Makings of a man: Trends in menswear this season

  • Living
  • Tuesday, 08 Apr 2014

Sportswear, florals and double-breasted jackets are some of the key trends in menswear for Spring/Summer 2014.

FORECASTING fashion trends is very much like predicting the weather. You never know what it’s going to be like until it hits you – or in other words, when the designers finally send their models out onto the runways.

With that in mind, a quick glance at the Spring/Summer 2014 menswear collections that were unveiled throughout the different fashion weeks last year (Milan, Paris, London and New York) showed an unexpected impression of wayward boldness.

From Gucci, Kenzo, Calvin Klein and Burberry, to Hackett London, Paul Smith, Comme des Garçons and Hugo Boss, amongst others, there seems to be a salient need for gents to fashionably stand out, more than ever. Now that the new season is finally upon us, here’s a roundup of what one can expect from the different designer labels. Below are some of the trends that fashion-forward men should take note of.

Statement florals

The idea of highlighting florals for Spring or Summer? It is hardly groundbreaking. Nevertheless, it may be considered so for menswear – especially when presented in such a strong way.

Gucci for example, had its creative director Frida Giannini creating possibly one of her most fun-loving collections for men. She dressed a large bulk of the models in pretty florals, highlighting spontaneity.

Hugo Boss

Three-piece suits, oversized jackets and fitted pants all carried the mark of bold blooms (or rather in some pieces, its accompanying foliage). They were observed to be daring, yet luxuriously sophisticated at the same time.

Comme des Garçons’ creative director Rei Kawakubo had a similar inspiration. While she concentrated on black and white in her designs, florals made a definitive appearance too.

These ranged from just glimpses of patterned prints, to loud highlights that denote a full-on floral fever. Bizarre as it may have been, it kept to the playful and unconventional element that the label is so known for.

Athletic inclination

It seems that designers are generally going “athletic” for the season. The influence of sportswear is unmistakeable in the latest menswear. Large tunics and flowy pants?

They are just some of the many design inclinations of the trend.

Just consider Kenzo. Its collection evokes a relaxed, cool and easy-going attitude with loose and oversized pieces. However much, they also appear deconstructed and highly functional.

It is reported that Kenzo creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim were inspired by the laid-back style of California – thus bringing more of a sportswear feel to the French label.

Spring/Summer 2014 also sees the rebranded Calvin Klein platinum label offering a collection of clean, minimalist lines and sleek athleticism. It showed a right balance of both design and perceived utility.

Futuristic fabrics in metallic gold and platinum are paired with matte counterparts, exaggerated drop shoulders are pared down with slim European silhouettes, and bright green hues welcome colour to an otherwise neutral palette.

Building blocks

Making a return from last year is colour blocking. As to be expected for the warmer months of the year, both bright shades and vivid tones are mixed and matched to a cheery perfection.

You have Burberry Prorsum with its parade of bright colours on the runway. Blue, green, yellow, red and more were unveiled, with them bringing a fun attitude to menswear.

While the crayola-like shades were standouts themselves, what needs to be applauded is the use of polka dots. Chief creative officer Christopher Bailey certainly had it “spot on” when he added them in to balance all that colour.

Hackett London

In Paul Smith’s collection there was a nod to the acid tones that defined the 70s. Complimentary shades meet on separates, suits are colour blocked and off-white is used to offset.

Bubblegum and hot pink are dominant in neatly tailored jackets and cut-out prints, for instance. Black, whenever it does make an appearance, is instead used as a highlight in panels – further drawing attention to the burst of colours.

Doubling it

As much as formal suiting is to be concerned, the double-breasted jacket is back. The revival is seen to be a running theme of Spring/Summer 2014, despite it existing in an invariably softer form.

Hackett London’s smartly dressed men for instance, had all the gentlemanly essentials on the runway: shirts, waistcoats, silk scarves, and other whatnots. Key to these however, is the double-breasted jacket.

From navy to pink, each different design confers a certain sense of gravity to the otherwise lightweight feel of the season. Matched with knitwear, it is said to allow for a more comprehensive wardrobe, while still keeping a formal look.

The double-breasted look was observed in Hugo Boss’ collection as well. While the label presented its take on modern safari style, jacket designs didn’t run far from this key trend.

Colours are featured prominently and materials are expectedly of the highest quality. Matching the inspiration, the bold double-breasted suits are crafted of luxury fabric but remain to be highly robust as well.

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