Galleries > Insider's Picks: Top Menswear Trends for Fall-Winter 2013
Published: Saturday, 26 January 2013
Posted in: Fashion
By Eugene Quek
Winter is coming, and the outlook is anything but bleak. The Fall fashion shows—for men, at least—have ended a hectic run, and the designers’ decrees have been relayed to the frontrow cognoscenti. While one could argue till the cows come home and become clutches and carry-alls about the artistic merits of J.W. Anderson's provocative frilled man-dresses (as Jonathan Anderson himself points out, "there is sometimes a very big difference between shopping and clothing"), we have decided to turn our eye toward the more wearable menswear pieces to have come down the London, Milan and Paris runways. Having scoured the lookbooks and hit "pause" on many an on-demand livestream presentation, here is our round-up of trends we think will last for more than a season—with a little judicious editing, of course.
One of the more elaborate presentations at Milan Fashion Week, the silver birch trees lining the snow-strewn runway of Moncler Gamme Bleu were a pre-show indication of Thom Browne's vision of scruffy Scottish Highlanders clad in very expensive garb. And very technical they were, too. Ignore the pleated kilts and focus on the upper half of this particular look, essentially a fitted puffer down parka that transitions seamlessly into checked Shetland wool in a handsome blue-black-grey colorway. Worn separately with snug black jeans, the top would fit as easily on the sleet-stained streets of busy Shinjuku as it would on the lonely Scottish isles.
Moncler Gamme Bleu
At Jil Sander, the men were all buttoned up in restrained raiment, with slashes of red that reinforced the Soviet Union military theme coursing through the collection like a rivulet of blood. Note the exaggerated solid scarlet collar on this oversized double-breasted, which cleverly bleeds its way down the arms of the mohair blend wool coat. Severe and almost sepulchral in its vampiric elegance, this is a texturally interesting investment worth adding to your winter wardrobe.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli's transportive collection was a time warp to a parallel universe where the Angry Young Men of the sixties (still) wore checks and plaids, only infinitely more polished and dandified. We love this rakish checked suit that strode down the gilded Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris (to audible gasps, or so we hear.) Made from Valentino's own spin on the Black Watch, that signature three-color Scottish plaid, navy wool was woven with grass-green fibers, then over-printed in black for a subdued shadowy effect. Style score? Checkmate.
When word spread that Bailey's Fall 2013 collection had been dubbed "I ♥ Classics", style observers naturally assumed that the British brand was going back to basics. Boy, were we wrong. Ever subversive, the designer reconfigured the label's outerwear—traditionally and literally Burberry's strongest suit, so to speak—in the wildest of fabrics. There were kinky ox-blood red latex coats that suggested an unhinged Jack the Ripper while, in a totally schizophrenic detour to the Serengeti, animal prints crept their way over jacket lapels, bags, loafers and sunglasses. The most daring yet paradoxically wearable? This sharp trench in leopard ponyskin. Not in the least practical—the pony would be ruined if you trot it out in rain—but keep the rest of your outfit subdued and this coat's earthy hues lend themselves well to a sheltered night out in the city.
We will delicately sidestep Donatella Versace's white and black lace lingerie for men—pure Versace, but dancing on the knife-edge of taste—and proffer instead this relatively wearable but still outré double-breasted. No stuffy six-button configuration here: what we get instead is a impeccably made jacket printed with a blown-up giraffe print in white-and-taupe. Notice how the white striations of the ungulate line up near perfectly when the jacket is buttoned? Brilliant workmanship, and a showy choice for a fashion-ey cocktail party.
Westwood's press notes for her men's show were bloated with buzzwords like Climate Revolution, rainforest preservation and a damning diatribe on what she called the "corporocracy". Which means we can assume this snug snow leopard turtleneck is a none-too-subtle invective against the fashion industry's use of real fur. Stripped of its designer's self-righteous bluster, this top is a statement piece in itself. Take a walk on the wild side, stylish animal activists.
Sarah Burton's London show was stifling in its theatricality, creepy even, with boys striding down a scuffed wooden space with their faces wrapped in clear plastic. The styling was sensuously louche in its disheveled opulence, with a standout being this burgundy velvet peak lapel jacket wrapped around a polka dotted silk dressing gown. In an age of austerity, the fin de siècle influence of this collection was undeniably unsettling—and terribly beautiful.
Elisabetta Canali's love for luxury was evident in her Milan show, which was sheer Italian lavishness. To wit: this gorgeous plum velvet coat, ante upped with a chocolate fur collar. Also noteworthy: those matching burnished shoes. We can see Astrakhan oligarchy and China's nouveau riche sweeping these jewel-toned pieces off the rack.
Bespoke Savile Row tailor Richard James' London Collections: Men show was influenced by the beauty of the great city's leafy parks, so the autumnal palette of rust red and rich berry was evocative and spot-on. This breath-taking finale piece, part of a trio of green, red and blue tuxedos, was an unforgettable standout. We love the contrasting shawl collar on the slim-cut evening jacket, and that rich hue is incredibly beautiful in its darting, swerving shimmer: like the breast of a male mallard in its element. Also worth pointing out are the matching crystal-studded velvet slippers, a resplendent final flourish to a brilliant show.
Italo Zucchelli's futuristic collection had a distinctly sci-fi feel to it, none more so than this sleek bomber, molded from mysterious bonded fabric with silicone chevron shoulders lending it a Star Trek uniform feel. In chic black, the jacket was a strong fashion statement echoed on other catwalks this season: sportswear is here to stay, and can be elevated to a sophisticated yet youthful alternative to your traditional formal eveningwear.
Calvin Klein Collection
Looking like it could have hailed from the Calvin Klein Collection piece you see above is this monochrome, uncharacteristically somber blouson from Riccardo Tisci's Paris presentation. None of Givenchy's snarling Rottweiler tees on show here. There was a quietly confident poise in this collection that was a pleasure to behold, and this particular jacket, with its leather chest and silver zippers, was sportswear at its most refined.
Enough black for the day. Rounding off our trend story and injecting exuberance into the varsity jacket trend is 26-year-old Daniele Cavalli's jewel-toned Milan presentation. This flamboyant bomber in scarab beetle-emerald may have taken a leaf or two from the metallic trenches of Burberry Prorsum's Spring 2013 collection, but the artful placement of the matte black detailing gives this Roberto Cavalli jacket an evening character of its own. Wear this over a black dress shirt to stand out from the penguin-suited gents at a casual cocktail party, and you're all but guaranteed a spot on the pages of the "best dressed" section in your local society mag.