Soku - fall/winter 2007

Patrice Soku breathes new life into menswear for his fall/winter 2007 collection, referencing ancient Japanese costuming and Russian military uniforms.

With men’s designer fashion falling by the wayside these past couple of years, with Canadian labels recycling masculine patterns by the ton to focus on feminine shapes, there has been a dearth of good men’s fashion on runways. It was almost a shock to see a Montreal runway show of only men.

Soku intends to change that, and he aims to do it to the beat of a different drum. Okay, so this new label may not be re-inventing the sartorial wheel, but the looks are fresh, suave, and above all, focused. Vivid Samurai motifs are used to embolden otherwise humdrum pieces, as we see with the repeating pattern of emblazoned orange rectangle that makes a black dress shirt worth looking at.

There is an inerasable element of classiness in even the most casual items. A bevy of melting satin shirts, that Sokü’s posey models naturally wear open-chested, are reigned in nicely by the immaculate suits.

There’s one curious detail that’s everywhere, and I wonder if it distracts more than anything else: leather ribbing and strapping run pell-mell throughout the collection. At times, it accents the strength of certain silhouettes, as is the case with the navy ‘warrior’ trench, though I’m dubious about whether wallpapering outfits with leather patches has any overriding, redeeming effect.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer