Credits: Dior – Moschino – Arthur Avellano – MSGM
Credits: Dior – Moschino – Arthur Avellano – MSGM
One of the main narratives of the Fall 2021 Menswear shows was the life of the infamous mountaineer. The increased interest for outdoors and a survival aesthetics was translated into a powerful narrative of experiencing nature’s magnitude combined with a rather functional design approach.
Collections drew inspirations from winter sports, outdoor gear and protective workwear. Those practicality-driven garments were clashed with a more fashionable and youthful feel, so that the final looks were balancing between high-performance wear, techno gear and a retro-driven sophistication. With those more contemporarily polished and digital-ready creations, this trend is amping up menswear and stepping ahead of the over-interpreted military and utilitarian styles. This shift seems appropriate regarding the continuously increasing momentum of the outdoors sector, but need for novelty and change. With the quest to find new camouflages for this outdoors-trend, designers got inspired by natural structures or elements rooted in digital spheres. The effect : an alluring array of gently abstracted outerwear!
The menswear show’s have presented a variety of dark characters, which seems to be an unavoidable result of the pandemic and post-pandemic era. Currently immense pressures are put on to society, which challenge public order and social responsibilities. Simultaneously, the individual who is facing uncertainty, loneliness, depression and anxiety, has to cope with chaos and adapt to a new reality as an individual as well. Frustration is leading to a revival of rebellious punk and goth movements, who have seemingly found a sense of coping on subcultural common ground before. Slightly (post-)apocalyptic aesthetics, driven by spheres of a more mystical digital world are also translating in to this darker sentiment. Since an overload of rather negative emotion has hit some people during the crisis, designers are now trying to balance those sentiment and off-set sorrow and resentment with their creative abilities. Black-on-Black looks, Reconstruction, Slogans, Metal Details and an individualistic sense of self are driving the look of this revolution from the shadows. Behind a rather invasive and war-like aesthetic, a powerful and survivalist feel is surfacing and nodding towards glimpses of hope for the future.
Credits: Comme des Garcons – Dolce & Gabbana – Yohji Yamamoto – Kidill
Credits: K-Way – OAMC – Louis Vuitton – Prada
The idea of being back to travel and commute, both work and leisure related, surfaces a new trend-direction for future travelers and commuters on the FW21 shows. The rather retro-futuristic interpretation of formalwear unconsciously questions archaic structures and cultural identity through its uniform character. The unified character subsequently creates a democratic look of inclusivity, that translates into a more abstract and intellectual idea of unity and what it means to be human today and in the future. This homogeneity channels new ideas on solidarity, acceptance and harmony. Apart from that, the feeling of those new-traveller looks, which include sleek tailoring silhouettes, Matrix-like coats, functionality driven accessories like gloves or rubber-boots, and elevated basics with a luxurious feel, captures a highly clinical mood. This clear and austere feeling comes as no surprise, as traveling will still be connected to a lot of safety-measures regarding sterility and health. The feeling of futuristic uniforms, that seem to have protective future-driven qualities and the reassuring element of crisp and traditional tailoring create a very timeless, almost time-traveling narrative. It feels like the passengers of tomorrow are moving through new digital spheres, realities, space and finally the actual world, all at once.
A new theme emerges on the FW21 runway, that develops beyond common gender bias and codes of geographic locations. This new theme defines a dandyish narrative, which balances a fresh look of hyper-masculine elements and more gender-fluid key pieces. Main inspiration is drawn from the more fancy subcultures in history and adding their slightly polished and narcissistic touch to the style. Combining preppy and dressy elements from multiple eras, like the 1970s Lovers Rock scene or the 80s Metrosexuals or the early 2000s intellectual Ivy League Students, looking like-you-own-the-place is the goal.The rather fitted and slightly feminine retro-features are clashed with streetwear accessories and integrated into edgy almost techno-like color stories for a new, contemporary look. This dandy-trend is about reimagining the macho and masculinity, as well as questioning new levels of luxury and redirecting male attire towards a more accepting and individualistic path. Casablanca captured this story perfectly within a twisted Monaco dream , including formula-1, the casino and a vision of largely hedonistic lifestyles within flamboyant and dressed-up styles, that also reference elements of the modern rap-scene. The dandy-trend adds an opposing and fresh narrative to the current dominance of utility and elevated basic pieces on the menswear market and opens up a dialogue about masculinity that is long overdue.
Credits: Casablanca – Vêtements – Etro – Casablanca
Credits: Nick Fouquet – Yunja Wantanabe – Children of Disordence – L.Vuitton
On the FW21 menswear runways a trend-narrative around more eclectic and cultural nomads emerged. This trend draws inspiration from nature, community, craft and culture and underlines their connection, which has shown to be soothing to a lot of people during the pandemic. Combining the reassuring qualities of ancient tradition and culture with outdoors-appropriate designs are giving a deeply connected and more purposeful direction to menswear. For FW21, the prospect of a digital-nomad life and the continuously growing immersion into nature will accelerate this revival of folkloric yet utilitarian styles. Aesthetically the combination of streetwear and workwear elements with prestigious craft and artistry are creating a well-balanced visual. A feeling of contemporary wilderness and a rediscovery of cultural heritage are the result of chunky knits, artful finishes and a hand-made feel. The respectful mix of patterns mixes multiple communities and their traditions across different timelines is key and infuses this theme with a colorful bohemian and patchwork aesthetic. The uniquely functional and comfy pieces have long-lasting qualities and meaningful stories to tell, which appeals to a variety of menswear clients across several generations and geographies.
One of the most creative, yet not surprising categories (due to the comfort and loungewear-craze),was the knitwear category for those FW21 menswear shows. The knitwear had a growth of +40% this year and does not seem to give way for 2021. Highlights included ribbed loungewear one-piece suits and separates, which felt almost norm-core in their appearance. These full-body-suits generated an experimental and surprising feel for menswear. They are symbolic for the polarization of feelings, as their strangeness captures all the uncertain feelings that we feel right now and their clear representation of the body is offering an undisguised picture. For other knit-pieces, the variety of materials and construction was endless: Jacquards were knitted with rustic scenes or patterned with hyper-geometric motifs and fits and silhouettes were covered by a broad repertoire of shapes and styles. The necklines varied from turtle to polo to round and V; with yarns including mohair, Shetland wool and more. The finishings pulsated between hyper-creative craft and tradition and a more sleek and subtle premium style. As the need for coziness and comfort remains, freshness and innovation have hit this menswear category after the loungewear-fatigue has brought a rather dull connotation to knit products.
Credits: Etudes – Prada – Fendi – Undercover
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3 February 2021