It can get exhausting keeping up with trends. Thisi's why there’s something to be said for the latests tyles for autumn/winter 2016/17, with fresh updates for many timeless standards: checks, military-inspired looks, and even that good ol’ fashion staple, black. You can choose to adopt the season’s new takes on these classics–or simply unearth pieces that might already be in your wardrobe.
(from top) Gucci, Dunhill, Bottega Veneta, Raf Simons, Dior Homme, Dior Homme (shoes)
As one of the most common patterns in menswear, checks typically exist beyond the tyranny of trends. But its popularity waxes and wanes with the seasons – and its stock is definitely at a high for Fall/Winter 2016/17. If you’re one of those who typically limit checks to shirts, it’s time to explore other ways to wear the pattern, with designers serving up a plethora of ways to don crossed lines.
In a show set against a backdrop of skate ramps, Dior Homme creative director Kris Van Assche used the pattern – a favourite of ‘90s skaters and slackers – across myriad items: a shirt, a belted coat, even bags. We particularly like the black and white check in small doses, such as when a sliver of it showed on the edge of a dark brown wool jacket.
Elsewhere, cosier takes abounded, with coats and jackets going heavy on the grids. Prada mixed its plaid with dashes of chill-defying shearling, while Bottega Veneta delivered via double-breasted wool jackets as well as needle-punched coats.
(from top) Dior Homme (shoes), Dior Homme, Giorgio Armani, Berluti, Alexander McQueen, Ermenegildo Zegna Couture, Louis Vuitton (bar case)
Black, as its many proponents like to declare, does not have to be boring. The problem is, it so often is. We are pleased to note that this is not the case with some of the season’s latest dark-hued pieces, which are dressed up with tonal details in a way that is quiet yet impactful.
In fact, Stefano Pilati practically built his final Ermenegildo Zegna Couture collection around this concept: His separates, in inky shades of black and dark blue, feature intricate finishes best appreciated up close. These include coats with elaborate beading and embroidery, or fabrics such as wool jacquard.
At Hermes, menswear artistic director Veronique Nichanian also engaged in the “pure black” notion, adding interest to dark pieces with barely there prints, such as a shadowy check on a black jacket.
By the way, you don’t necessarily have to wear this trend – you can also carry it. This season, Louis Vuitton launches the new Monogram Eclipse and Monogram Illusion, updating its iconic motif in grey-on-black and shimmery silk-screened finishes, respectively. Subtler than the predecessor, for sure, and decidedly “un-boring”.
(from top) Dries Van Noten, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta (belt), MSGM, Saint Laurent, Balmain, Alexander McQueen (boots)
Do you march to the beat of your own drum? Then check out the latest military-inspired styles, which are anything but uniform. The influence of the armed forces takes on different forms for autumn. One of the most prominent: long coats with rows of shiny buttons and the occasional epaulette, as suggested by the likes of Saint Laurent and Burberry. A little dramatic, yes – but almost subdued when compared to the gold-braided jacket by Balmain, which we advise passing over, unless you long to be described as a Michael Jackson impersonator.
Much more civilian-friendly are coats in shades of khaki and olive – done by labels such as Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Dries Van Noten – that offer a subtler way to dress up for the urban jungle this season. And, if even these pieces seem too excessive, not to worry: The pilot-esque bomber jacket, which has been huge in recent years, continues to make its presence felt.
(from top) Balmain, Hermes, Bottega Veneta, Tod’s, Lanvin, Jil Sander, Dunhill, Bottega Veneta (bag)
The black leather jacket might be a fashion perennial, but why limit yourself when leather is being manipulated into a multitude of other forms these days? Outerwear alone throws up lots of possibilities: Try a belted coat in patinated brown (Valentino), or a bomber in dark green (Dunhill). But these are just for starters.
Once again harnessing her brand’s expertise with leather, Veronique Nichanian created leather trousers with a light, fluid quality usually found only in fabrics. At Bottega Veneta, creative director Tomas Maier offered a much less forgiving take, physique-wise: form-fitting trousers, accented with zips running down their entire length.
Other interesting executions included leather ensembles that played with the codes of tailoring. Dior Homme, for instance, used calfskin to create a jacket with matching wide-legged pleated trousers. Not your average black suit, for sure.
(from top) Lanvin, Berluti, Versace, Moschino, Dries Van Noten (boots), Bally, Raf Simons, Lanvin
Call it the Prince effect: Purple, from lilac to deep aubergine, is one of the season’s go-to colours for enlivening standard neutrals like grey, black and brown. At Burberry, a top in deep purple adds an autumn-appropriate jewel tone to otherwise sombre khaki and black. Too predictable? Go the Bally route and try unexpected combinations: Top off black-and-white micro-check trousers with a bright purple shearling-collar jacket, or juxtapose a rich purple dinner jacket with a striped polo tee.
Some labels went for a no-holds-barred approach, sending head-to-toe purple outfits down their runways. Delete those mental images of Barney the dinosaur – Berluti’s dusty purple suit, broken up with a copper top, proved that it is possible to look cool and understated, even when (almost) fully clad in the colour of royalty. In a less wearable demonstration, Versace dressed one model entirely in pastel purple – beanie, coat, turtleneck, suit, and even bag. But of course, looks on the runway are often extreme expressions of a designer’s vision. In real life, each of the pieces would work brilliantly when matched with more sombre separates.
FEEL OF THINGS
Rich textures play a key role in Bottega Veneta’s FW2016/17 collection.
01 THE TEST OF TIME
A 15-year partnership yields stellar results on both creative and commercial fronts.
These days, it seems par for the course for creative directors to part ways with brands after delivering a handful of collections. In this fast-moving landscape, it can be refreshing to be reminded that some partnerships do endure and thrive. This month, Bottega Veneta celebrates its 15-year partnership with creative director Tomas Maier. It will mark this milestone by combining its men’s and women’s Spring/Summer 2017 shows into one at Milan Fashion Week.
However, one need not look a season ahead to understand Maier’s impact on the brand. Long story short, the German-born designer took the Italian label from edge-of-bankruptcy to billiondollar brand in just over a decade. His oft-noted key to success: luxury-defining details that make themselves known only on close inspection.
The brand’s Fall/Winter 2016/17 collection offers plenty of proof of this. An imposing coat in rich blue leather features a lining of needlepunched checks. Double-breasted cashmere suits in black or white that cut a sharp silhouette on the runway have an almost suede-like softness. To balance out these rich textures, Maier focused on creating a “long and lean” silhouette. In the collection notes, Maier says: “It is very calm, very assured. This man knows what he’s doing.” The same might be said of the designer himself.
02 HIDDEN MARK
“Tattoos (are) the ultimate form of artistic selfexpression,” says Montblanc creative director Zaim Kamal. But for those who don’t necessarily want a permanent mark on their skin, the brand’s Secret Adornment series may be just the ticket. The inner part of a blue Sfumato leather briefcase can be handinked with one of three designs by tattoo artist Mo Coppoletta: Choose from an undulating serpent, a tableau featuring a hot-air balloon or a world map. Visit www.montblanc.com for more information.
03 FRESH RESTART
The confluence of the rising digital tide and a slowing economy has led to great shifts in fashion. One change that we welcome is the streamlining of offerings by brands. From autumn, Paul Smith’s numerous diffusion collections will be merged into two key lines – Paul Smith, and the lower-priced PS by Paul Smith. The main line will retain its focus on smart and easy tailored looks, while the diffusion line will include Paul Smith signatures (playful graphics, bright colours) as well as product categories like denim and knitwear.
04 WEAVE ITS MARK
Last season, Ermenegildo Zegna debuted its Pelle Tessuta collection, featuring accessories crafted from a new woven leather. To create this material, thin strips of nappa leather are woven together in place of fabric yarns. Lightweight, soft and tough, Pelle Tessuta – in a subtly striking dark blue, following last season’s dark brown – is used for items like business bags, wallets, and loafers and sneakers this autumn.
New York-based start-up Vixole has created a customisable e-sneaker designed to work with a number of apps. The shoes vibrate to alert users of incoming calls, notifications and e-mail.