Whilst a lot can be said for classic British menswear, let’s face it – it’s not for everyone. Some of us don’t want to wear a three-piece suit unless we have to, and a large majority just feel much more comfortable and confident in casual gear.
London is providing the greatest inspiration within this field, with many innovative young designers coming through and challenging the status quo. For several seasons the likes of Astrid Andersen and Shaun Samson have made casual wear their calling-card, with streetwear inspiration becoming a huge part of London’s collective fashion voice.
Nineties grunge and skateboarder style is set to make yet another comeback this spring/summer, but this time there are interesting twists that help bring the look firmly into 2013. Aertex fabrics, oversized silhouettes and creative layering are key components, and this look can take you from autumn/winter right into high summer with the correct wardrobe evolution.
The guys at Topman Design veered very sharply away from the current AW12 range with their latest SS13 offering. Instead of dark monochromes and heavy textures, the brand showcased an acid-bright skate inspired collection, which looked like it had come straight out of nineties California.
Neon pink, orange and yellow were complemented by grey short suiting in aertex fabrics, whilst sportswear jerseys came in differing lengths to allow for layering, along with matching shorts.
Prints were also prevalent, whether on graphic tees or blazer/short combinations in florals and abstracts. Slouchy neon knitwear completed the typical grunge look, and accessories such as beanies and skateboards filled in the blanks.
Overall, it was a fun and bright take on the skater trend:
Shaun Samson’s SS13 collection was also inspired by skate culture and streetwear, but was much more subdued in comparison to Topman Design.
In true Shaun Samson style, the silhouette was oversized and slouchy in every aspect. Checks and stripes came in the form of long board shorts and oversized shirts (with a hint to pyjama dressing) and there was a big emphasis on texture.
The materials utilised were unusual for a streetwear collection – sheer and metallic fabrics combined with jersey and cotton to create depth without becoming too feminine.
Large cat slogans gave the collection a playful edge, whilst pops of bright coral helped to lift an otherwise muted colour scheme into spring/summer. Kurt Cobain meets Star Trek:
The SS13 offering from Astrid Andersen also played with stereotypical streetwear/skate references but gave them a modern, directional twist through unusual detailing and combinations.
Sheer overlays, lace and satin were incorporated to provide a juxtaposition between masculine and feminine, whilst oversized slogan tank tops and tracksuits formed the bread and butter of the show.
Andersen’s choice of colour scheme also helped this play on the gender clash, with soft lemon and crimson complementing the otherwise darker, masculine pieces.
Accessories were kept sparse (except for the occasional bum bag!), and even though the models were sent out barefoot, a decent pair of trainers would complement these looks perfectly:
As previously mentioned, this trend will be perfect for a transitional wardrobe as we get closer to spring/summer, but there are aspects that you can adopt straight away.
The catwalk examples highlighted above show a more defined and fashion-forward version of this look, but the brand lookbook below provides much more wearable inspiration. With this in mind, feel free to take it as far as you like, or tone it right down depending on your personal style.
For the current winter months, the key is to pick your pieces carefully so as not to fall in the trap of looking sloppy or scruffy. Prints are imperative, with camouflage, acid wash and typical streetwear inspired graphics providing a sense of grittiness and authenticity. These can come in the form of chinos, denim, sweats, tees or outerwear, so pick pieces that will integrate well within your current wardrobe and don’t be afraid to clash smart with casual.
Accessories should be well considered, as they will help emphasise and define the look you are going for. With this in mind, a beanie hat may become your best friend for a while. Opt for neon or bright colours – not only are these spring/summer appropriate, they are also a subtle nod towards the upcoming SS13 colour trends and will inject a shot of life into any of your current everyday outfits. If beanie hats aren’t your thing, consider a hard wearing backpack, bold/vintage sports socks or a snapback.
When it comes to outfitting, the silhouette is one of the most important aspects of the entire look. Make sure you experiment and find out what works best for you and your frame, but try and incorporate oversizing into some/all of your outfit. For example, play with traditional layering techniques by throwing a large baseball/basketball jersey over a tee or sweat to create some visual interest.
Finally, in terms of footwear, trainers are the obvious choice, but to step away from the crowd why not try some hybrid trainer-boots with neon accents? These will be particularly appropriate for the transitional months ahead.
So, there we have a quick guide to one of the key looks the industry is pushing for spring/summer 2013 – but what do you guys think of the more extravagant direction taken by designers for the next season?
It may take confidence and a strong sense of personal style to wear a sheer tank top – but I say, why not? If all else fails, I can move to Cali’ and be at one with the sun-kissed skaters, who will truly appreciate the acid brights.