With colder temperatures setting in (it is January, after all), it only seems appropriate to visit the styles we might theoretically be wearing this time next year. By that, we specifically mean reviewing the slew of Fashion Week events that just passed: London, for its uncertain but unabashed eclecticism, Milan and Paris for their traditional approach and top-tier brands, and Pitti Uomo for being the bi-annual apex of European tailoring.
To touch on suiting and gender-neutral fashion, here’s what’s in store:
The Return of the Dandy
Last summer, we read that the man with impeccable tastes is officially dead. In place, the hypebeast sees nothing wrong with plastering brands all over, sticking with impractical footwear, and going all out with neons (or whatever Supreme says you should wear).
But, fear not. Hedi Slimane, in his first standalone menswear presentation for Celine, shows us that streamlined simplicity – and not just skinny silhouettes – is the future of suiting. Also, black is officially back – and not just relegated to funerals and job interviews.
Along with Slimane, offerings from Dior, Fendi, Edward Crutchley, Dries Van Noten, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana embody a retro approach for a forward-thinking concept: New Romantic shapes, sans ruffles and pastels, with their clean, straight lines and just a bit more space, without compromising on structure. If Duran Duran were ever your idols, imagine the “Rio” video spliced with Joy Division, minus the somber character.
Or, Maybe, It’s David Byrne
To make another ‘80s reference, the broader shoulders and angular cuts associated with the Talking Heads frontman haven’t been banished to the bin of “impractical suiting trends.” Specifically from Virgil Abloh’s latest effort for Louis Vuitton – itself referencing Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” video – proportions and seams have been taken to extremes – but the limit, of course, is still structured.
Menswear in a women’s RTW presentation? Although we’ve seen it many times before, it’s still fresh and adventurous. And, the reverse – of women’s silhouettes in menswear presentations – is starting to gain more ground.
As perhaps the most wearable option, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s primary-colored tartan suits blended punk and club kid influences with a slim, notch-collar silhouette featuring casual patch pockets. Yet, if you think CJL’s gone totally corporate, keep looking: His getups worthy of a late-‘80s New York City club night play traditional feminine pieces and prints off wider-cut menswear shapes.
Borrowing from Prada’s late-‘90s aesthetic and inserting a few MTV references, Ludovic de Saint Sernin went by the less-can-be-more approach for both genders. Sheer and shimmering materials, many referencing 20-year-old silhouettes, further illustrated the versatility a gender-neutral collection can have: Specifically, single-breasted satin jackets, cropped tops, and high-waist pants work for both sexes without seemingly overtly gimmicky. By contrast, Art School’s collection – imbued with a strong message while aiming for kitschy couture – hit the similar concept too far on the nose.
In the Primaries
Presenting his men’s and women’s collections together, Paul Smith expressed what we’ve all been thinking: Color palettes are starting to look an awful like a box of crayons. Relying heavily on color-blocking and dipping into plaids and digital prints, Smith’s collection stuck to the same three familiar shades, frequently playing them off black, upping the intensity, and occasionally opting to mix them together. As another nod to his collection’s adaptability, models of both sexes sported similar long, broad-shouldered silhouettes.
Yet, Smith’s oeuvre symbolizes the overall direction of suiting. One, that it’s gravitating toward a more gender-neutral, adaptable center. Secondly, staying within the black-gray-navy trifecta gets boring. Tossing in a vibrant red or bright yellow adds the necessary amount of warmth.
Has something from the latest crop of Fashion Week presentations piqued your interest? Add it to your Pinterest board before making an appointment at Kipper. Browse our suiting collections to see what we can do, or book an appointment today.