Nicolas Petrou and his latest PetrouMan warriors.
On a busy day of menswear at NYFW there was one particular collection that captured my imagination. In a presentation full of colour, texture and print, Petrou Man's AW11 collection offered a modern take on tribal aesthetics and continued evolution of the Petrouman warrior in to its fourth season. The collection took its inspiration from various tribal elements of Indigenous people scattered throughout the world and from the fantastic creations of photographer and illustrator David Gomez. In a seamless evolution on previous seasons, Nicolas Petrou combined this heady cocktail of influences to create an individual collection of reimagined vintage and heritage, one of a kind pieces.
"There are tribal influences once again because I found this beautiful Guatamalian fabric from the 40s at a flea market and I found beautiful, hand embroidered pieces as well. I started with the fabric and then I was introduced to the work of a Spanish artist called David Gomez who created these beautiful portraits. With the combination of the fabric and David's work, the collection immediately became classic menswear with twists of tribal elements and everything came together. fresh and modern."
Nicolas Petrou speaking to me for Dazed Digital
Throughout, the Central Saint Martins graduate mixed classic menswear shapes with vintage hand embroidered materials, oxidised charms, beads and paint customisation for dazzling results. The presentation format really helped showcase the collection at its best. During the course of the hour long presentation, this blogger explored the multi faceted looks and was completely and utterly transfixed by the beauty of Petrou's eye for detail that may have been lost on the catwalk. We have long declared that the real beauty of menswear is in the details and will never tire of taking the time to celebrate the finer details of men's style. Few designers hold my attention more than Nicolas Petrou. My only grumble is that I was unable to shoot the collection because Susie had borrowed my camera for the day. Thankfully, Christos Karantzolas was on hand to capture the enthralling scenes so let's revisit the finely crafted looks...
During the Dazed Digital interview, an excited and deservedly proud Petrou enthused, "I love the intensity of it. Beauty doesn't have to be conventional." As you can see, each and every look has so many layers to it. The more you look, the more you see. Scarves are hand embroidered with classic icons of American pop culture from Ghostbusters to Pac Man, shirts are brought to life with patchwork check, trousers are adorned with the vintage Guatamalian fabric, boots are transformed with paint and oxidised charms. There are moments when it is almost too much but somehow the right balance is always struck.
In only four seasons, Nicolas Petrou has created such a strong aesthetic and I'm sure that this collection with garner the level of press and buyer attention that it deserves.