Photography by Natalie Castellino
The most daring thing on Klaxon Howl‘s runway for spring/summer 2012 seemed to be a coral button-up. Or the high-waisted jeans; I can’t quite decide. It’s not the point, though, of the Klaxon appeal because Matt Robinson (the Toronto designer behind the label) aims to cater to every guy, not necessarily a specific guy. The entire thing is typical of Robinson, but I’ve come to like that. Each season, he does his usual jeans and utility wear, but with subtle twists that push men a little closer into “fashion” and its trend (not just basics) without pushing them over the edge. It’s all about workwear-inspired fare (complete with bandannas for a long day in the sun), with an attempt at making basics accessible without being boring.
What I love about this genre of menswear is that it’s not too intricate. By the same token, it suffers the plight of appearing stale. While Robinson’s latest work feels like something you’ve seen before, it’s certainly not stale. It’s different, and that’s good. White jeans you don’t want to get dirty belong here, but not in a theme that reaches far beyond June to September. Cut-off, sleeveless denim shirts with white tees underneath make pieces like that appear less hip(ster) and more grounded, same for the denim vest and utility, front-pocket khaki one. There’s also a buttoned-up take on the tunic in a salmon colour, and his use of colours like that add a nice touch to the collection. Many guys will like this standard uniform, and you’re all in luck because Robinson is actually able to sell his clothes, and he does so at places like The Bay or his new flagship, opening tonight at Queen and Manning in place of the former Delphic shop.