For all those who worry that the summer bliss won’t last, going over last week’s London Spring 2014 menswear collections might cheer you up. Chic menswear fashion has been in the making for quite some time now, as brands have long felt the need to make clothes for a young male market in search of alternatives to the strictly classic dark suit, worn on formal occasions and in the workplace (although suits are increasingly being dismissed for simpler clothes in a number of fields), and the exceedingly extravagant models that are often proposed as leisurewear. Although elegant casual chic has worked its way into most men’s wardrobes, those who work outside the creative industries still shy away from daring stylishness as palettes and prints are limited and looks often lack personalisation.
As is the case with women’s fashion, menswear brands should progressively take into account the multitude of physical types and styles of their potential clients.
For example, London-based, Danish designer Peter Jensen’s Spring 2014 collection is a tribute to Andy Warhol and the 60s, as a Warhol-like model is dressed in primary coloured sweaters, checkered pants, jeans and trainers. While keeping trousers black, grey and periwinkle blue as a base, Jensens worked on joyful prints for jackets, vests and sweaters and used meticulous styling to create sophisticated sporty looks for all occasions. The female model, Warhol’s supposed muse, is also dressed from head to toe in pop tones and ‘Swinging London’ shapes, checkered miniskirts and capes, vivid coloured tights, and peter pan collars, as the duo is shown in typical American celebrity ‘scenes’: picking up groceries, sitting at the movies and posing on the red carpet.
Mainly expressed through his clever colour and pattern combinations along with the beautiful staging of his looks, and as his biography states, Jensens’ ‘impeccably produced creations thread together mischievous humour and a celebratory approach to individuality… the results of which always remain on the wearable side of unconventional’.
Furthermore, for Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Bailey proposed a lively and humorous ‘school boy’ themed collection of suits with black pants, white or pastel-toned shirts and striped, polka-dotted or checkered ties and sweaters. The outfits were paired with shoes and sunglasses in primary colours and preppy haircuts, for a youthful and impeccable allure.
Jonathan Saunders aimed for a similarly refreshing appeal of prolonged adolescence with his smart suits, bi-coloured shirts, striped ties and matching trendy accessories.
Christopher Kane put his usual arty touch into his menswear collection by replicating graphic digital prints onto white, black and red shirts and shorts. Kane’s minimal style, comfy grey pants and technology-inspired T-shirts are ideal for super cool boys.
Joanna Sykes’ collection for the brand Nicole Farhi had an ethereal simplicity which was mainly conveyed by its smooth pastel and earthly palette (canvas white, sea foam, slate, mist, sand, cornflower blue and khaki), as well as the luxurious fabrics used like leather, painted jute, suede, tweed, jacquard jersey, and a mixture of linens, while the practical silhouettes winked at sports chic.
Richard James’s collection had a distinctive Gatsby air. The pastel shiny suits and espadrilles, checkered pink jackets, tight white pants, panama hats, long preppy polo shirts and sleek, combed back hairstyles all conveyed the well-bred Connecticut vacation style.
We picked up a similar Fitzgerald nonchalance in Rake’s collection, which had an additional touch: cool summer evening suits that borrow elements from the smoking, paired with chic printed neckerchiefs and comfy flats.