‘Loose’ the Fit
When the master of tailored fits, Giorgio Armani himself presents silhouettes that are ‘loose and flowing’, you realise the whole slim fit and smart tailoring trend that had haunted the less fitness-conscious among us is in for an eclipse. In fact, it is an across-the-board trend, from Fendi to virtually every male fashion brand, to present summer fits that are relaxed to the point of passing off as slouchy. The likes of Armani go in for wide legs and multiple pleats, reminding us of outfits like Oxford-bag trousers from the Depression-era, and even beyond.
Boxy suit jackets, those double-breasted suits going strong, contrast collars, jeans with washes (yes!) and a predominance of pastel and white. If you are baulking at this, take heart, the tailoring needn’t be all fluttery or boxy. You can adapt elements from the eighties like an added crease, pleats, loose trousers, etc., with sharp tailoring, like what Fendi did at their Milan Menswear shows. Go check out YouTube for those Duran Duran and Peter Gabriel vids from the eighties for you own piece of custom inspiration.
We just mentioned in the previous trend and it has been bubbling over for the past few summers, but white has gone so viral that the likes of yesteryear Bolly actor Jeetendra are having the last laugh now. Of course, if you still think an all-white look is absolute social hara-kiri (not to forget, those laundry bills, considering the dust and pollution across the Indian heartland), add an element from the aqua palette, like a sky blue blazer or an indigo jacket (or settle for the old classic favourite, a navy blue double-breasted blazer), or at least a contrast collar in beige or indigo. If you don’t want to continue the all-white look down to your footwear, you’re in luck in India, any of our earth-coloured sandals (floaters or even lace-less shoes) will work.
Athleisure is Where it’s at
No, there is no leaving the athleisure trend behind. This whole feel of sporty, yet stylish twist to men’s fashion has by now established itself as perhaps the single biggest international fashion trend of the 2010s, in much the same way as low-waist trousers and jeans in the 2000s. And it’s probably a good thing, too, since it makes comfortable outfits trendy by giving them a sleek, yet relaxed silhouette. Everybody from Fendi, in luxury fashion, to Celio, on the high street, are big on this.
Sneak it Everywhere
Advocates of practical fashion should rejoice. The humble sneakers, once found only on sports brand billboards, and never on a haute couture ramp, are everywhere this season. Thanks to the overwhelming sway of the athleisure trend, the versatile sports shoe is now ‘propah’ enough to be accessorised with the classiest of outfits—from pinstripes (see next entry) and khakis to even suits. The sneakers are now emboldened by fashion flourishes like two-tones, leopard prints and zippers.
Pretty in Pink
Once a no-no for men and a staple since the millennium in both India (thank you, Hrithik Roshan) and abroad, the pink look continues unabated this spring/summer. This time around, the trend is heading towards the medium to pastel shades of pink, with brands like Ermenegildo Zegna, Fendi and Valentino plugging suits and separates in lighter shades of pink as a must-have this season (surprisingly, Giorgio Armani went in for a bright carmine shade of pink for his men’s trousers and pullovers). Some, like Fendi’s high-waisted trousers, come in such a sober tone of pink that you could easily replace your standard-issue khaki trousers with these without raising any disapproving eyebrows. While our desi brethren really shouldn’t shy away from trying this, quoting outdated concepts of macho dressing, do exercise caution on the shade you select and check whether it matches your skin tone, and what you team it up with.
No, not more of camouflage (though it was raging for last couple of years and should have a bit of life left in it this summer too, at least in India), but the whole camel and other earth-toned colours. ‘Cargo’ shirts with double pockets, safari shirt cuts (we Indians will feel at home with these) are big incoming trends, while lighter shades of khaki, sometimes stretching into realms of grey or military green are de rigueur. Some like Oliver Spencer have relaxed cuts with as much as four pockets all over.
Stripe it Up
Stripes continue strong, in fact, stronger. From pinstripes, an eternal classic, to thick bold ones, stripes were all pervasive at the summer menswear shows, both on tops and bottoms. The likes of Versace paired them up with sleek sneakers, which seems to be the best option (formal black shoes may go if the stripes are thin enough). Although they may seem too bold for conservative dressers in Indian cities, they should try the look, if only because vertical stripes make everyone, including those on the plumper side, look lean.
What qualities does a luxury menswear brand look for?
By Philippo Ricci
The fashion world, especially the luxury segment, is experiencing renewed optimism. Menswear, in particular, is returning to its origins and seeking a true quality that exists beyond the brand. It is a conscious choice in a refined style that favours the value of the product rather than an aesthetic end in and of itself. Bespoke outfits, unique fabrics and personalisation - these are the basic points that ensure access to an elite market. And of course, exaltation of the manufacturing process, where the client takes a personal pleasure in the artisanal work that is faithful to the best of traditions.
Stefano Ricci’s Spring/Summer collection is inspired by the eternal beauty of Matera, a world heritage site in the deep south of Italy which has been the setting of 60 films, including those of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Mel Gibson. It is a place where humans lived inside caves once, and has allowed man to live and advance with nature.
Hence we have men in high-end tailored suits, outfits and accessories, standing out among the grottos and the Rupestrian rock churches of Matera, the city that has been designated as Europe’s Capital of Culture next year. In the babel of small interlocking houses, one on top of the other, one is welcomed as though in an embrace of life.
My vision for true elegance during the spring season comprises of single breasted two button jackets or lean double breasted suits with sleek and enticing lines, waistcoats that unveil weightless shirts and ties with designs that resemble geometric engravings, laced shoes in matted crocodile with matching belts, and buckles that attract the gaze of the triumphant eagle, symbol of our maison. It includes slim trousers, close-fitting jeans, and leather jackets with a silky hand in classic and simple models, all strong because of their high quality and lightweight leathers. It is a fusion between formal and two piece looks, even with athleisure, which elevates the comfort of the soft knitwear and of the feather-light sneakers, as in the precious weightlessness of the backpacks.
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