one to watch and I for one was hooked.
I have been itching to reveal his vision for SS11 ever since I first heard positive murmurings about it over on Selectism during their coverage of Capsule. Having caught sight of the super soft denim and attention grabbing madras, I was eager to see more and dropped Nicolas an email. Remarkably, he soon replied with a selection of iphone shot images that he snapped while showcasing the collection to buyers and press alike at one of the many US trade shows. This is the collection I've been crying out for all season. Now that most of the buying business has been carried out, Petrou and his team have shot a wonderful look book which I can happily share with you but first a few words from the designer himself on the key inspirations...
"As workwear and heritage lifestyle make way for vintage surf inspiration, Nicolas Petrou combines them all in one unique form with his spring/summer 2011 PETROU\MAN collection. Washed fabrics and hand sewn madras prints are combined with twill and high-tech touches to maximize garments’ breathability and sportswear fusion. Soft denim suiting, pleated trousers, and 50’s inspired tribal prints cut proportions in a manner that defies tradition."
Look book credits: Model: Lyle Lodwick (RED). Photography: Idris and Tony. Styling: Julie Ragolia. Hair & Grooming: Sylvia Dimaki.
The washed fabrics, soft denim tailoring, hand sewn madras and 50s inspired tribal cuts come together beautifully to create a collection to truly covet. Petrou is a designer who mixes fabrics and prints with great skill and his demonstration of craftsmanship never ceases to surprise me. Now, I have to confess that I have spent the last few weeks longing to press the fast forward button on this summer season as my wardrobe screams out for autumnal layering of rich fabrics. Somehow, this collection manages to force me to rethink my haste. I'd happily press pause on this season and live in a constant state of heat and sweat in the capital if I could cool myself off in one of these designs. The collection will of course be presented during NY Fashion Week for buyers and will be styled by Robbie Spencer once again. Having been treated to such a beautiful sneak preview of this PETROU/MAN collection, I'm looking forward to New York even more.