The last few years have seen an endless thinning of the menswear calendar and this season was no different. As we all know, many designers have combined their men’s and women’s lines mentioning a ‘cohesive creative vision’ as the reason behind this move. This, however, has not dampened the menswear market at all.
In more joyous news for the menswear creators, forecasts from Euromonitor suggests that luxury men’s fashion will outpace the growth of womenswear at 1.9% in 2021 in comparison to just 1.4% for the latter. Additionally, it was also reported that there was general consensus amongst buyers at Paris Fashion Week Men’s that they are increasing buying budgets owing to a very positive presentation season.
Sidney Toledano, CEO, LVMH chimed in with the report, “There’s strong demand across the men’s fashion industry, in all its shapes and forms, and which comes in part from a younger clientele. We see it very clearly in the sales.”
The reason behind all the cheeriness in men’s is both the rise of streetwear and a return to elegance on full display. From preppy tailoring, florals to relaxed suiting, functional fabrics and an ombré meets tie & dye approach to prints – both the new silhouettes and patterns of the season look very fresh.
Moreover, a closer look at the prints and patterns decorating these lines reveals that a rainbow tint happiness is the defining trend. Designers are using fashion as a positive escape. We uncover some of the main motifs and trends that brands are decorating their armour with for the upcoming season.
Tried & Tested Classics
There are some patterns that are as loud as they are omnipresent. You cannot complete a roundup without a classic-like stripe, which for S/S ’19 is taking a thick, bright and vertical route! The print was seen in the collections of labels like Balmain, Cerruti and Daniel Fletcher across a range of silhouettes.
Vineet Sood of SD Enterprises also corroborates that bold stripes in colours that range as far and wide as neon to black and white, continue to be in highest demand. In terms of techniques, Sood’s team is focusing more on discharge printing for the production of all-over patterns in vivid colourways.
Next trend that has only gotten bigger and bolder in the last few seasons are clashing patterns used in the same piece of clothing. Whether it’s mix-matching stripes of varying weightage, or combining two batch of checks and florals, ‘pattern clash’ is a trend to explore for everything from men’s, women’s to kidswear in the coming season.
LANDSCAPE: Printing, embroidering or even knitting covetable views of beautiful landscape is a hot new trend that is personifying our escapist fantasies. NV Krishnamoorthy of S V Knits tells our team that there is a huge demand for scenic views as centre-placed oversize prints. Buyers (mostly from Europe) are going beyond the basic stripes and are asking for “multi-coloured views of surf destinations and places you see when you hike up mountains on tops and T-shirts.”
Krishnamoorthy adds that while digital printing dominates, he is seeing a rising demand for photo-sensitivity in prints, meaning patterns that change colours and react to the sunlight when you step out of a building. Even reflective or holographic materials are a hot new favourite for the high street for adding novelty to prints. This is perhaps a next step from last season’s photo-prints as many of these prints stay true to their life size.
TIE & DYE: Good news for Indian manufacturers! The ancient resist-dyeing technique, popularised by American hippies as tie & dye is back with a bang on international runways. The print was seen mostly in a very basic version on T-shirts and sweatshirts but some employed sections of tie and dyed fabrics in reworked shirting and as a print on jackets and parkas.
TOONS: An off-shoot of hip-hop inspired fashions of the streetwear wave, everyone from The Simpsons to anime characters, are making an appearance on the runway this Spring. As if this animated parade wasn’t enough, CFDA, the organiser of New York Fashion Week has entered an alliance with Cartoon Network. The alliance will pave way for both fashion designers and the cartoon conglomerate to work on partnered merchandise.
This move has already translated into one of the season’s major print trends and needless to say, we will be seeing many more of these animated characters and cartoon scenes dotted across various runways in the women’s fashion week as well.
Pete Yoder, VP, Cartoon Network Enterprises – North America says, “It’s a huge priority for us because we want to address our fan base with the more traditional licensed product that’s more accessible, and we also want to give our super fans something special that they can call their own.”
FLORA: At Dsquared2, florals were printed on PVC for sleekly sporty shirts, while Amiri and Ann Demulemeester channelled flower power in dainty sheer materials. Kim Jones left no flower untouched for his first collection for Dior Homme where we saw renditions of the print in dark, light and softly tinted backgrounds. The boys in floral take a very confidently feminine approach as most designers are using it as an all-over print.