Michael Bastian Brings Sexy Back

—Simona Rabinovitch
photography by Dan Lecca
February 27, 2013 | The Latest Homepage Latest

It’s rare that men’s clothing can be described as “sexy.” Often dapper, frequently crisp, but rarely sexy. Inspired by ’80s GQ, a Fire Island pool party, and the palette of late American colorfield painter Helen Frankenthaler, Michael Bastian’s spring/summer 2013 collection is the exception. Featuring gorgeous linen suits, knitwear, and pullovers, as well as short shorts, the line can perhaps be described as sexy-preppy with an edge.

But that’s not to say the pieces aren’t accessible for the everyday guy. The silhouettes, all be them slim-fitting, are completely wearable and chic in a South Beach meets the Hamptons sort of way. And the “washed out” color palette draws from Frankenthaler's work: vague pastels, shades you can't really define that lie somewhere between pinks, blues, greens, grays, and lavenders. Frankenthaler believed that color conveys emotion, and that rang true with Bastian as he was designing the collection.

"I like this idea of clothes you would wear on the most perfect day where you wouldn't want to be anywhere else but where you are that moment," mused the designer, who has been churning out classic American menswear for 13 seasons and counting. Before launching his eponymous line—which earned him the 2011 CFDA menswear designer of the year award—Bastian worked at Sotheby's, Tiffany & Co., Polo Ralph Lauren, and was the men's fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman for five years.

Also showcasing special collaborations on hats with Mr. Kim (by Eugenia Kim); on shoes with Alejandro Ingelmo; and on slippers with Stubbs & Wootton, Bastian's spring/summer line got rave reviews when it showed at New York Fashion Week in September 2012. Available in New York at Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Scoop, and Jeffrey, the line oozes gentlemanly sexiness, the perfect vibe for spring in New York.

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