[dropcap size=small]L[/dropcap]ooking at the runway, The Peak team picks the textures, colours and patterns that will define menswear in the months to come.
SMART MEETS SLOUCHY
Last season, we saw a good number of loose-fitting, unstructured suits float down the runways. A few months later, designers are offering a compromise to those who want it all. Several designers presented ensembles juxtaposing smart tailoring with relaxed elements. One way this is done is by pairing tailored jackets with bottoms that appear to be the sartorial offspring of tailored trousers and sweatpants, as seen at Berluti and Hermes.
Italian cashmere king Brunello Cucinelli proposes another way of adopting this fashion yin and yang. His year-end collection matches sharp coats with separates ranging from comfy knits to layers in sporty, technical fabrics. Taking inspiration from “the creative life”, Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier said of the insouciantly stylish looks he sent down his autumn runway: “This is not about meticulous dressing, everything matching or looking brand new.”
Ultra-soft and toasty, shearling lets its wearers thumb their noses at the coldest winters. It is the unsheared hide of a lamb, and the material is double-faced – suede on one side, and clipped wool on the other. It’s hardly new, of course. The B-3 shearling bomber jacket, for one thing, was the favoured winter outerwear for American fighter pilots in World War II.
Since then, shearling has been used for much more than just cropped military jackets. Just consider this season’s offerings: Burberry’s long-haired, pine-green jacket is a nod to another autumn trend – outerwear in brightly coloured fur, faux and otherwise. At Dior Homme, designer Kris Van Assche chose to go sleek with pieces such as a long vest, worn over a denim suit. Still prefer classic, shorter shearling styles? Tom Ford’s versions say “luxurious lounging”, not “I’m reporting for flight duty”.
A COLOURFUL YARN
Homespun goes high-fashion with this season’s colourfully patterned, cosy knits. But not to worry, the new knits have little in common with garishly cheerful reindeer-emblazoned Christmas sweaters. For starters, you’ll actually want to wear these pieces, which take their cues from a wide range of inspirations.
The late English artist and fashion designer Christopher Nemeth, for instance, inspired the needle-punched rope motifs found on cashmere sweaters in Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter 2015/16 collection. At Salvatore Ferragamo, creative director Massimiliano Giornetti – who first joined the brand as a men’s knitwear designer – demonstrated his way with interlocking yarns. Hand-knitted separates, including one with woven motifs intertwined with stitched leather loops, are layered under chunky scarves. Valentino’s creative directors took camouflage from hard-edged to homey by rendering it in intarsia knit, complete with a playful bird motif.
KINGS OF THE JUNGLE
It’s a jungle out there – or at least, on the runways, with the penchant for animal print showing no signs of abating. In womenswear, prints mimicking the skin patterns of wildlife have become so commonplace, they are not infrequently termed the new neutrals. While most men (we believe) would hardly classify leopard print as a staple alongside black or white, those who want to exhibit sartorially beastly behaviour have plenty of options, with fashion houses offering animal-inspired looks in differing doses.
For believers of the maxim “less is more”, brands like Burberry Prorsum and Comme des Garcons offer small ways to get into the wild – a leopard-spotted scarf or tote, or zebra-striped shirt sleeves. Calvin Klein Collection offers wearability of a different kind: Yes, that might be a leopard-print coat, but it’s done in a subtle, all-over grey. Consider it camouflage for the corporate world.
It’s a good time to enter the emerald city – or indeed, to step into a realm of olive green, or moss, or whatever your favourite shade of green happens to be. Now and then, we see hordes of military-inspired looks being sent down the runways, but this season, the influence of the armed forces stops at their colour of choice.
Paired with tan, olive green adds earthy balance to luxurious materials like suede and leather in Tod’s autumn collection. Similarly, the shade gives an elemental edge to Stefano Pilati’s ecologically minded Ermenegildo Zegna Couture collection, where the creative director imagined he was dressing outdoorsy (yet, of course, still stylish) “eco leaders”.
Elsewhere, nature’s hue is spotted in various iterations. For his ’70s-tinged menswear collection, new Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele contrasts deep greens with greys and browns. At Berluti, Alessandro Sartori goes with a tone-on-tone approach that has us seeing green in the best possible way.