(Published in Instep, The News on 25th January, 2015)
Paris and Milan fashion circles may be replete with mammoth names like Gucci, Prada and Corneliani but fashion and style runs way deeper among the Brits and is not only limited to red carpet glitz and runway showmanship.
The best thing about British fashion sensibility is its adaptability and street value; style is something that comes naturally to Brits and is discernibly distinctive, effortless and devoid of gimmicks. It is no surprise that some of the most fashion forward menswear high street brands (ASOS, River Island and Topshop to name a few) and celebrated menswear icons (David Gandy, Oliver Cheshire, Eddie Redmayne and Colin Firth) hail from good old England. Brits are undoubtedly mavens when it comes to street style and it is for this primacy that their bi-annual menswear showcase London Collections: Men is the most cutting edge and fashion forward stop in the menswear fashion week European circle that takes off from London and ends in Paris.
One could write endlessly about the fashion on display at LC:M A/W 2015 but there were certain palpable trends in the four day showcase that could be identified by their malleability and relevance with our local fashion climate.
And since our menswear style game is still run-off-the-mill and average at best parting few exceptions, here are a few trends from the London runway that are do-able, gel well with the social norm and will definitely give you an edge over rest of the straight fit-jeans and hoodie wearing crowd.
Chunky knitwear sweaters might generally give off the dorky/nerd vibe but nerdy is cool these days; just ask Benedict Cumberbatch or Eddie Redmayne – two Oscar nominees of this year. Whether it’s the Aztec print or the stripes, knits are stylish and warm. Just stay clear of turtle necks and you are good to go.
Leather is passe, leather trimmings are not. While leather jackets have stormed the market, the concept of using leather or faux leather subtly for trimmings and lining is a relatively new one. From Coach to Pringle of Scotland and YMC to Tiger of Sweden, a lot of shows featured leather in one way or the other but the imperceptible and delicate use of leather was a theme concurrent among all these shows.
STRUCTURE AND SHAPE:
Since most men stay wary of experimenting with colour and style much, playing with cuts and layers is a reasonable alternative – the look is dapper, comfortable and involves little experimentation. The Kilgour collection at LC:M featured coats and jackets in interesting geometric cuts in varying shades of grey with fashion forward structures being offset by a monotonous colour palette.
Colour is a concept that has unfazed Pakistani men since long. The very thought of wearing colour (in western wear) makes men fizzy and run for the hills, partly because the art of incorporating colour to everyday looks is an art lost on most of us. LCM was a thorough tutorial on how to wear colour without overdoing it. Incorporating restrained accents into your everyday look can bring matters to a whole new level whether it’s done via a cheery coloured tie or a scarf underneath your jacket, a punchy pocket square or a colourful sweater or a shirt beneath the outerwear, a little colour goes a long way.
OUTERWEAR IS COOL:
…And no, a hoodie doesn’t count as outerwear. Outerwear encompasses slick sports blazers, fitted biker jackets and oversized coats and trenches; you can’t go wrong with any of these. They are in-season, in-vogue and always a safe bet. Coach’s long coats and parkas and Belstaff’s fitted biker jackets perfectly fit the description.
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