Ten top AW 2017-18 Men’s Fashion Week trends
The Paris Men's Fashion Week is over and the assessment of the AW 2017-18 edition, which ended on Sunday, was positive. Among the highlights, the first Berluti show by Haider Ackermann, several new entries and emerging talents starring alongside the major labels, and a host of women's looks blending seamlessly within the menswear shows.
Ten major trends have notably emerged from the London, Milan and Paris shows for the Autumn/Winter menswear collections, the main focus being on a much younger wardrobe with an unmistakable athleisure vibe. Sport's influence is everywhere, brushing aside shirts and ties in favour of sneakers, ubiquitous on all runways, of tracksuits, now a must, not to mention sport sweaters and a range of outfits inspired in turn by skiing, skateboarding, cycling, trekking and other active pursuits.
Above all, the focus was on comfort, as demonstrated by the strong resurgence of knitwear and oversize looks, the limitless use of tech fabrics, and the popularity of aviator and down jackets. Shirts and dinner jackets are out, turtleneck sweaters and sport tops are in.
After appearing only occasionally in recent seasons, tracksuits have become an established feature of every man's wardrobe. Whether in cotton fleece, velvet or nylon-effect satin they are a must, now that a breath of fresh air has been blown into men's fashion by the dominant athleisure trend. Trousers with a lateral band or skateboarder-style hoodies were the most popular items.
2) The down-jacket overcoat
Next winter will be arctic, no doubt about it, judging from the woollen hats, scarves, chunky gloves, snug sporty jackets, giant sweaters and overcoats on show. As in previous seasons, the latter will be worn very long, oversize and hooded. It will be the turn of down-jackets to lengthen, whether in winter sports/snowman-fashion or in more sophisticated versions.
3) Slogans and logos
Clothing is becoming man's preferred way of expressing himself, both literally and figuratively. The majority of designers have vastly increased the number of slogans overwritten, printed, sewn, attached or woven onto their creations: sometimes as an allusion to sport sponsorship (as in the Supreme X Louis Vuitton bags), sometimes in a poetic or philosophising mood, very often in a straightforward fashion, with just one highly graphic and colourful word, or via printed pictures and giant-sized letters.
4) Ski trousers
Ski trousers, often in vintage baggy style, have made a notable entry into menswear for next winter. Sometimes similar to biker or over-trousers, they have a distinctive performance focus, featuring zips and fleece linings, and are worn with equal aplomb with an informal outfit or a classic jacket. Meanwhile, the winter sports trend is cropping up everywhere, from sweaters with Norwegian-style motifs to bobble hats and woollen gloves, not to mention the occasional fur trimming.
5) Put flowers in your guns
Camo fabrics and military looks are still playing a strong role in menswear, though they have been often re-interpreted and given a new twist, for example with flowers replacing traditional camouflage patterns.
6) Teen spirit
Men's fashion has been injected with a strong measure of teen spirit, helped by the athleisure influence now dominating all collections, including those by the most traditional labels. A juvenile, almost childlike mood has pervaded the majority of shows, with ever-present hats and gadgets heightening the adolescent vibe.
7) The blanket scarf
Several designers have introduced the blanket scarf, halfway between a Linus-style security blanket and a symbol of refugees and migrants. It is also consistent with the oversize trend which has emerged on the runways in the last few seasons, with chunky-knit, ankle-length scarves and stoles, often hand-knitted and tasselled and acting as sleeves too.
8) Chains and metallic effects
They are mere details, but they add an extra punkish/subversive twist: safety pins threaded through the breast-pocket in classic jackets, large chains attached to belts, fob watch-style, lapel pins and brooches, or the plethora of chains worn round the neck by a large number of models, with keys, dog-tags and other kind of pendants attached. They are also a way of personalising the outfits.
9) A touch of orange
Next winter's menswear will mostly feature a dark, autumnal palette (chocolate, rust, prune and fir green), so some flashes of colour such as gold, cherry red and violet will be essential to brighten it up, as well as a healthy dose of citrus orange, a workwear reference borrowed from high-viz builders' vests and pump attendant jumpsuits, or to lend an energetic pop touch.
Sneakers are the shoes to be flaunted next winter, in all weather and for all occasions. They have already been a best-seller for several seasons, but sports shoes have ruled the roost in this round of menswear fashion weeks as never before.
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