With all the runways for Spring 2017 menswear out, it’s time to take a step back and ingest what themes and similarities the shows have. Are there any? Yes, there are quite a few—for better or worse. Consider this your fashionable inspiration boards on how to dress next year at this time: these are the moods of Spring 2017 menswear.
Dovetailing this upcoming season’s bagginess into next Spring, we’re going to be seeing lots of coats…for Spring. They aren’t actually coats but large jackets that are light and long and big and baggy, like cool trash bags or something thereabouts. Perhaps it’s a nineties nostalgia thing based in the hi-tech no boy? Probably not. Or perhaps this style is a reaction to climate change fucking with our temperatures and a need to “be prepared” for the elements at any moment’s notice. Maybe? That would be slightly brilliant. The most direct designs within this idea were Versace—who created flowing, taffeta activewear—and Prada, who brought a sweaty sense of urban hiking to jacketing. Dries Van Noten and Givenchy offered detailed, patterned mashes to jacketing and AMI embraced a balance between grand—mére bodega coat and industrial cool. There were some high end favorites though: Balenciaga kept their streak of exaggerated office riffing going in a fantastic way while Comme des Garçons created an entirely clear collection of trenches. Get ready to sweat in your sacks.
Look. Fucking camouflage, hunting, military, etc. fashion is the biggest god damned cliché in menswear as it represents our gender, ideas of masculinity, and Americanness / politicalness which makes it a great area for “riffing” or “joking” about men’s fashion. We get it. Its old and, at this point, it’s so predictable that it blends into the past, present, and future of menswear, rolling off the back of your eyes into the dumping grounds of cliché. Not only can 99% of “camo” and “military” inspired ware be bought at an Army / Navy Store, rarely do they have anything that exciting about them or anything that searingly political: this is clothing from the barren lands of uninspiration. Yet, it is to be observed because it was impossible not to because it is going to be fucking everywhere…again. Ugh. Anyway, the rundown: Moncler Gamme Bleu offered adorable queer Boy Scouts; Port 1961 riffed on military insignias; Dries Van Noten offered some pattern clashing; Jil Sander muted the camo (but it was still camo); Nasir Mazhar did future P.T. realness; Sandro created naval forms; Givenchy did a “funny,” Banksy mashing of military and money; and Valentino did the worst, most obvious use of military everything.
In light of the “groundbreaking” Vetements show from Fall 2016, there’s been a surge of high brow houses backhandedly collaborating with low class, utilitarian, extremely blue collar brands by embracing their logos. This is all a sideways way of presenting ironic nineties brand nostalgia and, really, is just frustrating because why even try at all if rich people are going to parody poor people, in dress? It’s annoying—and it’s a trend that makes the sartorial advertorial. This is certainly a trend that needs to die as it’s already yielding so many insufferable think pieces but, alas, more people are adopting this “SHOW ME THE MONEY!!” ideology: we can expect to keep dressing this way through next year at this time (and then see a sharp dropoff into basics). People are doing this in different ways: Astrid Anderson turned to the self for advertising, making clothing into billboards; Prada didn’t officially collaborate but their wears were distinctly inspired by the return of Tevas™; Raf Simons did something cool and annoying by plastering his laundry bags with Robert Mapplethorpe™ imagery; and Gosha Rubchinskiy presented Fila™, House Of Holland presented Heinz™ Baked Beans™, and Port 1961 presented Everlast™. Confused as to why this is annoying or troubling? Branding is being subbed in for creativity, which then means our “creative dressing” is branding. Is this response to the concept of the “personal brand” being so common? Who the fuck knows.
This is a trend currently happening now but turned more specifically to the most popular citrus: the orange. But brands aren’t only going for that golden glow but are instead embracing the entire tree, folding the orange with the leaves, landing somewhere in a delicious red-orange-coral and evergreen army teal. It’s a delicious combination! This is the warmest, most exciting mood on the board. Carven does orange with a Euro Dad weekend resorting sense while AMI did tangerine zippered vacations in a more muted way. Craig Green‘s interpretation was as delightful scatterplot of wrapped up groves with Topman taking on a similar, lovely palette. Gucci was perfect, again, expressing oranges through blossoms. Katie Eary‘s orange was a bit sunfaded to pinks, which was cute, while Lou Dalton had a welcome athleticism, the only maker to make “athleisure” seem non-leisurely. The most surprising was Rick Owens who presented a handful of warm orange/cool green flowers on creamy, sweeping, sandy silhouettes.
Like bagginess, stripes are going to continue from Fall into Spring. But, instead of focusing on post-stripe gradients, we’re going back to edgy stripes that zig-zag and crisscross themselves into stripes on stripes on stripes. Yipes! Think of this as pattern play turned in on the self, reflecting on years of mish-mashing for sideways matchy-matching. AMI’s look at stripes was the bellwether: they brought limited shirting that featured vertical striping. That was followed by Alexander McQueen, who chunked the style even further, into Dries Van Noten‘s zigzagging onto zigzags. Lanvin broke this into micro-plaids and blurred rainbows which Christopher Kane carried into as well. J.W. Anderson went off the wall, taking his striping into many patterned directions while Moncler Gamme Bleu used their military, Boy Scout base to examine post-Burberry plaid into plaid into plaid.
So. Those are the moods of Spring 2017 menswear! It’s what we’ll all be “wearing” next year “at this time.” What do you think? Are you annoyed or excited about these vomitous trends? Did you notice anything particularly interested? Tweet me what you think, people.