If you’ve not heard the name ‘Jason Basmajian’ surrounded by many, many words hailing his inspiring approach to contemporary design, you’ve surely been living under a rock. He has long been synonymous with intelligent, subtle, lifestyle-appropriate and truly innovative menswear. We could rant and rave indefinitely about his time spent transforming Gieves & Hawkes into a global beacon for the enduring appeal of modern Savile Row tailoring, but it is really in the guise of Creative Director of Cerruti, where his directional, yet eminently wearable creations are rewriting the menswear rulebook. A heritage-rich luxury menswear brand that nonetheless has always valued progressiveness in its clothes, Basmajian’s work over the past few seasons has transformed its identity into one of Europe’s most exciting luxury men’s brands.
With this in mind, Basmajian’s recent collection for SS17 marked a clear step forward for the house; complementing his ever-polished tailoring and luxurious outerwear with a peppering of utilitarian pieces, a brand new denim collection, moving the house into the realm of uncompromising luxury workwear and a series of separates tailored in printed camouflage cloth – a fun, yet thought-provoking play on the idea that a blazer is the modern man’s go-to, a sartorial hybrid appropriate for any context or social environment.
What then, will AW17 bring in the wake of such triumphant designs? Luckily for The Rake, Basmajian was kind enough to give us a few clues…
What can we expect to see in your AW17 collection?
Fall/Winter 2017 is all about relaxed elegance with an edge, and attention to innovative fabrics and detailing. The collection balances formal tailoring and sportswear creating a distinctly modern man’s wardrobe. Rich colours such as purples, plums, greens, navy, earthy tones and blacks are accented throughout with leather and astrakhan details. Long, fluid loose-cut coats, outerwear, and an iconic tailoring silhouette with a soft shoulder and fuller cut trousers inform the collection’s signature pieces.
What has been your main source of inspiration and why?
This year marks the 50 year anniversary for Cerruti. I was very inspired by the design that the house has produced over the past five decades, both thanks to garments in the archive and archive imagery. We also looked at some of the films Cerruti worked on - we wanted to look forward with the clothes but with a reference to the unique menswear philosophy created by Mr Cerruti.
Who is the Cerruti man?
The Cerruti man is one of confidence and puts style and substance over fleeting trend. He's fashionable but rather understated, and has no prescribed formal or casual look. Instead he enjoys an approach to dressing which is individualistic and expressive.
Which element of the collection are you most proud of and why?
I am proud of the way the collection has come together to represent a statement that is both very on-brand DNA-wise, but which is resolutely modern in its expression. The rich colours, textures, exclusive fabrics, details and fresh silhouettes create an elegant and fresh collection.
Have you incorporated any new fabrics, sourced from any new mills or merchants?
Most of the fabrics are wool and wool blends, cottons, silk, some technical fabrics, shearling, leather and printed pony skin. We developed many exclusive Jacquards and wovens with Lanificio Cerruti – we felt it was important to retain the connection between the mill and the house. There is also a lot of mixing complimentary patterns in the same fabrics; pairing a large check with herringbone, grosgrain and leather details for example.
How would you describe the collection’s aesthetic?
Strong, masculine, chic and cool.