Powerful prints and punchy colors brightened menswear runways for spring 2014; and with designers turning to color to make a statement, playful prints abounded. Subtle details like luxurious leather trims and soft neutrals cut through bright palettes, and kept even the most glaringly loud animal or floral prints fresh and understandable.
Collections like Giorgio Armani’s appropriately named “Digital Armani” made use of airy fabrics and laser cutting techniques to achieve the light shapes and relaxed silhouettes we’re expecting to see more of this year. Without telltale heavy seams or weighty linings, Armani’s menswear took on a casual kind of cool, made effortlessly luxe with rich materials.
Prada, Calvin Klein, and Gucci turned their eyes to the tropics, sampling cloud graphics, sun drenched prints, and exotic florals–sans the touristy kitsch. Traditional menswear materials were modernized with loose silhouettes to create a youthful, here and now kind of look. Miuccia Prada, whose last mens collection looked as if it belonged on the characters of Mad Men, consulted her history books again, this time hearkening back to the utilitarian tailoring of 40’s era suiting. It wasn’t all clean cuts and spartan tailoring though, silks and sumptuous prints alleviated any sense of austerity.
Missoni also honed in on the tropical trend, engaging colors inspired by the traditions and topography of West Africa–an increasingly popular trend that has been cropping up in both womenswear and menswear. Deep indigo and terra cotta hues bore reinterpreted traditional prints, and trim silhouettes made for slightly more fitted cuts.
Other trends mens fashion fanatics can expect to see as the season progresses are ankle cut pants, a phenomenon designer Giorgio Armani has described as sexy; a cleavage for men if you will. Also expect to see the continuance of the influence of streetwear, a la oversized shorts and loose suiting. Designers are undoubtedly moving away from leaner cuts, and are instead gravitating to slouchy, more relaxed fits. Models from Armani, Jil Sander and Ferragamo all swaggered down their respective runways sporting coolly oversized shorts.
Traditional tailoring is being turned on it’s head, and the focus is shifting away from precision. It’s all about the casual sensibility now. Roomy pants, slouching, purposefully disheveled blazers and sport coats are distinctly nonchalant yet still wholly accessible to the everyman. Even dressier peaked lapel dinner jackets and double-breasted suits have been given an informal air with deconstructed tailoring and unstudied, oversized fits. This season is the casual chic mans moment.