Got your New Year’s Eve look sorted? Yes? Good, because it’s time to down tools and take stock of the year that was in menswear.
From shuttering media titles and show stunts that can’t be unseen to burgeoning style icons and blockbuster tailoring, these are 2015’s unforgettable moments.
Nudity’s no stranger to fashion runways, but – as in Hollywood films – most of the flesh bared is female (not that we’re complaining or anything), with T&A-centric designs from revered labels like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen regularly raising FROW eyebrows.
In January, however, provocateur Rick Owens turned the tables with his AW15 collection, ‘Sphinx’: a series of artfully draped pieces that put penis smack bang front and centre. Ideal for a summer bank holiday in Berlin? Definitely. Good for the British winter? Absolutely not. Memorable? You betcha.
New York Fashion Week: Men’s Launches
The American menswear market has grown by a whopping 16 per cent between 1998 and 2014, proving our stateside brothers’ spending power (when it comes to garms, at least) is stronger than ever before.
In July, the Council of Fashion Designers of America finally responded to the shift, expanding the New York Fashion Week schedule to include NYFW: Men’s – a four-day dedicated showcase consisting of over 50 shows held at Skylight Clarkson Square.
Add to that The New York Times Men’s Style section (debuted in April) and it’s clear, from now on, the Big Apple means business when it comes to menswear.
Derek Zoolander And Hansel Do Paris
They’re back. After an almost 15-year-long hiatus, fashion’s biggest male supermodels, the inimitable Derek Zoolander and Hansel, made a triumphant return to the industry in March.
To announce the forthcoming sequel to 2001’s Zoolander, the pair surprised guests with an impromptu walk off at Valentino’s AW15 show in Paris. There was Blue Steel. There was custom tailoring. And there was a backstage selfie with Anna Wintour. So hot right now.
Yeezy Boost 350
Kim may have attempted it with her Paper magazine cover last year, but it was Kanye who actually made good on #breakingtheinternet.
June saw the first drop of the Yeezy Boost 350 – the latest in a series of collaborations between the god-level superstar and German sportswear giant adidas – sell out in mere minutes and several stockists’ sites go down in the process. Which suddenly makes you think ‘Ye charging well over £1,000 for a ‘distressed’ (read: moth eaten) sweatshirt isn’t actually all that crazy.
Menswear Chills Out
While we’re yet to see ‘normcore’ take the streets by storm, similarly lamentably titled trend ‘athleisure’ had a very real effect on the way we dressed in 2015.
Spurred on by last year’s sports luxe movement, the advent of technical tailoring and roomier, relaxed silhouettes, athleisure saw sweats get smarter and brogues and starched shirts swapped for trainers and tees – a welcome change from bow ties, pocket watches and far too many tweed three-pieces.
Loungewear is the new luxury.
1D’s New Direction
Styles by name, Styles by nature. 2015 was another stellar year for One Direction’s unofficial frontman, Harry. Proving he’s not just another play-thing for high-profile stylists, Styles this year showed his chops with an on-trend 1970s vibe – a look to which he fully committed by growing his hair even longer and taking his penchant for patterned tailoring into overdrive.
But the real star of the show was ex-bandmate Zayn Malik, who – since exiting the troupe in March – has steadily been building a case for style icon status with his signature bleached blonde locks and all that sharp Louis V. And if Kim Jones thinks you’re cool, you’re cool.
The latest and hotly anticipated film in the Bond franchise was also the most expensive, which – considering the amount of custom Tom Ford tailoring Daniel Craig goes through during it – really isn’t that surprising.
Spectre has grossed almost $200m since opening in October, but you can’t put a price on the style lessons we’ve gleaned from it. Roll necks? Check. Quilted jackets? Check. Slick AF eveningwear? Check.
The Beckhams: Like Father, Like Sons
Romeo and Brooklyn Beckham, having Golden Balls for a father, were always going to be born with silver spoons in their mouths. But style, well, is not always as transferable as privilege. This trio, however, is the obvious exception.
Brooklyn, who turned 16 this year, is a regularly papped Style File favourite who – despite having not yet reached the end of puberty – has his personal style on lock, while Romeo, who reached the ripe old age of 13 in September, has already appeared in two major campaigns for luxury brand Burberry. Expect even bigger things from the Beckhams come 2016.
Unlikeliest Style Icon: Jared Leto
No, we’re not totally sold on the top knot either (or the neon dye jobs), but there’s no doubt that this guy’s outré style is on-point.
Although 2015 hasn’t exactly been a prolific year release-wise for Academy Award winner Leto, he continued to raise the style stakes over the past 12 months by experimenting with everything from straight-up statement suiting to printed shirt and leather jacket combos that killed it every single time.
Even his Suicide Squad Joker getup looks set to be the best to date.
One of the toughest parts of starting a new chapter is closing the one that precedes it. And 2015 had its fair share of farewells. Not only did Ralph Lauren, the 75-year-old founder of the eponymous, world-renowned all-American lifestyle brand, step down as CEO of his company, but Details, the 1982-founded men’s style magazine that gave US competitors GQ and Esquire a good run for their money, last month announced it was shuttering.
GQ US also laid off staff and Four Pins, the irreverent online style bible founded by Lawrence Schlossman (of Fuck Yeah Menswear fame), also looks set to be on the out. Not fire. Not fire at all, bruh.
And so it is we close the door on 2015, and toast its most stylish men and moments. Here’s hoping 2016 steps it up another notch.
What were your menswear highlights in 2015? Did we miss any out on this list?
Give us your two cents below.