We live in an era where fashion has become genderless, opinions are worn on the shoulder (quite literally), and the timeline between runway to street is almost negligible. Moreover, the men of today are equally contributing to sales within the industry. What a time to be alive!
The wave of the bigwig menswear runway shows kicked off with London & Milan Fashion weeks that took place consecutively to inaugurate the Fall/Winter 2019 season. Both the fashion capitals are at their peak when it comes to the menswear segment as the UK menswear market is expected to grow by 11 per cent from 2018 to 2021 as per Mintel while statista.com claimed that the Italian menswear market grew to reach a whopping 9.5 billion euros in 2018.
Among the veritable explorations, there is also a noticeable crop of design talent making heads turn and creating hype on the runways. London’s recently famed designers Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Pronounce, Craig Green and A-Cold-Wall* and Milanese established fashion houses Versace and Marni took the reins for reshaping the world of menswear fashion with their gender-fluid designs and silhouettes. The recent appointment of David Beckham to the British Fashion Council has helped boost the London fashion scenario while Dolce & Gabbana is still nursing its bruises in the wake of its recent China racism scandal.
On the trends side, utilitarian elements continue to raid the runway in attendance with athleisure and streetwear fashion. Outdoors are stealing the show with ski and resort-specific influence in avant-garde prints and bold colours, complete with functional details in technical fabrics.
The verdict for the two fashion weeks gives a clear idea of what menswear fashion is going to be for F/W ’19 : experimental, bold and emblematic of the mantra of inclusive fashion that deems feminine touches as not just value addition but also a necessity.
Waist Bound Long Lengths
When it comes to outerwear this season, the memo is clear: the longer, the better. Designers and high fashion brands alike opted for oversized silhouettes and elongated lengths that touched the ankles for next fall.
The trend of lengths took a new turn as the conventional baggy and boxy silhouettes were abandoned to give way to more body accentuating styles such as classic coats, puffer jackets, anoraks, as well as trenches, which were constricted by the use of waist belts.
In materials like faux leather, glossy vinyl, heavy satin and even embroidered sheers, belts were presented in multiple variations, as sleek shell fabric belts with plain tie–up closures, as wide fabric panels, as draped corset belts or simply as the ’80s inspired big buckle belts.
Print Party Outerwear
Outerwear took centre stage for menswear on the runways like never before, as bold prints slammed with plethora of colours were a recurring sight. From a juxtaposition of multiple animal prints and lush tropicals to well-defined paisleys, checks and plaids, prints had a lot to offer with the addition of artistic paintings, minimalist florals and narcissistic logo prints.
The most common of the trend was a mix and match of contrasting motifs as stripes were pitted against cheetah skin prints and checkered patterns ranging from plaids to tartans to Prince of Whales, and were placed together with a fresh perspective across product categories in a colour palette dominant of moodier tones.
Keeping warm in winter is a necessity- but it’s a win-win situations when it becomes fashionable as well. A plethora of options in jackets, coats, sweatshirts and t-shirts emerged in the knitwear department with designers and brands experimenting with standout patterns in contrasting colourways.
Linear patterns, intarsia graphics and repetitive AOPs provided a keen focal point for the upcoming season’s offerings. What stood out was the recurrent use of fur over these comfortable knits – being ingeniously placed on over-sized collars, front panels, lapels, cuffs and just sleeves over these knit pieces. Overall fur jackets, short or long, puffy or skinny were paired with basic outfits to raise them from drab to glam.
Red X Black
Black is the new black once again and it came with a bold punch of red for the fashion weeks. The colour combination was utilised by British and Milanese designers alike through print modifications, mixed media explorations or simple, yet inventive layering.
The winner combination of colours provided designers an opportunity to play with styles such as dual-toned half and half blazers; red leather pants with black stripes against vinyl mixed colour jackets; untried classic animal motifs such as red and black cheetah and Dalmatian prints, all in eccentric fabric combinations such as sheer blacks with faux leather reds.
The very streetwear inspired trend of utility peeped through in the form of exaggerated patch pockets in distorted sizes and fits juxtaposed over puffer, faux leather and vinyl jackets for the F/W ’19 edition.
The much hyped fanny packs were also a part of these trends championing utility with smaller belt pouches, cross shoulder bags or sweatshirts with trims such as fanny pack attachments and buckle closures, forming a good chunk of the collections.
Other strong instances came in the form of half jackets in functional forms with multiple pockets, drawstring closures, buckles and zippers, emerging as perfect layering pieces. For these, designers experimented with fabrics ranging from technical sportswear materials to denim to more tailored varieties so as to zero in on the wide-ranging demand.
Just Like Animals
Animal prints have been on the trends radar since the last many seasons and took an unrealistic avatar with clashes of colours, materials and motifs on the menswear runways for both the fashion weeks.
Cheetah prints were in red and grey, zebra prints were spaced out, tiger prints were in poison blue hues, leopard prints transitioned to snake skins and to top it all, different animal prints were utilised for layered looks to match the popping bright outerwear. The stand-out amongst all of them were fish-scales in multi-coloured tones, animal prints on fur and models’ hair as well as the top-to-toe looks of identical animal motif done in multitude of colours.
After creating a hype in the womenswear section, suiting is revealing itself as a major opportunity area for menswear.
Any season of menswear is incomplete minus the classic suit. Post a dry spell that lasted a few seasons, the fashion capitals have seen a comeback of smarter variations of blazers and jackets.
The trousers are tapered and sleek, whilst the blazers are well-tailored and sharp. Pattern modifications such as gathered lapels and drooping collars were also seen along with unconventional layered ensembles with sheer shirts, sequined waist coats and flowing blazers.