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Monday, October 22, 2012

Profile: Nicolas Petrou for PETROU\MAN

Spring\Summer 2012

I’m on Safari. I’ve decided only two colours will do, no need for anything technicoloured on this experience. Khaki for day and Dusty Navy Blue for night. My PETROU\MAN Spring\Summer 2012 collection should do the trick.  The aim of the game is not to look like the game on view but to still blend in with the background without anyone mistaking me for some mundane object. In the testing African sun, the khaki block of this PETROU\MAN collection will dot he trick to fool others into thinking I’m part of the work force. It’s only when they come closer and notice my shell-into-fans pattern print on my bespoke wear, do they realise I’m too a guest. A guest with a high sense of couture outdoor wear that can step into the urban safari without a fright.

As we retract to the lodge and the African sunset turns a blazing desert red, I’ll take this personal time to refresh and switch into something dusty navy blue. The cropped one button blazer with matching undershirt and shorts should do the trip. Its tailoring lends itself to many formalities of the evening, yet it’s length in pants – shorts – allows for the casualness of the weather. I feel a little naïve though… The innocent hand print pattern, which develops into a larger flower motif kind of gives the ensemble an ethnic feel. Coincidence, considering we’re on Safari in Africa? I can’t be sure…

Autumn\Winter 2011 – 2012

There’s an emergence of a new kind of urban tribe with this specific collection. It’s cold outside and this PETROU\MAN knows it. He’s not about to freeze his ass without good reason, simultaneously, his wardrobe is mart enough to ensure that doesn’t happen. Being the man that he is, there’s very little big colour. There’s a lot of charcoal, burgundy and blue grey. There’s colour, plenty of small doses though. When you rummage through his wardrobe you start to realize what this man is about this season. He’s made it quite clear.

“I will wear my tracksuit items with my day shirt and three-button trench coat.”

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially when you consider how tailored and strong cut the pieces are. Trenches combine heavy-duty cottons with printed fabrics on the shoulders and upper bodice. One-button blazers combine a kind of patchwork design to create a more fun silhouette in a boring season. Tracksuits are designed and made in corresponding fabrics and patterns, allowing for slick integration with the more bespoke outerwear. Quite frankly, the autumn\winter 2011 – 2012 collection is designed for boys about town with a series chill mission.

Spring\Summer 2011 [Presentation + Look Book]

By far, I personally believe, this is PETROU\MAN’s most commercial collection in its entirety. Dainty summer fabrics take centre stage and have glamour added to them in multi-coloured details on hems, jacket sleeves and on the pants. There’s plenty of smart coupling of nudes with corresponding primary colour patterns. The denim with blue and yellow print combos are my ultimate in this collection. They have a kind of royalness about them. Fun yet commanding a wad of respect. Then there’s that one-button blazer suit and pants in a light nautical blue in print that I can see myself wearing every day. Aah, such summer elegance one can acquire from so mere a bespoke suit.

I enjoyed the fact that this collection was packaged in two ways: a beautiful, surreal-type presentation and a more straight-forward yet cool look book. I guess one is for the bloggers and fashion editors and the likes while the look book would be better suited to forward to buyers… They don’t need all the sugar coating. Then again, the clothes themselves don’t need any sugar coating.


Attempting to secrete the essence of Nicolas Petrou’s men’s fashion brand, PETROU\MAN, is not an easy task. In fact, it’s almost impossible to do so. Apart from the fact that there’s very little information readily available on the 1993 Central Saint Martin Alumni, there’s also not enough people ‘spilling the beans’ sort to speak. So instead, it’s recommended one  goes through his collections to try and grasp the motivation and inspiration as to why and how Nicolas is able to translate different sources of inspiration into collections every year.

PETROU\MAN is Nicolas’ launch into high-end menswear. I’m grateful, appreciative at this move. He adds another stamp of approval in the world that menswear can stand its ground, provide innovative and interesting clothes for men across the globe, all in a creative and commercially viable manner. With PETROU\MAN, and more specifically, the three most recent collections of - SS 2011 + AW 2011 – 2012 + SS 2012 – one starts to begin to understand the kind of man a PETROU\MAN is.

I have deciphered ‘him’ as: casual, stylish, understands the fundamentals of fashion, interprets fashion trends according to his personal style, enjoys wearing daywear in the evening, knows the difference between tailored and bespoke, has a thing for neutral tones combined with fun shades and patterns, often takes risks with certain garments, has a special place for well-made jackets and coats in his life. The PETROU\MAN guy comes across as a playful chap who seemingly knows there’s a time and place for everything.

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