Spring/Summer 2014 Men’s Fashion week- London, Paris and Milan: Trend Watch Report
by Fareeha Qayoom
Spring Summer 2014, Men’s Fashion Week – Armani
f you have ever read historical novels, you would notice there was always this one fashionable guy at the parties who would lead the hordes by the nose in setting new fashion trends – hair style, cravat, shirt points, waistcoats, and cut of the coat – (in the regency period, it was supposed to be Beau Brummel– the arbiter of fashion) – this guy was known as the Dandy. He had to be watched carefully and copied blindly (he was the lead character or the best friend in the book). Well, he is back.
The current muse for spring/summer 2014 for men is a risk taker. He is not afraid of vivid, vibrant colors, in fact a whole rainbow of colors (deep reds to blues and yellows, with solid whites, greys and smattering of navy and black, and neon), or of exploring his feminine side, or even of wandering down whole new paths. Indeed, he is bent on being as unconventional as possible with the same old same old material to play with. He has gone rogue.
The whole vibe is flamboyant. Less dressy, relaxed and slouchy, (Lanvin and Louis Vuitton), making for unusual pairings: flip flops with suits (Vivien Westwood), shorts paired with jackets (Dior), formal suiting in loud color block or all over graphic, or floral or geometric print, (Gucci, Valentino, Dries Van Noten, Dolce and Gabbana), however, no designer has dared to do away with the suit in spite of casual and relaxed clothing. It is still going strong and had a vital place in each collection. One of the finest suits was done by Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton.
Dress-up clothes are paired with dressed-down clothes. This dapper dude is expensive, fond of luxury, knows the value of fine tailoring but doesn’t mind mixing up stuff from his extensive wardrobe (business clothes to club and weekend to sport’s wear to the great outdoors to beachwear) not to mention, filching stuff from his girl’s wardrobe as well (witness the floral prints, silk and satins, use of saturated colors, face jewelry and scarves!) to come up with an entirely new style statement that makes for some unusual ensembles.
Trends at the London, Paris and Milan runways
- Color – bright, saturated colors in solids, patterns and print, and graphics (highly detailed images) –
- Floral – all over
- Geometric – checks, stripes, patterns
- Color block
- Graphics – art, nature, tech, pictorial
- Dip dye
- Fabrics: highly technical to traditional to feminine like silk or linen, all pure and all natural
- Silhouette: relaxed, body skimming, tailored, (reminded me of the letter ‘Y’, you know wide shoulders tapering down to slim narrow chinos cropped at the ankles with bare ankles and feet shod in sandals or casual espadrilles or moccasins) to skinny and super skinny, really slim line shapes to structural, boxy and oversized
- Boiler suits
- Sweat shirt replacing the jacket over formal clothes, polo replacing the woven button down oxford shirt under a suit
- Single breasted or double breasted suit jacket with slim collar and narrow lapels, paired with really slim tie or no tie at all
- Slim tie
- Bomber jacket
- Sandals, no lace trainers and espadrilles
- No tie, bare ankles (no socks) or a scarf replacing a tie at some runways
- mesh, sweats and nippy zip tops
- Grooming: from curls to crew cuts adding height, body art, tattoos and show of skin, and face jewelry
- Influences – Athletic and sporty, Bohemian and Preppy, flower power, the 50s, 60s and 80s, outdoorsy, military, looks inspired by aviation, world exploration to eastern (saw even a Kurta, Sherwani and a Kimono!), and history
Quotes from the designers
- On Color: “I wanted it to be joyous with a lot of color. But if you break it down it’s easy color; a neutral base with either a bit of color in your shirt or your shoes or your glasses or your bags. I hope it was something that felt very wearable,” says Christopher Baily at Burberry, London Fashion Week
- On Fabric and Silhouette: “The key points are texture and more emphasis on casual clothes. The texture is a mixture of technical fabrics and traditional fabrics.” Says Sir Paul Smith at Paul Smith, Paris Fashion Week, He explained that his trouser-shapes – blessedly loose and long after slim-fit sea of ankle-flashers – were a bit of a throwback. “I worked with Bowie back in the day,” he said. “So you see these longer collar shapes and these slim trousers which were short last summer but this season, break on the foot. And wider trouser that are really long.”