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Nicole Farhi menswear sheds it ‘safe’ tag

Nicole Farhi has long been a popular staple for the modern gent in need of contemporary style with classic aesthetics. But it’s the brand’s calling card that has also led some critics to accuse it of playing too safe.

However, that will change this month with the arrival of the first full collection by Italian designer Massimo Nicosia, who was appointed to take the reins from French designer Farhi, for both the brand’s mainline men’s collection and diffusion line back in December 2010. And the results are seriously impressive.

Formerly the head of menswear at Pringle and senior menswear designer at Alessandro Dell’Acqua in Milan, the Italian has given the autumn/winter 2011 collections a sharper edge and a continental flavour.

“The new collection will be taking forward the brand’s strong heritage — understated richness through luxurious fabrics and detailing — by applying innovative techniques to natural fabrics and knitwear and developing a sharp silhouette and soft construction,” says 39-year-old Nicosia, whose creations arrive in Nicole Farhi stores imminently.

The collections (above) feature tailoring and jackets in traditional British textures such as tweed, houndstooth and herringbone mixed with linen. Outerwear, moulded into iconic shapes such as the classic trench, combines bonded leather with wool and dense linen. Inspired by the Austrian painter Egon Schiele, the colour palette merges shades of charcoal, black and grey, punched with highlights of indigo, blackcurrant, olive and tobacco. Prices begin at a mere £125.

By combining classic British materials with technical innovation and continental style, Nicosia has achieved what Fabio Capello can only dream of.

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