Latin Streets Unleashed

Bold, brash and only for the brave, the ss 09 menswear collection from Givenchy’s main man, Riccardo Tisci, is tearing up the streets with a color palette that screams, “Wake up hombre! Spring has sprung.” With more than a little nod to the gothic sub-cultures down south, this first menswear collection from Tisci features a host of colorful garments molded and embellished with lace, leather and mesh that reflect the vibrancy and pulsating masculinity of Latin streetwear. When first presented on muscle-bound tattooed models back in June 2008, retail buyers were aghast, suggesting the neon pink chiffon-like shirts, mesh sweaters, lace t-shirts, voile blouses and leather-cuffed shorts-over-leggings combo would appeal to only the most eclectic of stylists. Yet, in the short time since the line has been released officially into stores, it’s become a must-have addition to any fashionisto’s wardrobe.

Unapologetic in his vision, Tisci claims that far from being unrealistic attire for the modern man, his collection embodies the masculinity and sexual confidence of the “self-assured male.” Feeling his collection represents a man’s inner strength, poise and pride, Tisci drew inspiration from his many travels through South America, saying, “My clothes bear the imprint of the sense of pride, bearing and attitude distinctive to Latin men.” Whilst to the average American, the collection appears to teeter toward flamboyance, Tisci claims that the tight trousers, leather leggings and sheer fitted blouses would not look out of place on the streets of Argentina, Cuba or Brazil. Unlike the androgynous collections of other designers, Tisci hopes to have created a range that allows men to revel in their masculinity and virility and show off their well-built physique in clothing that is tailored, structured and, if honest, a little tight. So come on men, pull your hair into a ponytail, flex your physique and strut the streets this spring!

— Fiona Killackey