Every man should just DE: Dress Easy. Adrian Sauvage’s belief of how a male wardrobe should function is an obvious aspiration, but one not always easy to execute. For his S/S ’11 collection Black Volta, Sauvage has picked-up where his last collection, This Is Not A Suit, left off, by adding to his new school of tailoring for the modern man about town. It falls somewhere between bespoke and off the peg, marrying quality with a smaller, more concise selection of pieces, instead of the never-ending options that usually accompany high-end tailoring.
All the important things are present in Black Volta: blazers, trousers, shirts and ties. Sauvage also manages to cover a few additional bases and has thrown in socks, scarves and a few limited print t-shirts that are available exclusively at The Shop at Bluebird, where the collections pop-up is currently based.
Revisiting Ghana after an 11-year absence, Sauvage chose to combine European influences with traditional Kente cloth to produce a collection that not only captures the assertive independence of Ghanaian society, but also manages to be pretty damn wearable at the same time.
When I was living in South London seeing guys wearing vivid Dashikis or Kente cloth was pretty common, and it’s nice to see a traditional African fabric being utilized in a new way. There’s no cliché, there’s no gimmick; it just makes sense. Most importantly it works, especially when seeing the Kente patterns sitting alongside Black Volta’s digital dogtooth blazers.
Most designers I see working with tailoring usually get bogged down in the formality that shrouds the process, seeking to replicate the exclusivity of Savile Row. In doing so the pieces tend to loose their wearability and it all becomes a bit stuffy. Too much starch in the collar you might say. Fortunately Sauvage’s collection isn’t stuffy; you can dance in this stuff for sure! See for yourself in Sauvage’s film for the This Is Not A Suit Collection, which he also directed.
Dress Easy is a great concept, showcased effectively in the Black Volta collection. With Black Volta, whether you’re heading out to go dancing, go for a meal, go for a drink, you’ve now got the DE options for all occasions.
John Francis Bowyer