01 | Creature Comforts
Call it spa dressing or casa couture, but the move towards cosy, relaxed looks that envelope the wearer was a direct response to the months spent in lockdown. Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Tom Ford proposed different versions of the dressing gown: Vuitton’s roomy interpretation came with a hood, Fendi’s subtly monogrammed version was padded in down and Tom Ford’s hedonistic ’70s tendencies were on full display in his retro floral print velvet version. Huge “comforters” were spotted at Dolce & Gabbana and Marni, but it was perhaps Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, in their first menswear outing for Prada, who succinctly summed up the mood with their ingenious take on long johns, a onesie that swaddled the wearer.
02 | Go Big
This season, pants are huge — literally. Their Botero-esque proportions might appear imposing, but the point here is not to confront but to comfort — who wants tight, constrictive clothing right now? Martine Rose’s chaps came with snap openings on the side while Dries Van Noten’s grey wool version was tailored to fall into an elegant puddle at the ankle; JW Anderson, on the other hand, designed his to stick out at the hip, almost like panniers — its clown-like proportions are further enhanced by a yellow and brown chequerboard print that makes it hard to not stop and stare at its wit and absurdity.
03 | In The Trenches
There isn’t much new ground to break in menswear. The basic tropes of shirt, trouser and jacket — with the odd coat thrown in — are the building blocks of every man’s wardrobe. That being said, they provide designers with the groundwork from which to map out their explorations. The trench coat, in this instance, has been dissected, redesigned and reimagined in every way conceivable: from Louis Vuitton’s sweeping statement to the willowy hit-man version at Saint Laurent and Riccardo Tisci’s minimalist take, sans collar, for Burberry.
04 | We Can Be Heroes
From medieval knights to regal Maharajas, a sense of majesty and decoration imbued collections from Dior to Burberry, and Yohji Yamamoto. The latter adorned his signature black tailoring with multiple straps that ran the length of the jacket, while Vuitton took the inspiration literally, applying black cords on a boxy red cropped jacket. Burberry’s hint of regalia took the form of a gold fringe on a utilitarian pea coat, with a bottom half that was rendered in plush black velvet. Balenciaga created armoured thigh-high boots, styled with ripped jeans and worn with everyday pieces like hoodies and parkas, further blurring the lines between reality and fantasy by presenting the show as a virtual game with avatars dressed up in the latest collection.
05 | Vested Interest
A peculiar trend that started cropping up in the past few seasons has finally made its presence fully felt. The vest — typically a transitional garment that’s worn when it gets chilly — naturally lends itself to being layered. As seen at Hermés, Homme Plissé Issey Miyake and Louis Vuitton, the knit vest was styled over shirts to varying effects ranging from preppy to zen-like. When worn over a short-sleeved sweater at Fendi, it exuded an innocent boyish charm. Stefan Cooke’s slightly oversized version, rendered with a Fair Isle motif, was styled over a T-shirt, offering the most realistic proposition of the lot. It’s a great way to update your look with just a single item.