Men’s fashion is about achieving that paramount style moment when an ensemble comes together perfectly from the top button of your collar straight down to the laces. This poised and nonchalant elegance gives you a confidence in your step – a swagger even as you stroll into your usual haunt where the maître-d’ greets you by name as you make your way over to your next major account to talk business over crostini and tartare. Gents, your style moment has arrived this season as vanguard designers take more liberties, upping the ante on superior quality. From New York to London and Milan to Paris, we charted the new trends to bring you the styles to shop this season from the brands that do them best.
In order to move ahead, fashion houses are plucking patterns from the archives of history-making menswear. Many found themselves wandering the fields of old Scotland circa early 1900, bringing back the checked and plaid suit jackets of the era. The best part about these lightweight sport coats is that they can be dressed up or down regardless of the occasion.
Usually made in worsted wool, flannel, tweed or linen, Brioni revisits this classic style in soft-to-touch natural cashmere with a windowpane pattern. Pal Zileri’s new collection does everything from windowpane and tweed to solid colour sport coats.
Flashes of vibrant colour aren’t reserved for springtime, they are also fair game for fall, just be careful how you use them – our advice is sparingly. A shock of neon yellow peeking out from under a pullover and calmed by a dark coat shows you put care into what you wear. The same goes for a bold, solid red or sapphire blue jacket paired with understated grey slacks.
Paul & Shark paints all the colours of the rainbow on its argyle pullovers, Versace went for a striking true blue from shirt to suit and Prada used a jolt of total white for its footwear.
There’s no denying that exotic materials are making a major comeback on the catwalk. Embrace the trend without overdoing it by opting for fur trimmings and accessories. Boss Black went for buttery calfskin in its weekender bags and lace-ups while Christopher Bailey worked Dalmatian print into hats and coats for the latest Burberry Prorsum line. French menswear maison Zilli features jackets with removable mink and beaver furs that can be added or taken off depending on the look you’re going for.
Glazed lambskin, calf suede, deerskin, ostrich and snakeskin are also prominently highlighted in Zilli’s garments, shoes and accessories. The ‘pièce de résistance’ this season is without a doubt the ultra luxurious crocodile . Few fashion houses have managed to tame the beast this season, but Brioni pulls it off to a tee in shoes, belts and cases. We got up close and personal to the sumptuous headliner of this collection: a soft crocodile biker jacket made using only the stomach of the crocodile – the softest part.
A Step Ahead
Frank Sinatra practically lived in them, history’s most notorious gangsters had scores tucked away in the closet and now the brogue is back to add that vintage touch to your wardrobe. Often referred to as wingtips, these dress shoes are characterized by decorative accents and perforations on the shoe’s toecaps and sides. Go for a classic cut or boot – we like the leather choices from Boss Selection whose multi-toned combinations blend cigar browns and blacks effortlessly.
In the Bag
The handbag has become a staple accessory for today’s man. Despite mixed feelings towards the handheld ‘man clutch,’ it dominated the fall/winter collections from Louis Vuitton’s mini to midsized leather and gold buckle interpretations to Gucci’s long foldable designs. Overnight holdalls and duffel bags are also sharper than ever before. Ermenegildo Zegna’s pinstripe styles are ideal for a business trip to stow your suit and laptop, while at Zilli we saw matching deerskin or canvas travel and messenger bags providing ample space for a longer voyage.