Fashion can be a savage affair, so it's apt that Umit Benan was taking us hunting at Trussardi's Autumn/Winter 2013 catwalk showing. He'd decorated the walls of his venue with wooden horns and put his girls in pony skin leather and animal prints. The jungle's been a popular stomping ground for designers in the past. Just look at McQueen's infamous 'It's a Jungle Out There', a pointed and poignant comment on his troubles at Givenchy complete with a bullet-ridden corrugated iron set and elaborate horn headpieces. But Benan's wild turn was more subdued. There was no angst or hidden meanings, instead this was a stress-free voyage full of beautiful, relevant pieces. It seems this menswear doyen is finally at peace with his woman.
It's telling that the press notes commented that this season's Trussardi girl 'conceals her femininity under a tough shell but does not reject it.' Benan has previously had a tendency to try and shoehorn his woman into the same menswear shapes and silhouettes that have won him such critical acclaim with the boys. This season he'd finally got the balance right. So while shapes were still androgynous, with plenty of suiting and oversized boyfriend outerwear, they felt more in step with how modern women actually dress. The Trussardi girl was still tough, but somehow cooler and more approachable than usual. Her leather bombers were softened by being paired with neat midi chiffon skirts and her tailoring was updated with a graphic geometric check. Stand out pieces from the show included a pony skin and leather overcoat that could be unzipped into a cropped biker. It was tough yet classic at the same time, a balance that ran through the collection seamlessly.
You know a show is brilliant when your objective critical mind lapses and you start shopping. There was not one thing on that Trussardi runway that I didn't want to wear. And given the enthused claps when Benan appeared, nonchalant as ever, to take his bow, I'm pretty certain every other woman in the room felt the same. It was deeply ironic that as the models took their final turn he'd decided to blast out Talking Head's 'Road to Nowhere'. Benan is on exactly the right path and know just where he's going - onwards and upwards.