Fast. That was the word for Umit Benan's Autumn/Winter 2012 Trussardi mens collection, sixteen streamlined, go-faster looks that careened around the Trussardi showroom before a photoprint racing-enthusiast audience. It was inspired by Formula 1 champ Jackie Stewart, so speed was the understandable theme. So was seventies - and if you didn't get a hang of that in the ombre sunglasses, geometric knit and brick-red suede suit of the first number, it's likely the pace of this collection would be too fast for you to keep up.
Benan couched his seventies retro in the world of Trussardi - the seventies were its heyday, and Benan referenced one of the house's signatures, the fine, kidskin leather driving gloves worn by three-quarters of the models. Those were Jackie in professional mode, presumably - the other looks charted his wild times in the winners' enclosure, a jerboam of champagne clutched against a double-breasted cognac suit or under a fur-trimmed cashmere top-coat.
Referencing the decade that taste arguably forgot always guarantees a wild ride - its something we're far more used to seeing in tongue-in-cheek womenswear outings than menswear. There was still something a little shocking about seeing men in kick-hemmed flares, collars opened wide over a chest presumably hairy under its skinny turtleneck. But the totality of the Trussardi vision was more than just persuasive, it was convincing. At times, it was almost to the point of convincing us that we had actually time-travelled back to 1976. As for the sense to reviving that decade when everyone else seems to be looking at the eighties: Benan has already mined that decade, his presentations something of a catalyst for the fashion world's current Wall Street shtick. Stay tuned for Starsky and Hutch as next season's key reference point.
The Trussardi look may seem extreme, but it was easy to abstract the flared, waist-defining coats, the slightly cropped bomber jackets and of course the bags, and imagine them sailing effortless into the twenty-first century. Taste - like fashion - may be subject to the vagaries of time, but style it seems truly is eternal.