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February 1, 2012updated Feb 11, 2013

TROPICAL STORM

By Chris Boyle

Gentlemen, say aloha to one of spring’s top trends: It might still be chilly outside, but these retro-inspired Hawaiian prints are sure to warm up your wardrobes.

Colorful, clever and just a bit off-kilter, modern day interpretations of classic 1950s resort wear strike just the right balance between vintage and avant-garde. Their quirky-cool quotient makes Hawaiian hibiscus flower prints one of the few that men have welcomed into their closets.

Some of the most classic interpretations of the look came from Kenzo, in a strong show by exiting designer Antonio Marras where tropical blooms sprouted on everything from lightweight sweaters to cuffed shorts and bucket hats. Over at Moschino, an interesting mix of hibiscus prints and rockabilly styling offered a witty twist on the trend—particularly when the pattern was used in different shades on the sleeves of a button-down shirt, or morphed into abstract palm trees on a retro-feel varsity jacket. Jean Paul Gaultier incorporated the saturated colors of picture postcard Hawaiian skylines in matching printed pieces that were worn head-to-toe on the runway for a seriously statement- making ensemble.

Outgoing Z Zegna designer Alessandro Sartori— who has been tapped to take over creative direction at Berluti—sent out a fantastic final show filled with wearable designs, not the least of which were his 1950s wallpaper-inspired printed shirts. Branching out from the 1950s nostalgia, Miuccia Prada took floral prints to the golf course, deftly mixing her pop art blossoms with retro cartoon character prints on cowboy shirts with a psychedelic 1960s feel. At Viktor & Rolf the referencing was much subtler, with a beige and blue color palette that evoked the 1970s, but a bold graphic dolphin print shirt could not refute its Hawaiian heritage.

With designers offering happy-go-lucky Hawaiian prints on just about every item of clothing in a man’s closet, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the vacation-ready style this season.

WHERE TO BUY

KENZO

 

VIKTOR & ROLF

Suzanne Johnson

(212) 753-4000

www.viktor-rolf.com

 

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER

Eric Rougeot

33-1-4443-0044

www.jeanpaulgaultier.com

 

MOSCHINO

Vivek Batra

(212) 243-8600

www.moschino.com

 

PRADA

Paul Jackson

(212) 334-8888

www.prada.com

 

Z ZEGNA

Franco Salhi

(212) 421-4488

www.zegna.com

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