Growing up in style means so many things to different people. For me it simply means maturing my own sartorial choices and the ability to look and advice on great style beyond what I know will work for me. Testimony to this is the way I felt at the end of Fabiani’s Autumn-winter collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg recently. I have witnessed this menswear brand’s runway shows for as long as I could remember and I always made it a point to find myself within every single line thus far. This season I managed to remove my needy requirements for “MJ” pieces and look at the range from a wondering eye. Boy, was it a treat. After the shows, a small group of fashion people always hurdle around in a circle-like crew, over bottomless bubbly and share brutally honest thoughts about the collections. My thoughts about Fabiani: I didn’t quite relate to the garments they as were walked down the runway. I honestly could not relate to them because at that time, I was full-on in egocentric fashionista mode in a dreadful need for “fierceness” –sorry, couldn’t find better expression there. So yeah, only when in conversation with an industry friend, did I realise the brilliance behind the range. Not only have they kept their signature investment items, Fabiani knows their customer and they seem to have a systematic approach to the manner in which they introduce trends to their idea of a great man of style. It is in a less thunderous approach and involves a fine eye to set apart. We know they’ve got the killer suiting bit to the T, so their next season seems to be about tricks in near perfect styling. Eg, introducing separates in boiled berry hues into one’s wardrobe and styling them to fit already existing pieces. Styling techniques include a young roll-up on heritage style straight leg pants, mismatching one’s pocket square from the necktie or bowtie if you’re that kind of bloke. They’ve even gone as far as dressing down their much loved dual toned dinner blazers with the good old washed out jean pant. An odd tuck of bottoms into ankle length boots was brought back into season through restyling alongside an electric blue lapelled cardigan –trend alert. The thing is, a Fabiani guy is not trying to lead fashion tribes. Nope, he is comfortable in garments made of premium quality and only ever flirts with trends if they dare not compromise the brand’s identity. I know of a few people reading this going; “we’ve been doing it”. Truth is; you haven’t been doing it in a non-pretentious fashion. You haven’t been doing it the Fabiani way. See, I’ve managed to remove myself, the result of which is some seriously handsome style.