Anyone can tell you that the main story of Spring 2014 menswear is color, but it takes true conviction and vision to turn a trend into something truly original and inspired. The team behind L’Officiel Hommes Italia have done just that, pulling on the artist inspirations and bold palettes of the latest collections for a new issue that celebrates creativity and vibrancy in all its shades. The Belgian painter Rinus van de Velde, known for his swirling, expressive portraits and scenes, graces the cover, a surprising decision the magazine’s creative director Pablo Arroyo says was entirely appropriate. “Art is a perennial source of inspiration for the fashion world, especially so for spring-summer 2014,” he explains in his editor’s letter. “This is partly the reason L’Officiel Hommes Italia made the unorthodox choice of having an artist on the cover. Not a model/artist or an actor/artist, but an artist artist.” Pulling from the theme of “teoria del colore”—bringing to mind Goethe’s landmark treatise on the essence of color and its effects on human perception and emotions—the issue features the season’s brightest designs on today’s brightest new faces and seasoned veterans.
Tim Schuhmacher and Tommaso de Benedictis are captured by Laurence Ellis in a crayon box of vivid suits styled by Emil Rebek, while Stefan Heinrichs photographed Matthew Bell in a series of dark, rich sportswear selected by Davide Brambilla. Photographer Mark Pillai and stylist Nik Piras take a graphic approach to the latest hues, with sharp images of Matthew Holt shot through with pops of color. And, in a nod to a season in which designers found inspiration in modernist masters from Mondrian and Calder to Klein and Kapoor, Ben Allen plays the young artist at work and at play—for a story by Thomas Lohr with styling by Anders Sølvsten Thomsen—lost in thought in his studio, caught in a moment of quiet reflection, or simply surrounded by the blissful blue of a clear pool straight out of a Hockney painting.