Henrik Vibskov is one of those polymaths whose activities have diversified from fashion design – for which he first became a notable name- into many other areas of design, art, music and various other forms of media. He has also proven himself to be a highly creative entrepreneur who is particularly adept at creating wonderful shops in which his own work is sold internationally alongside that of others selected by him.
But, it’s important not to forget Henrik Vibskov was first and foremost a designer of clothing and, even though his showman antics have occasionally gained more critical acclaim than the clothes themselves, his SS11 menswear collection reminds us that it wasn’t for nothing that his precocious talent was advocated by esteemed fashion critics.
Entitled ‘The Last Pier Pandemonium’ the collections for SS11 may have a nod to the sea, but don’t expect too much in the way of traditional nautical references; here the emphasis seems to be more on the pandemonium. Yes, there are naturally some notions of life on the ocean wave, but in Vibskov’s uplifting and riotous take for this summer’s collections there’s little of the traditional matelot stripes in evidence. Instead, it’s the accoutrement of real working seafarers – such as the bright orange of the buoys that help vessels to not run aground or make real contemporary sailors visible at a distance – that provide a source of inspiration, cropping up as natty takes on bags or detailing in the brightly coloured combinations. Here and there, loose knits seem occasionally evocative of the craft of traditional Scandinavian fishing villages.
Yet this is not an approach to a menswear collection that relies on a single theme or a unified narrative. The pandemonium takes on the form of clashing animal prints, camouflage or bright stripes that add up to a wild mix ‘n match palette. Putting aside the bold headgear and swimming goggles worn as sunglasses that were the key features of the bold styling for the collection’s presentation – the catwalk was a raised pier and even involved models wheeling around large models of boats- this is less a collection about pulling out the usual sailor’s outfit to denote summer and more about unity coming out of form. The baggy jackets and knits with clever draping or details bring a kind of shaped structure to the loose trouser shapes; shorts or three quarter length save for a fitted bagginess in trousers fronted by pleats on the more formal garments.
Once again, this great Dane offers the more adventurous male the chance to have some fun with a wardrobe that, for all its jackass antics, is full of clever details and surprisingly practical.