Dirk Bikkembergs Menswear Fall Winter 2013 Milan
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It is never easy to take over a brand with a distinctive style. There is always that desire to stay true to the DNA of the house. And sometimes just doing an update on hallmark designs or incorporating recognizable features is enough to give new energy and direction to a label.  

This season marks the third for designer Hamish Morrow at the helm of the Dirk Bikkembergs menswear line. Backstage before the show he was fully aware of the challenges he faces. “I have been super respectful of the DNA, it is a huge challenge to take over the reigns without putting at risk, if you like, the commercial operation of the brand, when you change the style,” said the designer. He went onto add “this season I feel much more confident that I can put a little more Hamish, or my interpretation of the DNA, into the collection.”

What does that mean for Bikkembergs fans for next winter? Lots of luxury sport pieces that combine technical activewear materials like windstopper fabric with more traditional textiles. Blended too was the Italian manufacturing of the clothing with a more industrial style of construction that used seam sealing and fabric bonding to mix and match fabrics in different weights, colors, and textures all on the same outfit.

But it was with his dissonant color palette that paired classic shades of camel and gray with more plastic hues of lime green, dayglow orange and neon purple that hurt this collection of well proportioned outerwear and intriguing textile experimentation. It was just one step too far in an odd direction, in particular when done in stirrup pants, that made this show feel as if it was stuck in limbo between its past and what could be a bright future.

- Jessica Michault

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