A few months back, It’s All Style To Me was singing the praises of a talented New York based menswear designer by the name of Marlon Gobel. The young fashion designer, set to show his fourth collection at New York Fashion Week this September, is blazing a new trail in American men’s fashion. His designs bring together the sophistication of Savile Row tailoring with a style that is all Soho. The London Central Saint Martins graduate spent seven years learning from two of America’s most influential designers before starting his own label. So now the former Director of Operations for Thom Browne and Assistant Creative Director for Michael Bastian, is quickly becoming one of, if not the best emerging designers in menswear today.
You may have already caught a glimpse of Gobel’s creations while walking past the 5th Avenue windows at Bergdorfs. I would recommend heading inside or even visiting Gobel’s website for a closer look. Lord knows a few of his European contemporaries already have – and then some. Inspiration or imitation? That’s the question It’s All Style To Me is asking after reviewing the Spring/Summer 2012 Men’s Collections coming out of Milan and Paris last month. Big name European fashion houses including Jean Paul Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana, and Versace appear to have taken a page (or two) from the designer’s earlier collections and incorporated them into their own. Let’s take a closer look.
Imitation of Gobel:
For SS12, Jean Paul Gaultier showed both a check suit and two scenic-print suits that looked straight out of Gobel’s SS11 and FW11 collections respectively. The crux of Dolce & Gabbana’s SS12 Men’s Collection was the duo’s fascination and obsession with the net. Quite possibly Gobel’s net, since Gobel’s mesh designs were created two seasons earlier? Not only does the jacket look identical, but even the runway styling is the same. Dolce & Gabbana’s SS12 Women’s Collection, again we see similar HD fruit and vegetable prints that were used in Marlon Gobel’s SS12 Collection. Lastly, Versace’s buckle-fastened SS12 suits, trousers, and sports jackets. Gobel had introduced this buckles in several of the sports coats for FW11.
One might also call the glorious men’s Christian Louboutin’s into question. Gobel’s FW11 fashion show was the first all men’s collection to adorn Christian Louboutin’s on all of the models. Created collaboratively for Gobel’s FW11 show, a recent Louboutin campaign shows an exact copy of the gold-studded men’s loafers now available in a stilettoed version for the ladies.
So are some of the biggest names in fashion turning to this newcomer for inspiration or just blatantly ripping him off? Is it all just a coincidence? That’s for you to decide. As for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2012 SuperMart-themed Men’s Collection, Gobel promises a very Andy Warhol and Damian Hurst influenced Pop Art moment in men’s fashion. Looking forward to it, as I’m sure the other fashion houses are*.
*Both Moschino Men’s SS13 and Chanel FW14 went on to have similar supermarket themed fashion shows and collections.