mantra oft repeated in the world of men's fashion these days is: “dress down your formal pieces, dress up your casual pieces.” All the trendsetters seem determined to blur the line between formal and casual dress, mixing elements of both to create a look that is ultimately neither. It's therefore refreshing that Alviero Martini creates in its Spring and Summer collection for 2012 a line that is resolutely casual. None of it is meant to be worn to a dinner party, unless that party is an informal table with friends. Alviero Martini only wants us to enjoy our time off in the Summer. In this, they relish in some of their Italian heritage, taking advantage of the way Italy relaxes as July turns to August.
Note that 'casual' in this case does not mean 'sloppy.' The collection features plenty of exciting pieces that reveal a gentleman of taste and composure. A dark, ocean blue appears throughout, whether on its own in a jacket or in the trim of a bright red shirt. Like much of the couture for Spring and Summer, this line takes its inspiration from the seashore; it is crafted with a weekend at the beach in mind. What isn't blue is occasionally gray, a soft and gentle gray like early morning mist over the water. That red shirt appears in the heat of the day, granting it a magnetic pull like the Summer sun. The Alviero Martini gentleman knows he can make a statement without resorting to business dress. There is even a shirt with a beautiful multicolor check pattern, designed to withstand the journey from the beach to the dinner table in the evening.
Of note in the collection is the use of the polo shirt, and particularly polo shirts with long, four-button plackets running almost to the sternum. The clear implication is that we are meant to unbutton these shirts a long way to reveal the tanned chests of Summer. The outerwear is extremely light, sometimes hooded, meant to keep out the barest of chills in the early morning. Even the footwear is light: it consists of ocean blue sandals and sandy gray boat shoes, all meant to take their turn on the seashore. This collection belongs by the sea and nowhere else- it is simply meant for vacation.