|Aiden Andrews in Prada S/S 2013. Photo: The Fashionisto|
I wouldn't say I'm disappointed with the season thus far, but my reaction to the shows has surprised me a little bit. It's all relative. Because I've been so focussed on wearable menswear (as opposed to high fashion menswear) for the past six months, anything that extends beyond the bounds of what the average well-dressed guy could conceivably throw on and pull off is suddenly ludicrous to me. So on the first day, I was looking at Burberry with its metallic shirting or Jil Sander with its sleeveless three quarter length coats and shaking my head. But the more I see, the easier it is to understand the direction things are heading.
Take Prada, for example: It's a collection of very basic menswear – suiting, polo shirts, tee shirts, etc – but look at the colour combinations – navy, sky blue, maroon, beige and grass green – wait a few months and you'll see them popping up everywhere. And that's the crux, at the end of the day. We look at Pitti Uomo for outfit inspiration, Milan for trends in suiting and the next big thing (generally always revealed by Prada), and Paris for futuristic techno menswear and/or men's couture (courtesy of Raf Simons, Lanvin and now Saint Laurent).
You know how you listen to a song for the first time and don't think much of it, but then 25 listens later and you're hooked? I always think fashion's like that. A new idea is floated, most people think it's crazy, but then the early adopters pick it up, and the next generation of influencers gets into it, then it trickles down the food chain until it becomes mass market and passé (skinny jeans on men is the perfect example). I'll look back on that Burberry show in six months' time and go – duh, metallic shirting on men. Of course. Or maybe I'll look back on it in six months' time and go – nope, still crazy. Who knows?
Only one thing's for sure: Saint Laurent is the show to watch this season. What will Hedi Slimane do? And if it's a buyers presentation only, who will sneak a camera in to show us photos?
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