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top 5 men in florals for spring/summer 14

Googling ‘men in florals' is not the way to go about finding a bunch of male celebrities to mention in your Top 5 intro, who’ve all trademarked the floral print look. Perhaps it’s because big bulky men and precious little flowers haven’t really gone hand-in-hand since the 18th century, when a silken floral brocade waistcoat was the be all and end all of masculine authority. In recent decades, flowers in menswear have pretty much been exclusive to Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, and hippies of a more flamboyant disposition. But that was until the spring/summer 14 men’s shows stepped in the room.

Text Anders Christian Madsen Tweet 

Photography Mitchell Sams

  • 5. Gucci

    Before there was Hugh Hefner and his paisley bathrobe, real red-blooded playboys roamed the sunny cities of Italy in all their silken Gucci floral pride. And even if the dapper Matvey Lykov hails from the less sun-kissed latitudes of Saint Petersburg, you’ve got to give it up to the man for making an oriental floral over-shirt and a vibrant floral pyjama bottom combo look as effortless as it did in the second-to-last exit of Frida Giannini’s laid-back, lounge-y spring/summer 14 collection for the ladies’ man in all of us.


    Gucci spring/summer 14

  • 4. Valentino

    In case you didn’t know, they do ‘men’s couture’ over at Valentino HQ and that means even their take on floral prints comes with a little added pizzazz. So courageous were Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli that they didn’t only venture onto the dangerous territory of flowers for men, but combined it with toile de jouy – yes, that famously masculine print staple, in this case complete with a jungle/savanna theme featuring tiny camels and elephants amongst all the flora and other fun fauna. But as things sometimes go in fashion, two feminines can make a masculine, or at least something rather boyish, and on Valentino’s chinos (Valenchinos?) and windbreakers, it looked just right.


    Valentino spring/summer 14

  • 3. Ann Demeulemeester

    When it comes to a darkly poetic floral element for men, Ann’s the man. After all, who could take something as quaint and dainty as flower vines and make them all gothic better than the unparalleled mistress of beautiful gloom? For spring/summer 14, she flocked them in black on white, pink and powder blue tailoring, giving the impression that black wisteria was crawling down the shoulders of her heavily kohled boys. For the D-Meister, however, the florals were a walk on the idyllic side, and more specifically, a part of her idea of a Sunday afternoon. “It’s a time when you have time for yourself; have time to dress,” she said. “You go out in the garden and you feel free.”


    Ann Demeulemeester spring/summer 14

  • 2. Prada

    If you thought Miuccia Prada was taking her man on a Hawaiian getaway, luaus and dolphin shows in tow, you were sorely mistaken. Those tropical print tops weren’t so island beach resort as much as they representing the destruction of it – or, according to Mrs Prada, the idea of a "menacing paradise". Think Pearl Harbor post-bombardment, or maybe two-thirds into Apocalypse Now, and there you have it: lush, exuberant flowers in all the colours of a rainbow contrasted with the eerie, cold, devouring black of war and pollution. Not so twee now, floral prints, are they?


    Prada spring/summer 14

  • 1. Dries Van Noten

    While everyone else was busy fiddling with their location and period specific floral prints, Dries Van Noten was actively taking over the entire world of botany in one ravishing collection. In the archives of Les Arts Décoratifs, where he was preparing for his retrospective of influences (opening February 2014), Dries came across original flower-adorned fabrics of the 18th and 19th centuries, and decided to pretty much sum up the history of floral prints in 48 looks. (Because why wouldn’t you?) From Louis XIV to Jean Cocteau and Jimi Hendrix, Dries’ spring/summer 14 collection was manly florals all the way – as proved and approved byhistory itself.


    Dries Van Noten spring/summer 14