Hare Cuts

Thom Browne vs Thom BrowneDo you want to look like a rabbit or is a bunny-print shirt good enough? Left: Rabbit head gear at Thom Browne’s A/W 2014 show. Right: Thom Browne cotton poplin button-down shirt

The headwear that Thom Browne showed during his Autumn/Winter presentation in January could be considered cute, teamed with those sombre grey suits. Designed by Stephen Jones, the masks and hats—fashioned out of suiting fabrics into animal heads—may not have been Looney Tunes-adorable, but they were sure able to put a smile on your face the way Porky and co could. In fact, you could almost hear Mr Jones mouthing Bugs Bunny: “Eeeeeeh, watch me paste that pathetic palooka with a powerful, pachydermous, percussion pitch!” While cuteness derived from a cartoonish representation of known creatures may have a place in women’s wear, they have a less sound position in a man’s wardrobe (and we’re not talking about those of guys who have just RODed from NS and weaned on UTs). This is why when the cute appears on shirts, it may not necessarily win hearts.

Just as we were wondering how Mr Browne will sell his take on the world of Simba and friends, out comes this button-down shirt with repeated patterns of rabbits aleaping. Everything about this shirt speaks of the tailoring one associates with business shirts, but it is hard to imagine a CFO wanting to wear this to witness the signing of an acquisition. Yet, the shirt is not without its charm: the bunnies centrally placed within a grid have the orderliness of pattern as in a classic plaid, but with just a tad more fun. Why keep leporid lovability only to your socks?

Thom Browne’s designs are not always easy to understand. On the racks, his clothes look simple enough to wear (even when his signature shirts are usually in heat-unfriendly heavy Oxfords), but on the catwalk, they’re more suited for showroom dummies than walking mannequins. Yet, Mr Browne continues to win all-round plaudits of the critics. Let him do the weird stuff on stage, just send the good stuff to the store.

Thom Browne bunny-print shirt, SGD1060, is available at Club 21, Four Seasons Hotel

Woven? It’s Just An Illusion

Bottega Veneta nylon messanger bag.gif

Bottega Veneta’s intrecciato leather is so able to distinguish the brand’s leather goods that it is hard to imagine anyone not wanting it when making his first Bottega purchase. Although in Italian, “intrecciato” means braided or woven, Bottega’s intrecciato is not always the woven finish as the name suggest. There are leathers that are embossed, as well as those that sport a print of the house’s distinctive design such as this bag.

Named the “Gardena Bag”, it comes in nylon on which is printed with what Bottega calls “Intrecciolusion”. It’s all very technical looking, of course, and pairs well with the monochrome digital gadgets we’re inclined to carry about in our daily life. What attracted us to this bag is its lightness, which contrasts palpably to a classic intrecciato version of the same size. There’s something sportif yet office-appropriate about this roomy messenger. And the fact that it is built with smartphone sleeves, on top of multiple pockets, adds to the bag’s attractiveness. Practical always has its appeal.

Bottega Veneta intrecciato-print messenger bag, SGD2,800, is available at Bottega Veneta, The Shoppes@Marina Bay Sands