The mens shows got off to a good start, with a really strong season from the new major players of London fashion – standouts included variations on a theme, androgynous menswear and experimental cuts from JW Anderson, pleasing prints from LCM babies Agi & Sam and heavy sports influences from Christopher Shannon. Paris really stuck with the enduring prints theme, Frankie Morello went for burger and sushi prints, Moschino showed lightning bolts amidst jewel-toned stripes and nerdy jacket and cardigan combinations, Paris brought the expected level of cool minimalism, Marni and Tillman Lauterbach were particular favourites.
Milan was…Milan…Dsquared2 was the usual display of maximum homoeroticism and minimal actual clothing, Etro took Mexican inspiration to rather a literal level, sending a heavily moustasched model down the catwalk in a whacking great sombrero. Probs not one we’re going to see on many street style blogs, but always a good go-to for fancy dress parties.
Overall, SS14 is looking good for menswear, lots of minimalism, androgyny, ~WaCkY pRiNtS~, with some added louche looks from Haider Ackermann’s quilted smoking jackets in a luxe pallette of wines and navys to Dries Van Noten’s muted tonal florals.
Surprising highlight collections for me were Iceberg and Opening Ceremony, both really clean and sharp, centered in the focus colours for next season – navys, blacks and creams/whites. I wasn’t sold on Givenchy’s prints this season, though for me the religious iconography was a real winner so it would’ve been hard to top anyway. I was surprised to like Louis Vuitton, usually not a collection I pay much notice to, but I really liked the Talented Mr Ripley vibes.
Obvs, there were some absolute car crashes. No surprises for guessing who I’m coming for here. Hedi Slimane continues his one-man destruction of Yves Saint Laurent, sorry, Soft Grunge Laurent, sorry, Saint Laurent Paris, every season managing to churn out more and more overly commercial, cheap sartorial high fives to dated pop culture references. This season the vibe is ‘Glam Rock by George at Asda’. (oh and obviously the standard set of models who wouldn’t look out of place in an in-patient facility. Good work, you absolute tit)
Moving on from blood-pressure raising train wrecks, here’s a look at recurrent themes for SS14.
ANDROGYNOUS / LADY PARTS
BLUE IS THE COLOUR
ALL WHITE EVERYTHING
“FLORALS FOR SPRING? GROUNDBREAKING”
KHAKIS/ NUDES/BEIGE/WHALE TUSK/OLD BISCUIT
Popes aren’t famed for their outfit variety. With Pope Benedict the XIV’s abdication being the first for over 600 years, the next Pope to have his name pulled out of the Goblet of Fire could really make his mark by being a bit more sartorially adventurous.
This outfit repetition throughout history is, frankly, a bit embarrassing. Here’s Pope Paul III and Pope Leo X, hundreds of years between them yet they appear to be wearing the actual same outfit. Awks.
However, I did find one shiny beacon of Pope-hope, check out Justinian I here, he appointed three popes around the year 500, very Dolce and Gabbana SS13.
If only Benedict XIV had stuck around a bit longer, Gok Wan could’ve thrown him through the haberdashery at John Lewis like he does with everyone else, cries of “whack a belt around it!” and “bangers!” ringing in his ears for years after. . I suppose it’s like a lot of jobs, in that you have to hand in your uniform and name badge when you leave. Does he actually have any clothes of his own
other than a nazi uniform? I’m guessing he doesn’t have much, which leaves the door open for a whole lot of shopping. Hopefully he can take inspiration from my lovingly created post-papal moodboards:
POPE ON THE TILES
Now this is definitely a hard look to beat. What could possibly replace this lovely smoky handbag? This is also a very important health message about the dangers of being at a club and trying to hide your lit cigarette in your handbag.
Masculine tailoring, a boxy silhouette and BIG OL’ SHOULDERS. A recurring trend that has evolved through 1930s Schiaparelli, drink throwing and handbag hurling in Dynasty, 80s Head Bitch In Charge power dressing and Michael Jackson wearing 2011 Balmain til it was threadbare, strong shoulders and a boxy silhouette made a lasting impression in the SS13 shows.
An emphasis on the shoulders has, through the years, become a symbol of establishing authority, projecting a hard, no-nonsense image for women through times that have been both socially and economically tough on women. Giving a strong, commanding silhouette, masculine and memorable, this trend is the absolute antithesis to Versace/Dolce and Gabbana et al’s hypersexualised sex-worker bodycon nightmare.
Even if I didn’t like metallics, I’d do this post just as an excuse to post this bad boy:
80s djs in shell suits. Ageing prostitutes in PVC. Drag queens in gold lamé. Tins of Quality Street. All important and exciting fashion reference points reflected in SS13’s mens collections. From a subtle sheen on classic suits at Hardy Amies to a full on wipe-clean visual assault in fuschias, greens and purples on trenches and shirts at Burberry, men’s metallics is a highly versatile, wearble trend, the perfect antidote to the dreary weather and a great style update for classic suits and shirts.
Here’s Kasia Strauss in Look #8 from Lanvin’s SS13 collection, described by Alber Elbaz as being focused around “deconstructed classicism.”
This look serves up a solution to that difficult “I work in an office at a swimming pool. I need something both sporty and tailored, with the added option for Baywatch moments. What do I wear to work?” situation we’re all bound to find ourselves in at some point in our lives.
Here’s how to do deconstructed swimming pool office classicism pon de cheap:
For years prints had been firmly a feminine fashion feature, with particular prevalence on the catwalk over the last few seasons, with men’s prints only getting as exciting as “wacky” office ties, your grandad’s pyjamas, and the Casette Playa-esque/probable sex offender Timmy Mallet.
But for SS13, there must have been something in the air as a slew of collections led to men’s prints taking on a life of their own Paris, London, Milan and New York fashion weeks. From sharp geometric shapes at Fendi, to soft florals at Christopher Kane and even..er…whales at Thom Browne.