Fall/Winter 2015-16 marks the last main season lacking a New York Fashion week: Men’s. The French and Italian houses’ Bordeaux brushed, neo-seventies styles toast British designers, famous for bending binary lines and breaking creative constructs. Though the CFDA announced New York Fashion Week: Men’s after designers conceptualized their winter wears for European runways, all knew London’s male-fashion ownership faced American sportswear dilution. At it’s July debut, critics slapped a “far less adventurous” than London label on New York Men’s Spring 2016 catwalks. Still, Brittan’s safety is not guaranteed.
Critics consider fashion synonymous with inventive clothing. Though by fashion’s definition, clothing is designer created and fashion is buyer determined. Europe’s peacock pieces, months separated from men’s market week, must face different analysis than American shows attempting merchant-readiness on the runway. Fashion is mass-accepted clothing, what the bloggers with far wider reaches than traditional critics buzz about. New York fashion has no time to trickle down, so with wearability it eliminates the process. As designers trend to distinctiveness, years could take American’s away from adapting European designs. And with that, Europe holds less ties to the clothing appropriated, the fashion.
Because the winter European shows walked in the interim of customers wanting instant access and spring 2016s instantaneous fashion system, runway items look more whimsical than wearable even in the season they should live. Specialty stores made less use of styles needing trickle-down, like Loewe and J.W. Anderson’s androgynous designs.
Express, and Hugo boss took passes at touching Europe’s most prevalent runway trends. Burberry and Fendi’s full shearlings and Paul Smith and Dunhill’s full furs found no fits in their edits. J. Crew and Club Monaco successfully added fleecy shearling collars to casual coats like wool bombers, though it was far from being the center of their designs.
Merchants instead bought great volumes of the few details they could pull right off the runways. Roll collars, patchworks and plaids, looser-fit pants, sweaters, leather, and longer-line coats crowd store windows. Despite runways of rich, wine-colors and light-catching suits seen in Valentino and Alexander McQueen’s collections, ready-to-wear takes rugged vibe. General uses of texture and baggier fits were two of the few details that trickled-down, which when done in less grand materials and silhouettes, have leisure-like feel. Because men still need some workplace sleekness, buyers held onto a cool-undertone palettes, bringing dominance and distance to warmer silhouettes and textures. Browns, burgundy, and olive touches are more accent than centerpieces in the shop collections.
Casual shirts in plaids, donegals, chambrays, and horizontal stripes are the new closet staple. Men can purchase them oversized, to throw them on partially-buttoned and untucked over tight turtleneck t-shirts. Selvedge jeans cuffed right above the shoe’s top or slim-straight cuts with no break mute the more adventurous apparel.
For a classic look, men can style the same casual shirt under a blazer of similar undertones. They reference the season’s casualty by forgetting the tie altogether, or choosing a tie in textures or flannel-like patterns. A wool pocket square creates the same warmth. Wearing the tops with trousers in contrasting undertones or jeans also draws on a leisurely style.
For the mall or a movie, the casual shirt-blazer partnership can be put with slim sweat pants. It also looks comfy under a tight zip-hoodie and layered under a shrunken leather jacket. Tennis shoes in heather grey and taupe canvas colors, or a white matte leather, dominate as casual footwear this season.
In a more professional workplace, men can wear the classic blazer over a turtleneck sweater, or plain dress shirt with a textured tie. Prints and textures are reserved for the blazer and tie, rather than the dress shirt. The shirt adds balance to a bulky-knit a button down or Henley sweater. Ties can tuck into sweaters or shirt collars can be left more unbuttoned when men choose to go without a tie.
Fall’s trousers have a creases and are cut to fall straight or taper minimally in from the thigh, ending in either one break or none. Dress shoes are laced in boot or oxford styles of dark, matte leathers. Accessories like wool scarfs and wool-Donegal baseball caps add newness to seen-before styles. Jewelry and watches are a mix of brass and leather. The leather wallet gets an update when tweed crafts its center-front.
A Nordic parka or wool or tweed jacket in car, topcoat, bomber, or pea coat shapes are perfect clothing companions for colder days. A gritty fleece pullover recalls this season’s runway shearling without bordering into the too trendy to wear comfortably zone.
In short, the fashion leans to the casual side with strong Scandinavian influences. Though rough and masculine, the textures and less-crisp shapes lend the look approachability and ease rather than distance. This is a much softer season for men; their style friendly, warm, and wise. Where the runway toasted Brittan, the shops created a pub scene. Like merriness makes a drink, it too makes a fashion.
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