Fashion’s obsession with its own sphincter can be mind-numbing. This season’s rifle through dad’s going-out clothes saw brands disappear so far up their own flared, fur-trimmed behinds that London Collection Men’s organisers could have replaced most runway shows with American Hustle on loop, and the only reaction would have been to note how A-list the celebs had become.
Luckily, some brands dug deeper through the DVD box: where most came down with a dose of Saturday Night Fever, the likes of Nasir Mazhar and Y-3 boldly went where no shearling jacket ever could. From the ‘Space Oddity’ soundtrack at Versace to the glints of metal at Calvin Klein, sci-fi was more prominent on the runway than at any comic book convention. But before you reach for the tinfoil, know that integrating space-age style is about subtle touches. Lest you veer from futuristic into fancy dress.
Stick To One Statement Piece
At first glance, the metallic coats at Calvin Klein were more Quality Street than Bond Street. But the takeaway here is that the shock value of a statement piece is all down to how you style it.
If all-over gold lamé is too much (and it is) you can literally dip a toe in with the gold foil adidas Superstar Hype. Or take a tip from Klein and pair one space-age piece with neutrals, to ensure even a small touch pops; a lightweight metallic jacket under a black overcoat is more dolled-up Darth Vader than C3PO. Just avoid the urge to hang out with short dudes dressed in silver.
The Devil’s In The Detail
Instead of going full-on Space Odyssey, Nasir Mazhar created a subtle sci-fi vibe for AW16. The emphasis was on recurring details like ultraviolet racing stripes or mesh panels, used to create a futuristic spin on traditional silhouettes.
Follow Mazhar’s lead and stick to monochromes – architectural details and coruscating colours is more baroque than Buck Rogers. Practical materials like mesh and technical fabrics make for futuristic fashion with an eye on function; think about the breathable tech that you’d wear to the gym, but in less figure-hugging cuts.
With menswear classics, look for unexpected details – a plain black bomber with ruffles, or nylon panel, give history a space age twist.
Keep It Streamlined
When Virgin Galactic announced that Y-3 would be designing the uniform for commercial spaceflights, we expected an all-black take on the Nasa classic. But Yohji avoided Michelin Man spacesuits, opting instead for streamlined silhouettes and leather accents, for a look that translates from space to the streets.
The key is to avoid bulk with slim-fit pieces that you can layer up. Collarless is always an easy update, and zips and pockets aren’t just functional – they break the black with a subtler take on Calvin Klein’s metallic shimmer. Take liberties with length; a long layer shirt ruffling beneath a loose sweatshirt makes the most of that zero gravity.
If In Doubt, Stick To Accessories
It’s ironic that the one brand renowned for its ridiculous extravagance actually served up the season’s most wearable sci-fi.
Versace’s astro print sweatshirts and holographic backpacks were a subtle nod, but the real tip to take from Donatella is that accessories make a difference. A silver insignia brooch pinned to a lapel gives a classic look an update, but if you’re feeling daring keep an eye out for accessories with a holographic finish.
Sci-fi Fabrics Make All The Difference
Philipp Plein is all about extravagance, this season commissioning a bespoke skate park and rapper Lil Wayne for his runway show. The clothes were as out-there as Alpha Centauri, so stay closer to home with metallic prints on monochrome sweatshirts or tees.
The same goes for Plein’s neoprene jackets – the scuba fabric turns any piece into something suited to the Starship Enterprise. The key is to keep it simple; neoprene trousers are too frogman, but the spongy material works perfectly as an update to the basic sweat or slim-fit jacket.