G-Star RAW’s industrial cool

If G-Star Raw were looking for a way to reinterpret their brand of cool urban denimwear yet again, then they found it for fall 2011 in the form of the industrial, the utilitarian, and with an overtone of vintage Victoriana.

An odd mix? Perhaps – but it’s one that worked. The show opened with a women’s Victorian-style frock coat that had been reimagined with a buckled neck and contrasting panels with billowy pockets. Next G-Star introduced the collection’s workwear theme, if ever so subtly, by way of cheek-scraping hot pants under a leather belt purse that leaned more towards a trademan’s tool belt than the other interpretations we’ve seen of the trend to date. One imagines that, given just how negative the hot pants’ hemline was, most of the audience failed to even notice the accompanying jacket with inflated collar – if ever a life jacket was made to look sexy, this was the time.

G-Star’s menswear followed with the same hardwearing, industrial themes, only this time with a military bent. While military fashion for men has largely been and gone as a trend, G-Star’s offering was fresh enough to take it to a new season. These were no military dress embellishments; rather it was thick wool greatcoats and army prints gone geometric that turned G-Stars man into one who was well equipped to handle any conditions, any weather, any situation.

As the 56-outfit New York fashion week show marched on, we saw more plays on Victorian-era gothicism, more utilitarian buckles and straps, more cool slouchy denims and women’s fitted leathers. Then, if there was any doubt about the workwear inspirations behind the collection, G-Star crushed it with subtle embossed motifs of tools on industrial-style overalls and boiler suits. These were not the most wearable, saleable part of the collection: but for the rest, G-Star offers a selection of unique and cosy winter pieces – all with an industrial-strength level of cool.

View the full G-Star Raw autumn (fall) / winter 2011 / 2012 runway collection by clicking on the thumbnails below and clicking through the photo gallery.