The fall menswear collections can serve as an early indication of the moods and trends that will take root when the fall RTW collections are presented in February/March. But, as the first few days of Menswear Fall 2017 have unfolded in London it has been difficult to find recurring themes. The Savile Row tailoring and the dandy British silhouettes that we’ve come to expect in London have been missing here. The good news is that the wild creativity and eccentricity associated with London design is on display. Expectations are dashed as rules are broken and youth culture is playing a big role.
Welcome to Menswear Fall 2017 – The British Touch
As in the Spring and Pre-fall 2017 collections, designers of more than a few fall menswear collections were influenced by the 1970’s. For Joseph this took the form of wide lapel collars and elongated silhouettes. For J.W. Anderson it came in the form of crochet panels on sleeves and scarves and a few nods to military dress. A comfortable theme for menswear, military also showed up in the overcoats of Kent & Curren and the camouflage designs of Christopher Raeburn.
Other designers offered up the iconic British originality, challenging the norms of gender dressing. Wales Bonner and Martine Rose blurred the masculine/feminine divide with skilled tailoring and unexpected fabric mixes. Vivienne Westwood’s brilliance sparkled in a full-on co-ed collection showcasing deconstructed looks that, while at first glance may have seemed a bit over-the-top, still managed to have a wide array of solid, wearable separates.
Departing from the tailored looks of the past two seasons, a more casual vibe was on display here. For fall 2017 comfortable, cozy looks ruled. Edward Cruchtley’s relaxed shapes and velvet track suits and What We Wear’s easy, streetwear looks provided a new definition of simple luxury. For Cottweiler, a camping theme played out in their casual looks, while for Christopher Raeburn it was track suits in parachute fabrics or cozy sweats with shearling detail. You could feel the snuggle in the elongated chunky knits from J.W. Anderson.
Still, some designers stuck closer to home focusing on widely recognized strengths. This season Private White V.C. added pops of color to their classics for a welcome twist. Sibling’s strong knits were updated in a surprising explosion of color and pattern for both men and women. Belstaff, that venerable label with a heritage of luxury outerwear classics staged a fully co-ed presentation of easy, tailored looks that evoked seafaring adventures.
Once again for fall 2017 outerwear plays a prominent role in the menswear collections, appearing as hero to amp up the drama and luxe quotients and to help define a designer’s creative vision. And shearling, with its plush texture and design flexibility, was perfect for making just the right statement.