The word “love” is the same in traditional Chinese and Japanese characters. For the Ports 1961 fall-winter 2017-2018 collection, Milan Vukmirovic also prints “love” in English, Arabic, French and Russian on sportswear hoodies. Not only is this collection younger than in past seasons, it is also more minimalist. Informed by the artistic director’s early years — the early Nineties, the energy of the London scene, and the music and images of a time when the idea of a new century elicited excitement and a hint of apprehension — it also reflects the lightning changes in today’s world.
Ports 1961 men are armed for whatever the day brings. In the city, they sport protective clothing inspired by urban work wear. Reflective bands stripe parkas borrowed from construction sites, bombers are reversible, coats have slit sleeves, blousons are studded with buckles and harness straps, trousers are piped, sweaters are chunky, hoods removable and shirtfronts quilted. The cuts are clean, ample, transformable and efficient. The wardrobe is assertive, right down to its colors. Two-toned silhouettes, blocked in contrasting shades of black, grey, red and even orange or red, are infused with buoyant energy.
Stripes give the collection its tempo. There’s also the camouflage print motif Milan Vukmirovic has loved forever. Otherwise, materials are primarily sober, solid and thick, often with raw edging. Robust cotton canvas, deep diagonal twills, dense fleece and real nylon underscore the virility of this chic sportswear offering. But for all its masculinity, the collection has lots of charm and heart. The white shirt – a house icon – is embellished with strategically placed red embroidery representing that vital organ, which sits precisely over the breast of young love warriors in search of emotional rescue.