© by Tim Hamilton
With his new collection for Spring 2011, Tim Hamilton further refines his chosen themes of tradition and transgression, and explores the precise, nuanced shapes that have come to define his menswear. This season, Hamilton zeroes in on the subtle gradations of tone and form to create a collection that is at once minimal and richly textured, austere in its purity but endlessly suggestive.
The work of Belgian contemporary artist Michaël Borremans provides a reference point for a collection that explores the intersection of utility and luxury. Borremans' expressionistic paintings and films are almost abstract in their chilly representation of their human subjects; the artist has said he prefers to show figures rather than individuals. But at the same time, they are humanized by his gaze and his technical ability. In similar fashion, Tim Hamilton's proposed uniform abstracts his idealized man. But that man is realized all the same by the delicacy and care of their fabrications, detail, and handwork. The rhetoric of traditional suiting is stripped away—lapels are shorn off; shoulders are leveled, rather than roped—and augmented with paper, linen, gauze, silk, Cupro, and dry cotton. The palette is streamlined, the better to explore its extremes. Hamilton speaks of the beauty of tonal pairing: the cleansing, almost blinding purity of layering white on white. At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are the blackest of blacks, the result of research at a Japanese mill that specializes in dark dyeing. Primal black and white are complemented by gray.
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