Style / September 2015

Rakecreation: The Rise of Casual Formal

By mixing elements of formality and sportswear, men are defining an all-new mode of sartorial self-expressionism.

In the last few years, the sartorial world has undergone one of its most significant evolutions in response to the realities of modern life: in particular, the need to navigate the urban environment, oftentimes on foot or on a bike; the fact that men today spend a significant amount of their lives travelling and need essential garments that are light and versatile; and, finally, because men have decided that they are no longer willing to compromise when it comes to comfort. Men have started to mix elements of formality and casual clothing to create the new urban luxury uniform, and in response, the most imaginative brands and their creative directors have tapped into the zeitgeist of this movement in order to shape its future.

'This style of dressing gives men this wonderful sense of independence,' adds Veronique Nichanian, the menswear designer for Hermès. 'By choosing which formal and casual items they want to integrate into their wardrobes, they create a totally unique sense of style.' Paul Surridge and Murray Scallon, the two designers at Z Zegna, make elegant menswear out of technical performance materials, resulting in garments so liberating, you can practically parkour in them. 'Men today are in constant motion - running for a plane, jumping on a bicycle or simply moving rapidly for the city. Fashion has to adapt to their needs,' says Murray Scallon.

Sneakers from both luxury and sports brands have now become the de rigour in footwear for urban life. Alessandro Sartori, the Creative Director of Berluti explains:

"The objective is not to simply create sportswear, but to inject the same craft into a sporting garment as you would into the most beautifully tailored suit."

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Wei Koh

The Rake's Founder & Editorial Director.