By Veronica Saroli (ArtSci ’14)
At London’s recently launched Men’s Fashion Week (the city’s first ever Autumn presentation) and Italy’s Pitti Uomo Fashion Fair (characterized as much by the show of well groomed gentlemen on the streets as it was by the collections shown), boundaries were pushed and designers focused on sharp tailoring and experimenting with patterns, colours and prints. Expect more to come in the next couple of years from men’s fashion in terms of ingenuity and exposure; growth in the British menswear market is expected to increase nearly 20 per cent by 2016.
Many of the London collections tend to be rather avant-garde — just look at J.W. Anderson’s presentation in all of its ruffled glory or at MAN where models faces were covered with driftwood. At Lou Dalton’s presentation, the look was young, modern, streamlined and accented with design flourishes such as nylon panels and pockets on wool suits. Her collection also included coated wool sweaters with subtle fall colours woven into the collection, as well as the coolest boots from Fashion Week through collaboration with Grenson, a British shoemaker.
At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton always has an eye on what’s modern while pulling inspiration from the past, such as stain glass windows. Models wore eerie plastic masks with slick hair, evoking turn of the century dandies and Oscar Wilde. The elongated, sharp tailoring, stain-glass patterns and sharp pinstripes brought the look right back to this century.
London boasted coats shown in daring colours such as blood orange and deep red from Topman and Jonathan Saunders. At Hackett, velvet and knits were mixed with tartan prints and near pastels. Lastly, Christopher Kane printed the image of Frankenstein on t-shirts, creating a collection fit for the Street.
Jonathan Saunders, Hackett, Christopher Kane.
Kenzo was one of the guest designers this season at Pitti Uomo in Florence, showing a collection inspired by a ‘jungle in the sky’ and sky-bound gods and goddesses. Though garments were covered in a unique cloud-like print, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s designs were as sleek and futuristic as a jet plane. The clothes were rounder on top with fitted legs and A-line shapes, but what made this collection extra-remarkable was the collaborations: one with hard shell manufacture Boblee for backpacks and another for button coverings and metal pocket squares by Delfina Delettrez.
White Mountaineering by Yosuke Aizawa also showed at Pitti, and their collection picked up heavily on winter themes, ending the show with an indoor blizzard. It presented pieces perfect for layering with a mix of colours, horizontal stripes, plaids and camouflage print.
Images from style.com, instagram.com/worldmcqueen, hypebeast.com, gq.com, thenewyorktimes.com, thesartorialist.com
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