There’s no time to rest in January. With the new year comes the start of the international men’s fashion show tour, which passes through no fewer than five cities across the world in a matter of weeks.
London Fashion Week Men’s (formerly London Collections Men) is always first out of the blocks, keeping anyone with a passing interest in style on their Reebok toes with a mix of established and emerging talent.
Of course, as anyone who has ever seen a fashion show or looked at the street style outside will know: for every expertly tailored look, there’s a huge papier mache ensemble wobbling down the runway. The spectacles are rarely to be taken at face value. Which is why FashionBeans is on hand to translate what went down on the runway into what you’ll actually be wearing when the clothes land in stores and online come autumn/winter 2017.
Trend: Wide Trousers & Long Coats
The Key Cuts
The first outfit that appears on a designer’s runway, aside from being one that makes the attendees sit up and pay attention, is often a statement of intent for everything else that will follow.
Several big names this season kicked off their shows with trousers that swung wide. This potentially challenging cut has been bubbling under the surface for a few seasons now, likely as a backlash to the increasingly skinny fits men have been squeezing their thighs into.
Pagan knights were a reference for J.W.Anderson, while ‘anonymous travellers’ appeared in the show notes for Craig Green. Similarly, Astrid Andersen went with ‘masculine opulence’ and Martine Rose looked at ‘bankers, office workers, bus drivers’. Whether this makes sense to you or not, all you need to know is that they add up to a loosening in the leg department.
Trousers weren’t the only free-flowing pieces on show, however. Long overcoats that almost touched the floor were also given airtime. Many designers, including Joseph and E.Tautz, even matched elongated outerwear with – yep, you’ve guessed it – wide trousers. It seems menswear is relaxing all round.
How To Get The Look
- Counteract the width in the leg with a well-fitting bomber jacket on top.
- Keep the top half of your look streamlined and simple with a muted shirt, tee or piece of knitwear. Tucking things in also helps to readdress the overall balance of your outfit.
- Don’t trip up at the final hurdle. When it comes to footwear, old-school trainers or a chunky-soled pair of shoes or boots are the only styles with enough heft to balance so much fabric.
- The length of your trousers is more important than ever. They should hit the top of your shoes or just above so that you don’t have reams of excess fabric pooling around your ankles.
Trend: Purple & Yellow
The Key Colours
Let’s be clear from the off: not worn together. It’s a cliché that the fashion industry is one big inside stitch-up where designers and fashion houses gather together at some unofficial meeting place to decree which colours will be hot next season. It doesn’t quite happen like that. There are trend forecasters and fabric fairs that nudge things in certain directions, but even so, certain colours do tend to gather momentum during fashion show season.
Yellow is not a colour traditionally associated with winter, but it does have an optimistic tone that is needed in the world right now. It appeared in collections as diverse as Joseph and Liam Hodges.
Meanwhile, the other colour route to go down, looking at the likes of Lou Dalton, Cottweiler and J.W.Anderson, would seem to be purple. Prince is alive and kicking in some form.
How To Get The Look
- Yellow often works best when it’s part of a patterned knit or sweater. Though Joseph made a convincing case for a simple shirt in the hue.
- Purples – especially darker shades – will surprisingly work their way into otherwise minimal wardrobes. They mix particularly well with camel, grey, black and navy.
- Tonal head-to-toe looks (that’s a key trend for spring/summer 2017, if you didn’t already know) are a major risk in any colour as lively as yellow. You might just about get away with it in purple, but emphasis on the ‘just’.
Trend: 1990s Raver-Traveller
The Key Decade
From parka jackets to ripped jeans, the menswear world has been an ode to all things nineties of late. And if the recent shows were anything to go by, it doesn’t look like we’re quite ready for the millennium just yet.
At Topman Design, the show that kicked off the four-day event, the collection notes called out ‘the archetypal nomadic British traveller’ and ‘1990s rave graphics and neons’. Allow us to translate that for you: nylon macs, relaxed-leg denim, bright hues and gelled-down fringes.
Christopher Shannon’s show included hoodies worn with dungarees, fluorescent flashes and painted face masks. Meanwhile, clothing and accessories with a focus on function and utility were spotted in the form of Craig Green’s jumbo puffers inspired by deep sea diving kit and Matthew Miller’s rucksacks with climbing fastenings.
One of the highlights came from Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty, the duo behind Cottweiler. Their inspiration taken from outdoor pursuits like bird watching and camping produced technical outerwear and showerproof tracksuits with a finale featuring all the models sporting head-torches under strobe lighting.
How To Get The Look
- The easiest entry into this trend is to opt for technical outerwear such as a lightweight shell or rain jacket that you can layer up or a heftier coat.
- If the raver mood takes you – a pair of loose-cut, light wash jeans and a hoodie should do the trick. Wet-look fringe optional.
- Zip-up track tops (particularly in retro colourways or prints) and fleeces are easy nods to the look, while the bottom half is all about joggers or shell suit-style trousers worn with hiking boots or old-school runners.
Trend: Corduroy, Velvet And Denim
The Key Fabrics
Take your pick from corduroy, velvet and denim, because each has had its moments during this London menswear season.
Painted denim appeared at J.W.Anderson and Liam Hodges; two-tone and pale denim cropped up at Christopher Shannon; Charles Jeffrey Loverboy included a long belted coat with shearling collar; and Patrick Grant at E.Tautz continued to use the fabric in his collection to give it an easy, modern feel.
Grant delivered on the corduroy trouser front, too, while the fabric was also reimagined as track pants by both Astrid Andersen and up-and-coming name Phoebe English. Elsewhere, Studio Nicholson, a womenswear label, debuted its menswear this season with wide cords front and centre.
Lastly, velvet looked rather dashing at Oliver Spencer, who delivered it in a rich olive green suit but with the traditional blazer switched out for a zip-up bomber.
How To Get The Look
- For those trying the wide trouser look, a heavier fabric like denim or cord means they will hang better and won’t awkwardly swish about your legs as you walk.
- Painted, embroidered or two-tone denim offers an easy way of updating your wardrobe and will slot straight into your current go-to looks.
- A jacket in velvet is not the easiest sell but cut as a bomber jacket it makes for a more contemporary evening-friendly top half. Layering one under an overcoat will also work.
- Tracksuit-style trousers in corduroy are a great way to experiment with a fabric you might ordinarily feel is too nerdy. These work with simple knits and bomber jackets for a winterproof take on downtime dressing.
Trends: Tracksuits & Hoodies
The Key Pieces
Over the past few years the rise of directional sportswear, luxe gym kit and athleisure has been a leading theme in menswear. Chances are you’re wearing something that fits the bill right now.
Despite being the home of Savile Row, many of London’s brightest talents such as Christopher Shannon have been integral to the athletic influence on menswear. Plus, with labels such as Vetements and Off-White gaining increasing global hype for high-end streetwear, the look is one that seems to show little signs of slowing.
A hoodie tucked into paperbag-waist trousers at Liam Hodges stood out as the defining look at LFWM. Meanwhile, Shannon’s ‘Tumbleweed’ tracksuit had the kind of wit we’ve come to expect from him. Christopher Raeburn, known for his dedication to recycled fabrics and organic suppliers, showed a transparent blue short-sleeved hoodie layered over a long sleeve top – another nod to 1990s styling.
How To Get The Look
- Hoodies are a great way to work colour into your look. Designers from Shannon, Liam Hodges and Martine Rose all showed them in brighter hues.
- Track tops have made a big comeback over the past few seasons. They will continue to look good worn as base layer under a coat or blazer for this winter and next.
- In almost every circumstance, wearing anything but a pair of sneakers with tracksuit bottoms is a total disaster-in-waiting. Only exceptions: possibly a hiker or a hefty leather boot.