As Christian Westphal’s menswear collection for Spring/Summer 2012 is about to hit the stores, The Style Examiner paused to look into what is making this Danish designer being considered one of the most promising voices in the fashion industry.
There is little doubt that Westphal has a respectable solid background in all things sartorial. After studying fashion at the College of Danish Design in Kolding, Denmark, he continued his studies at the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. Upon graduation, he began his career working with John Galliano at Christian Dior in Paris and later held a position at Emanuel Ungaro before assisting Delphine Murat. After establishing his eponymous label in 2007, his designs have been going from strength to strength.
Over the most recent seasons, Westphal swam alongside the current of contemporary global trends explored by many other menswear designers, such as cropped trousers, harem pants, oversized shirting and outerwear, or jackets tailored by using thick belts. His Autumn/Winter 2011 collection explored these trends but it also revealed the need to break the mould by including flattering and successfully tailored pieces, namely jackets with built-in fabric belts and rectangular lapels or pleated waistcoats in beautiful Chiaroscuro shades of blue and grey as base tones.
For Spring/Sumer 2012, Westphal has dared to play even further with more original and surprising concepts. Whereas his Autumn/Winter 2011 collection focused on mastering competent cuts, the current range of garments is centred on exploring texture. In order to ensure that the focus of his creativity stays focussed on fabrics, Westphal resorts to uncomplicated and graphic silhouettes such as under-the-knee jodphurs, nylon biker jackets, pants with cut-away waistband, and his signature shirts, some of them pumped up with away-from-the-neck volumes and revealing refined, and yet heavy, stitches on collar pieces. On the other side of the spectrum, a fitted jacket made from weightless cotton jacquard reveals tiny but bulky dots, highlighting the importance of contrasts in a subdued way.
In addition, the overall look of the collection evokes a glamorous yet restrained bohemian atmosphere. An array of historical references to male sartorial trends pervades the collection, from the invocation of Renaissance noblemen’s penchant for casual cotton waistcoats, small and neat collars, and garments accessorized with heavy trims, to unusual insect-printed scarves, to the exploration of man-made fabrics and cuts of the 1980s, to the almost-feminine tailoring of garments as explored by the New Romantics.
With such quirky yet elegant designs, it is no surprise that Christian Westphal has been given the nod by fashion connoisseurs with his nomination for the Max Factor New Talent Award 2012. His collections can be found in numerous stores in Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.