This season, menswear is getting in touch with its artistic side, with many top designers giving their collections a fresh coat of paint—paint splatter, that is.
If there’s one aspect of getting dressed that men most often grapple with, it’s how to incorporate pattern into their wardrobe. Sticking with solid colors is simply the safer choice— and while colorful florals, bold stripes and paisley prints are always options, most men seem to shy away from these more audacious alternatives.
There’s something about the edgy, undone look of paint splatter—even highly stylized designer paint splatter—that’s sure to bring out every man’s inner Picasso this spring. Each designer who picked up on the painterly trend had their own unique take on the style. Kris Van Assche’s print of choice was a dusty micro-splatter, making models look as if they had been up all night tagging buildings with spray paint. At Jean Paul Gaultier, the use of a Jackson Pollock-like pattern made it appear as though paint had been splashed onto the clothing just before the models walked the runway. For Dries Van Noten, the hand-painted result of ink-like splotches of color across crisp white button-down shirts was a more masculine interpretation of 1970s-era tie dye.
Other designers bent the trend to their brand’s unique aesthetic. At Giorgio Armani, the splatter was appropriately understated. The effect was a subtler bleeding of color up the front of a shimmering sweater, or a weather-worn look on a pair of trousers that resembled an underlying coat of paint peeking through. Not surprisingly, Donatella Versace went bold with a crackled paint effect on her retro, rockabilly-inspired summer suits.
Leave it to Vivienne Westwood, who designs each collection with an ultra-masculine man in mind, to strip the trend back to its roots. So much so that her rugged models took to the catwalk this season in dirty denim vests and matching baggy pants that had been covered in the real thing. Colorfully splattered across the clothes, the use of paint created a hyper-real look, as if Westwood had just pulled the models from a crew repainting her house.
Whether you opt for a touch of the print or commit to a colorsaturated suit, paint splatter is a striking look that’s both carefree and cool—making it the perfect starter print for men.
WHERE TO BUY
DRIES VAN NOTEN
JEAN PAUL GAULTIER
KRIS VAN ASSCHE