by Daniel Jameson, Fashion Editor
Though the weather outside is frightful, it serves as the ideal backdrop for reviewing the various trends that permeated the Fall 2013 Menswear shows, which just wrapped up in New York this past week. This season saw a return to classic patterns and shapes, recasting them through a modern lens in a grand ode to men’s fashion. And the best part? With such a laser focus on perfecting the basics, this new crop of offerings encapsulates the quintessential well-dressed gentleman, providing no better a time for guys to get into the groove of all things style.
Taking a nod from Spring 2013 womenswear, stripes invaded every facet of the contemporary man’s ensemble, but did so with a healthy dose of innovation. Amidst traditional variations like collegiate bold- and chest-stripe sweaters and pinstripe suits were novel forms, like textured-stripe chunky sweaters at Calvin Klein Collection and hard diagonal stripes at Fendi. However, because all of the patterns were grounded in the repetitive simplicity of the style, each iteration was still very easy to wear, providing just enough flair to keep things interesting.
Last fall’s playful manipulation of various geometric shapes into new, exciting patterns emerged again on the Fall 2013 runways, but this season saw an even sharper twist, with each style bringing on new dimensions to create a novel, patchwork effect. This technique was most clearly seen at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Alexander McQueen, where garments ranging from sweaters, pants and full suits adopted this collage quality in a variety of fabrics.
Perhaps the best beginner trend for guys just getting into fashion, a devotion to tailored minimalism provided the cornerstone this season upon which designers realized their respective visions. Brands across the globe showed every classic piece in the modern man’s wardrobe, carefully constructed to perfection, using the simplest designs cut from the highest quality fabrics. Highlights included most looks from iconic brands Prada, Burberry and Bottega Veneta, which each showed collections rooted in the purest image of their individual identities.
The double-breasted movement continued its domineering march throughout the Fall 2013 shows, casting a wide net of influence over the world of menswear. Nearly every brand in every city showed a jacket, blazer or coat in a double-breasted style, with some collections practically exploding with it: at Canali, over three-quarters of the looks featured something double-breasted. Thankfully, some diversity was found in the actual construction of each piece, seen with extra buttons placed closer together at Burberry, and in the variety of textiles used across the board.
Fall 2012’s trend of cropped leather jackets expanded this season to include any and all iteration of the bomber jacket, a slim cut, cropped jacket modeled after the style made famous by aviators in the 20th century. These variations included chunkier wool numbers at Salvatore Ferragamo and Dior, mixed media styles at Balenciaga, and even varsity jackets at Saint Laurent. In all, the cropped jacket silhouette was solidified as a year-round urban gentleman wardrobe essential.
Plaid and Pane
In addition to stripes, another two of menswear’s favorite patterns saw a much-needed comeback: Glen plaid and windowpane check. Each style, an intricate or simple repetition of larger box checks, respectively, wonderfully permeated overcoats, jackets and suits throughout the collections. Notable numbers included Glen plaid overcoats at Ami, both plaid and windowpane double-breasted suits at Dsquared2 and edgy windowpane looks at Michael Bastian.
As if answering the call of the biting cold that breezed through fashion’s capitals this past month, turtlenecks, the high-necked sweater style that saw a warm revival in recent years, grew to a chunkier heft, with special focus placed on the namesake collar. Brands like Balmain, Gucci and Tom Ford added some welcome bulk to their turtleneck collars, thickening them to an exaggerated degree that’s both functional and fashionable in the bitter cold. As an extra bonus, many designs were heavily ribbed or cable-knit, further increasing their allure through intricate texture.
Notes of Dust
Overall, the color palette of the season is one of rich fall colors, infused with a dusty quality that lowers the intensity of the tone, muting them so as to keep hues quiet, but present. From marigolds and army greens at Dries Van Noten to cobalts and purples at Dior to oxbloods at Calvin Klein, garments were dyed in a full spectrum of shades that appeared grounded in the sandy elements of the Earth. Indeed, the Earth played a vital role this fall not just as the transformative perspective of definitive color, but also as the natural, neutral base upon which everything grew, seen in reddish-brown clays, light olives and chalky tans.
All photos from Style.com