If you’re only thinking about the common ‘fashion house designs/ to retailer/ to final consumer’ circuit, then you’re in need for some serious upgrades. As the internet expanded in scope and utility, so did our ability to expose ideas and creations to the world. Universal means of expression, such as fashion, are experiencing unprecedented visibility and fashion trends in particular have seen their playground blown to global proportions.
Yes, established fashion houses are still in the trend setting game but this is now a much larger, multiple-players one. Runway looks, street style tendencies, specialised bloggers, celebrities and renowned fashion capitals worldwide, all play their part in trend evolution. It’s something that stands true for both men’s and women’s apparel.
But, let’s be honest, men’s fashion is a different animal; it moves within a less manoeuvrable space then that available to women’s wear. It gravitates around restrictive silhouette options and die-hard inspiration sources – the military uniform, tailoring & sportswear – while maintaining attention to authentic details and functionality, even when it steps out of tradition. And it seems the ‘less tradition, more cool cuts and colour infusion’ vibe has gained considerable momentum this year, with no signs of slowing down next season.
Chasing Trends – the RunDown
· Leather My Love
You Sci-Fi lovers out there won’t need too much motivation to stay on-trend this year. Your minds might have escaped the Matrix, but your clothes don’t need to; you can wrap yourself in leather overcoats or high-neck cuts or slim-cut biker suits all you want. Dive into eye-catching designs from John Lawrence Sullivan , Berthold or Paul Smith and find your favourite. And, if you feel like going full-Neo, add combat boots and 90s-style sunglasses to complete the look.
· Checks and Stripes
You cannot stay out of sight when donning checks or stripes. You need to take your time and carefully sync your pieces; it’s true – but, if you get it just right, prepare for them lingering gazes. And, fear not, there’s a method to the madness. To stay on the safe side, go for either larger or detailed motifs (think heritage, Prince of Wales, Scottish clan tartan etc.) and balance the checked pattern against tone matched colours. Nifty, theme-supporting footwear might puzzle in the final touch and these Burberry loafers could help.
Not one for squares? How about stripes?
This season, vertical stripes seem to have become the new go-to pattern in menswear. Seen on everything from blazers, to tie waist jackets, to classy suits, the stripy look is here to stay. Straight, narrow lines have the power to turn voiceless ensembles into full voiced ones, so tune in to the possibilities. The work of Alexander McQueen and Ben Sherman is sure to put you on the right track.
· The Great (Stylish) Outdoors
Rugged, wild and authentic – some of the attributes that nature lends as inspiration source for menswear. And there’s a growing number of designers who are decided to leave no stone unturned.
But all is reinterpreted to give outdoorsy lines an eclectic makeover. This season’s designs represent a busy cross point: escapism meets futurism meets silent woodman meets apocalyptic survivalist. With its chest rigs and multi-pocket tool belts worn over tamed-coloured cagoules, cool cut tracksuit bottoms, loose khakis, socks teamed sandals and full selection of hats & bucket hats, Danish brand Wood Wood is a great example. However have a look at Matthew Miller’s ideas as well and see what item makes your current ‘need-to-have’ list.
But what’s a rugged look without a rugged beard, right? It somehow feels incomplete. Why do away with such a noticeable sign of your masculinity when there’s so much it can add to your appearance and style? As we can see on Yosaki shaver’s list, there are dozens of options available for every conceivable style, and more men are paying attention to facial hair than ever. Browse through the different trends and have your pick; whatever your choice, your image and grooming regimen are in for an exciting change.
· Denim… Again.. Always
This year’s Spring/Summer collections brought back the dad denim. No, not the saggy, belt-hung jeans that you’re trying hard to block-out but the loose fit, light wash bottoms (and other items) that you actually want to wear. Unfussy comfort without compromising on style – that’s hard to say no to, and that’s what the modern men’s distressed jeans are all about. And why would you? That’s exactly the point made by the people at Paraval. In morphing street ware native forms to high fashion designs, they’ve managed to give the modern man an elegant way to express his individuality. A material as versatile and popular as denim can certainly keep the fashion conversation going, at any age.
· Retro-Revival, Time Reversing Sportswear
Old-school favourites are definitely in. Tracksuits, football shirts and shorts are pumping new life into an English-style subculture that fell in love with ‘casual’ and ‘moving freely’ long ago. What We Wear stays true to this growing trend and works to keep the sporty mood up. And Kent & Curwen does the same by celebrating rugby and cricket ‘addicts’ everywhere through university reminiscent sweaters, faded looking rugby tops and distinct cricket jumpers.
2018 is not even over and next year’s trends are already sprouting. It feels like seeing the preview and the movie at the same time, but what the screen shows is so intriguing and colourful you just can’t look away.