The Spring/Summer 13 menswear runway season got off to a different start this time around with London launching a three-day showcase called London Collections: Men. It happened just before Pitti Immagine Uomo in Florence and the current men’s fashion week in Milan which will be followed by Paris as per usual.
Here’s why London matters. For starters, menswear has long relied upon fashion weeks in Milan and Paris almost omitting the men’s collections that show alongside womenswear in New York and London (which happen 3 months too late anyway). In menswear more-so than womenswear, it would seem that we are mostly looking at big luxury brands for direction.. and a lot of times that equates to a whole lotta suits. Emerging designers aren’t as well featured and that’s where London comes in. In just 3 days, more than a handful of brands made their mark, most geared towards the youth market. It felt refreshing not only as our first look at the season but as if youth culture is finally getting its platform in menswear. It doesn’t hurt that the timing is also spot on. Below are a few highlights from London.
This one is perhaps early to say, but a few designers signal a more FEMININE direction for menswear via sheer materials and a soft color palette.
Elsewhere designers featured inspiration taken from SoCal SKATERS.
SPORT reference was also strong with baseball and basketball jerseys.
A more sophisticated take was noted at Xander Zhou with a new FUTURIST direction.
In silhouette direction, BAGGY shapes were key on pants and shorts. James Long took the baggy direction even further with below-the-knee shorts.
Prada is always a favored source of newness, with trends typically lasting well after they first march down the runway (see: 3 button blazer). For Fall 12, it seemed that the focus shifted to collar interest. Most forward were the high Edwardian collars which consisted of at least 3 layers.
But perhaps a more easily-adapted trend came in the form of contrast oversized collars which landed on coats.
Yet another point of difference is featured at Bottega Veneta, where contrast point collars appear on woven shirts.
The Milan F12 menswear runways were packed with endless outerwear options. The parka, which has been a best-seller from Spring to Fall, comes out on top once again catering to the luxury market and youth centric brands.
Another classic is the pea coat. A velvet style at Gucci adds a dose of glamor.
Shearling becomes a favored expression for jackets and coats alike.
While puffer jackets and vests have long been a winter favorite, quilting becomes a key styling detail especially applied to outerwear.
In the tailored universe, the overcoat is key, set to a variety of materials from tweeds and wools to leather. Double breasted overcoats look forward.
Followers of my blog may recall that I’ve mentioned the rise of the 3-button blazer since Prada did it back in Spring 11 and more recently last season. Here it comes AGAIN for Fall 12 becoming even more dominant in tailoring than before.
And while the double breasted suit is easily the most popular in Milan, the three piece suit makes a statement spanning both formal and casual styles.
Although TAILORING has been a big focus in Milan this week, a handful of designers feature unexpected knitwear items, such as knit pants and/or meggings.
Knit blazers make for a relaxed tailored look especially at Missoni.
On a heavier note, sweater coats as well as the new cardi-coat (often a belted cardigan hybrid) factor in to outerwear.
In case you’ve got nothing but time on your hands and/or are a really, really big fan of Nicola Formichetti’s Mugler, you probably don’t have time for this.
This is Fall 12 Mugler menswear, live-streaming pre and post collection on the brand’s Facebook page for 4 days (since Monday and until Thursday). Gaga is absent (so far) and I think we can all agree that it was time for a different approach after Mother Monster helped revive the brand (and deliver some new singles on the runway) last year. The genius of this crowdsourced concept is that up until now, no one has had their entire collection “on view” to the public in such a bold way (even if that means seeing rows of rolling racks). Reality TV shows could capture the madness only to a certain degree but this exposes much much more like set checks and rehearsals, IF you have the time and/or interest. When I checked in yesterday it was basically looking at them looking at boards and grabbing samples, set to a really good soundtrack.
Here’s what I think we could learn from this. Formichetti gets that fans want to be a part of Mugler. The live-streaming concept gives fans a sense of excitement and look into what goes into staging a runway show, with comment and sharing capabilities to generate buzz. Of course some parts are more exciting than others (and really you can’t see all that much since it’s shot in black and white). But being that voyeur at home tapping into what’s happening in less than 30 minutes before a runway show creates brand loyalty. And I’m willing to bet that that’s the exact audience shelling out cash for the Mugler fragrance.
Ah yes it’s men’s runway season. Undoubtedly there are going to be collections set to outdoor themes because, let’s face it, that sort of look tends to be very commercial. But here’s something to get a little more excited about. Frankie Morello combines two loves – the great outdoors + tribal. The color palette includes shades of pumpkin and goldenrod, while the patterns – in either tribal or abstract geometrics really brought the vision to life. Embroidery and fringe serve as key details.