Yes, it’s still Winter 2017 but fashion always pushes us to look to the future. So what will we be wearing in Fall 2017? Good question.
After a ragtag group of shows, a few trends stuck out, none of which were super inventive or new. Baggy pants are still coming back, the love of the 1970s persists, and all sorts of strange ties between the low and high end clashed. Beyond that, a few things came to mind that were different: those are the moods of Fall 2017 menswear.
It’s so obvious to say “Stripes are trending!” because that seems to happen every fucking season. That’s like saying “Pants are in!”: it’s obvious. What’s happening in 2017 is a different (“different”) take on a fall geometric pattern that is interpreting stripes laterally, mostly by way of overchecked tweeds and woody, natural leaning “stripes.” The overcheck dominated entire collections: designers who obviously lean toward this classic suiting style like Thom Browne and Vivienne Westwood took it on while new school kids like Billy Reid, Pyer Moss, and Orley used overchecks to dip into reference. Points of intrigue included Issey Miyake’s inventive DIY striping, Lanvin’s attempt to dress suiting styles down, and Paul Smith’s post-fusty clashing of tweed. AMI has consistently played with softening this style for seasons which houses like Coach and Calvin Klein are catching onto. Perhaps the most unpredictable and most predictable was Balenciaga, whose overcheck tweeds became giant blanket-like coats that were impossible to escape. If anything, designers are really concerned we’re going to be cold and underdressed this Fall. Prepare your closet. (And maybe stop by some thrift and vintage stores to steal the look.)
My Harlequin Romance
One of the funniest present personalities in the shows was that of the harlequin. From playful, dainty jester styles to jewelry box deep reds and deep purples cut with deep greens, there was a transportive vibe suggesting designers were hoping to update the court’s comedic relief. Most obviously harlequin were Gypsy Sport with their cut-and-paste red/green plays, Pigalle‘s bold color blocking around dainty forms, and John Elliot’s sweeps from two-toned maroon and teal to deep purple plays. Smaller harlequin dips were found in Public School‘s maroons, Calvin Klein green days, and Dior‘s often ridiculous sensitive playboy wears. This is a new way to suggest fun male fashion but, really, no one should get too excited about diamond print which did show up at Hermés.
The Fuccboi Cometh
Ugh. Here we are again. Designers are obsessed with hitting the 1% and 99% and repeatedly are appropriating styles of the historically “low class”—or upwardly mobile—onto runways, in ways that strip these normal brands of their normalcy as an attempt to re-gift them to poor people from rich people. It’s making me insane even though the results aren’t visually cloying. For example: Louis Vuitton with Supreme. I love it! What a perfect combination. But also: what a disgusting fuccboi pandering. Junya Watanbe did it too with North Face and Carhartt appearances in his show. Taking this streetwear reference in a different direction by creating new fuccboi canons was Dior‘s ironic introduction of “Hardior,” a faux line of hardcore styles that even featured moshing men as a print, and Balenciaga, whose Bernie Sanders apparel seems like a grab for Killer Mike and Ed Droste. Lanvin‘s windbreakers had a similarly odd effect in that it tried to recreate the hi-techno boy style, dorky males millennials who wear Starter™ jackets and windbreakers with sports tees in jest. All of this is to say that maleness is in a hangover of what we assume maleness to be. Designers are happy to take advantage of that by appealing to chest puffing styles that people will spend an entire paycheck on in order to look cool.
Velvet is going to be huge for women in Fall 2017 and I’m happy to report that it will be just as big for men. Why is this good news? Because it’s so fucking precious and non-male, a nice follow up to all the agro fuccboi wears designers are pushing. Velvet into suede feel distinctly seventies and eighties but designers including Ann Demeulemeester, Billy Reid, Maison Martin Margiela, Balenciaga, Hermés, and Études took note. Acne felt it important to dedicate the majority of their collection to plushy plump stuffed animal boys and Orley‘s inclusion of velvety suedes (At least I think they’re suede?) helped to elevate the collection’s seventies reference point and offer an easy pin to the past. My favorite take on velvet came from my new love Pyer Moss who felt very nineties and bright with the inclusion of a velvety jacket that, when paired with leather and Reeboks, was a dazzling update of Your Friend’s Dad circa 1996. Brilliant.
Craft ruled and, while this could be seen as poor co-opting, I mostly was dazzled with how many collections seemed to have had a grandmother consult to pull off the looks. Most obvious was J.W. Anderson, whose crocheted blanket wear and quilted kneepads were very much rec room attire. Pigalle also quilted their kneepads while Calvin Klein literally used quilts as coat liner and opted to just make grandma’s plastic couch a coat. Maybe this is commentary that Klein is old school and gross? Perhaps. Giant blanket-scarves were literally huge suggesting Balenciaga wants you to walk in bed while Études wants you wrapped in the same blankets that they sometimes knitted themselves. Quilting and quilted garments are going to be all over the fucking place most emblematic by Dries Van Noten but there were many, many other designers who took this grandma tool to heart. It’s cool to be an old lady if you are a man!