It seems as if the men’s fashion market is growing more and more each season, attracting increased attention to the world’s most noteworthy fashion capitals. For fall 2016, we saw the top menswear creators continue to expand the dialogue on traditional definitions of masculinity and male style, playing with various elements that redefine the formerly quiet niche.
Though typically known to be a more daring city, London appeared more sterile across the board than in previous seasons. There was still a bit of eccentricity, though, as seen at places like Jeremy Scott’s Moschino show. Lisa Frank neon hues dominated tailored looks and puffer jackets, while printed motifs further expressed the brand’s over-the-top aesthetic. But while the puffy sleeves, silky fabrics, cropped jackets, and chokers seen at J.W. Anderson probably wouldn’t end up in the average Joe’s wardrobe, even this oft-atypical label appeared more wearable. Alexander McQueen’s latest line appeared pretty stoic, too, adding a subtle punk element to otherwise romantic looks, somehow translating into garments that were just edgy enough. More palatable, sellable pieces aren’t a bad thing, and this new direction wouldn’t be detrimental to these brands. Still, there were impressive – somewhat daring – feats from fashion’s brightest stars in London. Take Craig Green, who took the idea of protection and ran with it. Perhaps an armor against the troubles of the world, Green’s garments referenced everything from medieval gear to hazmat suits, some in stripes and others in muted greens and beiges. The color palette suggested a military inspiration, something we’ve seen in menswear collections across the globe. That was true for Burberry, too, where Christopher Bailey took things back to their roots. Whether more traditional military coats or the ubiquitous bomber jacket, it was all about the outerwear for the iconic London label.
The Italian menswear circuit started with Pitti Uomo, where the stand outs were actually from out of town. Gone were the kitschy printed neoprene sweatshirts at Juun J., traded in for beautiful shearling outerwear, pristine coats and bomber jackets, voluminous trousers, and surprisingly sharp silhouettes. Over in Milan, Alessandro Michele continued his whimsical journey for Gucci. Potentially the best kind of clusterfuck, the collection featured everything from floral prints to bright-colored embellishments, along with glorious capes and to-die-for 70’s-style tracksuits. Michele’s Gucci has taken on a life of its own, embodying a unique aesthetic that makes it the most exciting thing in Milan – and maybe in menswear altogether. Damir Doma’s dark minimalism was an underrated gem at Milan, too, with generous silhouettes dominated by impeccable outerwear. And who could forget about Prada, where Miuccia applied a nautical persuasion to her go-to codes, which translated to whimsical prints and inviting colors on a sailor boy layout.
Paris stuck to its status of being the fashion capital with the most variety this season, showing a wide array of different aesthetics and concepts from the city’s top menswear designers. On one hand, Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain collection presented an over-the-top line of glamorized military-inspired garb, shown on a cast of male supermodels. On the other hand, Yusuke Takahashi went a more minimal route for Issey Miyake. And we can’t forget about Kris Van Assche’s latest for Dior Homme, juxtaposing classic looks with looser, more exaggerated shapes and adding pops of red into the mix. At Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci stuck to his standard tricks, masterfully meshing urban streetwear with Parisian luxury.
After the couture shows, the nonstop show circuit continued with the second installment of New York Fashion Week: Men’s. The four-day event saw some of the Big Apple’s best menswear talents in rare form, like at Siki Im, where street-friendly looks drew inspiration from vampire films. At Gypsy Sport, patchwork outerwear stood out in reference to skin tones. Greg Lauren stuck to his disheveled Western vibes, with loose shapes and frayed edges abound. And Public School owned the New York menswear game, paying homage to the late David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth.
As the menswear niche continues to grow, designers keep expanding and reinventing definitions of men’s fashion. Each season brings more progress to the scene, and fall 2016 is certainly looking promising.
See some of the top looks from the fall 2016 menswear collections below!
All photos courtesy Vogue Runway.