Sunny Side Up
Our perpetual warm weather means there is always reason to get new shades – and we’re not complaining. This season, there are a few key ways for those with an eye on style to bolster their ocular defence. First up: Shield sunglasses. Characterised by a single large lens extending over both eyes, the look is typically associated with the sports sunnies favoured by pro surfers and urban cyclists, but have recently gained ground on the runways due to fashion’s ongoing obsession with performance wear. Prada’s wraparound version is effortlessly cool with streetwear and can even be worn with a formal suit for an irreverent clash of styles.
Also, good news for those who aren’t blessed in the jaw department – right now, it’s hip to be square. Besides adding some structure to the face, right-angled shades have an au-courant vintage vibe. Unless you’re modelling your look after a certain Rocketman, subtlety is key. Opt for thin metal frames and muted colours, such as the Oliver Peoples model shown here.
Lastly, this season’s sunglasses are all about being on the cutting edge – literally. One innovative design detail involves carving up frames and lenses in an interplay of spaces and voids: Giorgio Armani accentuates the peekaboo effect with lenses that are cut horizontally at the top and suspended within the inner rim of the frame for stylish form.
Quilting is still a major menswear motif for Fall/Winter 2019, most notably appearing on full padded looks or as details, such as an embossed pattern on dress shoes at Bottega Veneta.
In our tropical climate that does not exactly lend itself to the wearing of excess padding, we suggest shedding the stuffing and simply wearing the “quilted” effect with subtle topstitch detailing, as demonstrated by Hermes.
Those who dare should wear leather, with the luxe fabric making a stylish statement in multiple collections – Bottega Veneta’s intreccio coat and biker trousers are aimed at fashion daredevils; the leather trenches by Prada and Givenchy are belted at the waist for streamlined elegance; Dior Men brings the drama with elongated gloves and leopard-print jackets.
Our favourite way to show skin this season is (unsurprisingly) demonstrated by leather specialist Berluti, whose patinated leather tailoring exudes swagger without being tacky.
Even as menswear embraces a riot of colours, red is set to blaze as the shade of the season. The cardinal hue is in full effect at Celine, Fendi and Prada as pops of vibrancy on top, contrasting with darker bottoms. Those who wish to avoid saturation in their red regalia can go for a sumptuous burgundy or oxblood, which pairs more readily with the classic wardrobe of gentlemen.
To take on one of the biggest accessory trends of the season, you’re going to have to pack light. Like, really light. Sparked by French label Jacquemus’ small pouches, which were worn slung around the neck, the tiny bags that are huge for Fall/Winter 2019 epitomise the notion of “less is more”. At Prada, Dior Men and Louis Vuitton, assortments of mini-bags are hung around necks, clipped onto chest harnesses or strung at the waist for a true hands-free experience. Those unable to overcome the impracticality of too-small totes (or their primal preoccupation with size) can find good ol’-fashioned utility in a suave side bag – a bag with a long strap that is worn across the body or at the side.
This season’s most compelling side bags are essentially men’s versions – think more angular lines, and broader straps – of well- known women’s handbags such as the Fendi Baguette and Dior Saddle bag. The latter features artistic splatters by Raymond Pettibon, creative collaborator du jour at Dior Men.
This season’s silhouette is boxy – think attache case, but in contemporary expressions (in other words, small). Louis Vuitton’s bite-sized trunks are already a street-style staple, and it now offers a blocky backpack variant. Fendi presented suitcases decked out in its monogram, while Bottega Veneta’s take comprises structured squares in buttery leather.
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Get Your Kicks
Luxury sneakers continue to have their foot in every camp, with slight renewals each season. For example, the chunky sneaker gets an alpinist twist, moving away from the “dorky dad” vibes that previously characterised it.
At Jimmy Choo, faceted Diamond Trail runners provide excellent grip on rough terrain; Dolce & Gabbana transformed sneakers into hiking boot hybrids; and Prada rolled out supersized soles to match its mountain-inspired wear. This maximalist attitude carries through to sneaker construction with new and unusual textures. Nothing is off-limits – felt, fur, even grass – as designers throw anything and everything at your feet just to see what sticks in their game of one-upmanship. The Claudio by Ermenegildo Zegna XXX proves to be the season’s over-the-top build, an astounding amalgam of cracked leather, Cyrillic script and wool detailing held together with hand-threaded lace.
Classic white sneakers provide a much-needed palate cleanser from all the madness. Not so much a trend as a menswear staple, they are the hardest-working soles and have become ubiquitous thanks to their blank- canvas versatility.
Berluti updates its white kicks with a dressy profile usually seen on its dress shoes, adroitly balancing smart simplicity with the prevailing theme of ostentation.
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