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  • Photography by Mr Timur Celikdag
  • Styling by Mr Tony Cook, Junior Fashion Editor, MR PORTER
  • Words by Mr Mansel Fletcher, Features Editor, MR PORTER

Whether you're dressing for a gallery opening, drinks with friends, or a weekend lunch, a contemporary blazer retains a useful hint of formality while revealing an imaginative approach to dressing. At first sight these eye-catching blazers represent an exciting step into the future of fashion; from Ann Demeulemeester's delicately printed jacket, to Jil Sander's op-art inspired twill blazer, the designs are bold and represent a refreshing alternative to the traditional navy blue version.

However, as innovative as they are, these blazers have a historical precedent in the outrageously coloured jackets worn by British sportsmen in the 19th century. These were nicknamed blazers after the soft scarlet coloured jackets worn since 1825 by members of the Lady Margaret Boat Club at Cambridge University's St. John's College. And there's more to connect these garments than just the name - there's even an hint of the stripes that characterise many old-fashioned sports blazers in the pattern employed on Wooyoungmi's blue and white striped jacket.

Despite these echoes of tradition, the new blazers represent a break with the past, in terms of their style and attitude, and a new option for men in search of contemporary elegance this spring.

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