Category Archives: Themes

Why the London (Men’s) Collections Matter

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.

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Filed under Brands, Designer, Key Items, Runway, Themes

Introducing the Tribal Mountaineer

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.

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Destination: Spring 12 Menswear

Of all the places to go in Spring 12, designers in Milan and Paris fall generally in two camps: cultural escapes or beachy locales. Of course these destinations are divided into several expressions, positioned far far away or just maybe right in your backyard. Here’s a glimpse of my favorite travel-centric themes from Milan and Paris. Dive into these and many more on Fashion Snoops.

GLOBE TROTTER. Perhaps the furthest geographical theme, Globe Trotter takes an abundance of various cultural references for a rich look. D&G does it best, fashioning an entire collection based on silk scarves.

D&G, Acne, Etro, Canali, D&G

SAFARI HOLIDAY. Luxury brands stick to a given commercial winner with a safari inspired theme. As I mentioned during runway, the safari jacket is a key takeaway.

YSL, Corneliani, Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo

RIVIERA. And now onwards to beach destination. Designers in both Milan and Paris escape to the Mediterranean with some beautiful ink blue and white patterns and tidy blazers. Side note: there’s also a strong nautical current in the air, with all the classic seafarer references in tow.

Etro, Kenzo, Z Zegna, Etro, Agnes B

HAWAIIAN TROPICS. Set to an island breeze (and frozen drink in hand), tropical patterns whisk designers away this season. Of note is Givenchy’s bird-of-paradise motif, which I’m sure we’ll see more of (hint: S12 womenswear).

Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Kenzo

BLUE HAWAII. Here’s a Hawaii that’s slightly less tropical and more campy. Prada is the major force that reflects the Elvis film of the 60s which bares the same name. Part golf inspired and part Americana, cheeky Hawaiian prints take on an ultra bright color spectrum.

Prada, Enrico Coveri, Prada, Prada, Moschino

MALIBU. Welcome to the Hotel California. Fashion Snoops insiders will know that we forecasted a California theme in the not-so-distant past. In Paris both Wooyoungmi and Adam Kimmel referenced a laid-back SoCal lifestyle with subtle surf references.

Wooyoungmi, Adam Kimmel, Wooyoungmi, Wooyoungmi, Wooyoungmi

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Filed under Designer, Inspiration, Key Items, Prints & Patterns, Runway, Themes

Overalls & Patchwork at Junya Watanabe

Junya Watanabe

Looks like somebody’s been playing FarmVille lately. Junya Watanabe draws unmistakable reference to the farmer, with a practical workwear standpoint that remains forward. To start with, overalls were everywhere, which add variety to the all-in-one category previously filled with industrial-style jumpsuits. I could easily envision hipster guys wearing these, especially during summer festivals.

Junya Watanabe

Then there’s also patchwork, which comes in strong as a detail on shirts and jeans. Pieced construction is also noted with contrasting materials.

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Filed under Designer, Details, Key Items, Runway, Themes

Band of Outsiders presents West Side Story

I say “presents” for a reason. This Band of Outsiders collection not only marks our first show of the Spring 12 menswear season, but it was in fact A SHOW, with the theme of West Side Story. Selected as the guest designer of the Pitti Uomo tradeshow in Florence, creative director Scott Sternberg showed not 1, but 4 collections – starting with menswear S12 but also including the lines This is Not a Polo Shirt (men’s casual S12), Boy (women’s resort) and Girl (diffusion resort). But getting back to the guys, the West Side Story themed collection was every last bit Americana, inclusive of prep elements and varsity jackets, with an array of pop brights thrown in for good measure. You’ve just got to SEE the show below, if not for the clothes, for the choreography!

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What’s Doin? Men’s Summer Retail

In case you missed last week’s May Retail Overview on Fashion Snoops, here’s a glimpse of my favorite trends for guys this summer. Ever since Spring 11 merchandise hit retailers, it has been a extremely commercial season. It certainly continues into summer with leading directions including utilitarian – a hybrid of safari/military reference – and sweat box which extends well beyond sweatpants. Ink blue is THE must-have base color; not to mention a nice shift away from black. Items stick to familiar territory such as cargo bottoms and plaid shirts. Screens consistently add interest such as new skull applications and industrial references. Discover these and a total of 33 trends here.

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Filed under High Street, Key Items, Prints & Patterns, Retail, Themes

Military March @Brimfield Flea

I won’t say that the girls have all the fun at Brimfield Flea, although vintage menswear is harder to come by. The recurring theme at the market was MILITARY, and although we’re all a bit “fatigued”, it remains a leading reference in menswear today. In just the past 3 runway season’s, we’ve featured Militaire, Foreign Legion and Uniformal in Fashion Snoops‘ seasonal theme reports. And now for the vintage inspiration..





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Filed under Themes, Tradeshows, Vintage

So You’re A Prince, And Today’s Your Wedding

While the big news is Kate’s selection of a stunning McQueen wedding gown, her groom Prince William isn’t so bad either. As far as uniforms are concerned, it doesn’t get better than this, with both Prince William and his brother Prince Harry wearing military uniforms. You could read all about their uniforms here or just marvel at those little page boys and dream of marrying into royalty one day.

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Filed under Celebrities/Models, Themes

JUST POSTED! Fall 11 Men’s Runway Themes

Now that all of my Seasonal F11/12 Runway Themes have posted on Fashion Snoops, I’d love to share a few of my menswear favorites. But be sure to look on the site, where we have a total of 21 THEMES that span the worlds of Men and Young Men.


Duckie Brown, Junya Watanabe, Viktor & Rolf, Viktor & Rolf, Yohji Yamamoto

Tailored Sportswear is easily my FAVORITE leading theme for men this season. Yes there was tailoring in the traditional black tie sense, but here we see Savile Row meet casual menswear with looser silhouettes like sweatpants or baggy pants paired with drapey knits and blazers.


Corneliani, Bespoken, Miharayasuhiro, Miharayasuhiro, Yohji Yamamoto

Old World is the new notion of industrialism that has been a leading menswear reference for the past several seasons. A 20s Baker Boy look is apparent set to heavy gray layers while the big take away comes in the form of this season’s wide leg pant, which is commonly met with tidy vests and blazers. But that’s not all. Cult favorite John Varvatos also dips into a Time Traveled theme with a rustic hobo collection filled with edgy layers.

John Varvatos, Fall 11

John Varvatos, Fall 11


Miharayasuhiro, Gilded Age, Rag & Bone, Junya Watanabe, Junya Watanabe

And now for some familiar (and very commercial) territory. This season’s Urban Outdoorsman undoubtedly looks familiar as it was just last Fall-Winter that we experienced similar outdoor references. This time around, traditional woodsman elements involve the expected plaids and autumnal color palette, while cropped pants are a more forward look set to blazers. Of course utility details like toggles and flap pockets remain.

And what about the upper crust of society? Well as it turns out, the luxury houses dip into the theme with a Horse & Hound aesthetic. Here we see camel emerge as a new base color while red serves as an accent. Equestrian elements include traditional patterns as well as riding pants.

Moncler, Fall 11

Kenzo, Fall 11


Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli

While in womenswear we’ve gone from the 70s to the 60s for Fall 11, in menswear the 70s prove to be a more viable decade (although mod looks are featured as well). Here we take a look at the George Harrison-infused Boho moment which features striking color accents of blue spruce and cognac. It’s always nice to see new texture in menswear and the time is right for suede and shearling.

Along the same lines, I mentioned 70s swagger during runway season, which translates into a polished and very luxury American Gigolo theme. Here suitings are key – especially flared pants and double breasted blazers – while suede again proves relevance on both top and bottom.

Roberto Cavalli, Fall 11

Salvatore Ferragamo, Fall 11

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