The Specials and Alexander McQueen
The Specials and Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 12
A far bigger hit than you’d ever expect a ska revival band to be, The Specials were absolutely huge in the late Seventies with songs like Too Much Too Young and Ghost Town. The band were the very definition of an English 2 Tone group (indeed, the term was coined by The Specials’ keyboard player), associated aesthetically with a black and white checkerboard, and a very specific Sixties ‘rude boy’ look, which involved pork pie hats, mixed-up three piece suits, and lots of stripes. It’s a style echoed for Spring/Summer 12 at Alexander McQueen, where Sarah Burton opted to incorporate the aforementioned monochrome checks and stripes into retro shapes - wide trousers, waistcoats and the like, mixed in with pieces like bomber jackets, for a similarly rebellious vibe.
Hurts and Dior Homme
Dior Homme Spring/Summer 12 and Hurts
Along with their glossy synth pop, Hurts’ pared down but highly stylised look has always been at the forefront of the Manchester duo’s appeal. Sporting a sleek, predominantly black and white wardrobe consisting of tailored separates, the pair have spent the past couple of years getting in with the fashion crowd, so it’s hardly surprising that Dior Homme (along with Burberry, probably the most musically inclined label) have finally sent out a collection reminiscent of Hurts’ attire, all lean, fitted slacks, neutral, clean shirts and tops with neat, minimal detailing and a sleek silhouette.
Elvis Presley Rag and Bone
Rag and Bone Spring/Summer 12 and Elvis Presley's Blue Hawaii album
Yes, the King was mostly famous for those glamorous white catsuits and spangled accessories, but you’re far more to see that referenced on a woman’s catwalk these days than a men’s. His Hawaiian period, however, is a different story. He appeared in several films set on the island, and sported a succession of loud yet surprisingly stylish Hawaiian shirt (or maybe they just looked great again the tan and quiffed hair). It’s that route that the catwalks of Spring/Summer 12 have opted to go down, with Riccardo Tisci incorporating exotic flower prints into his smart Givenchy collection, whilst Rag and Bone went all out for brightly hued Hawaiian shirts and trousers mixed in with casual, everyday pieces like jeans and jackets for maximum wearability.