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— LOOK FOR TRENDS SURE TO BE PICKED UP BY WOMEN

Women love to copy menswear so, if you want to be really up on what is fashionable, you had better know what is going on in world of men’s couture.  Right now, that is Paris and the big runway shows for men’s designer accessories and clothing.

Trends cross over the men’s and women’s fashion lines with ease.  In the past, they usually only went one way: from menswear to womenswear.  Now, quite a lot of trends are starting up in the women’s camp, and being picked up by men.  It makes for an interesting couture picture!

Moving into Paris, we see lots of trends for the upcoming fall season.  They are dramatic, intense, and on the formal side.  Let’s take a look at the major movers:

Dark Victoriana

BLACK:  Wow!  If you want to adopt just one trend for next autumn, make it black and you will be way up on the fashion agenda.  Black is everywhere! Often, it takes on a post WWII look, mimic-ing the strongly European flavor of the Fifties, only with a slightly more formal tinge.

Paul Helbers, men’s studio director under the artistic direction of Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, takes a handsomely dark route with a men’s ensemble featuring a black houndstooth short coat over tight black pants.

Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver put forth a distinctive all-black outfit for Lanvin:  A black silk suit double lashed at the waist and worn under a black wool coat with strong shoulders and satiny lapels.     –No…this isn’t real formal wear, it’s meant for daytime business, although surely more New York than, say, Los Angeles.

And there is still more and more and more on the hot black runway.  At Dior Homme, a Victorian-touched outfit includes a full black suit with slightly shortened pants over shortie black and buckled boots, a big shouldered black raincoat, and a wide and long black wool scarf.  Very refined, citified.

­–At Yves Saint Laurent, more full black outfits included a suit with (eeeeks!) droopy crotch and cinched waist sash.

THE FLEUR-DE-LIS HAS LONG BEEN A CLASSIC FAVORITE SYMBOL IN MENSWEAR.  LOOK AT THESE TERRIFIC VALUES:

British Caps

Toppers, as the Brits might call them, are likewise prominent in menswear for fall.  Very British Isles chic are men’s caps, in solid darks or dark tweeds.  Hermes, for example, showed a good looking tweedy number just made for hiking the Scottish Highlands.

Junya Watanabe embraced trilby hats (like fedoras) for each outfit, some with unexpectedly creative touches.  A black suit, for example, sports motorcycle sleeves and fitted waist, managing to come off with a “made” Wise Guys feeling.

–Berets are yet another important accessory on the menswear line.  Look for them, again, in dark colors, sort of Paris Underground.  Tough.

HATS ARE ALWAYS POPULAR WITH MEN.  LOOK AT THESE FOR GREAT FASHION AT A GREAT PRICE:

Big News

A wide selection of materials was another “big news” fashion factor Paris.  So was an ecclesiastical story, complete with monk’s habits, clergy collars, even ruffled bibs.  Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisei took this so far he even chose Ave Maria to be played while he paraded his collection down the runway.

Then, there were offbeat Givenchy touches, like a gold necklace worn over a white shirt and looking like a bird’s nest.

Belts have never been so big.  These include double wrapped belts galore, some in heavy western-like leather, others in silky sashes.  Many belts also featured hang-offs, like a small flask shown by Dunhill.

Belts tend to underwrite the emphasis on the waist that is very big this year.  At Ann Demeulemeester, a tied and knotted black cording over dropped-crotch gave a new, different look.

Feminine Touches

While much of the fashion seen for fall is literally dripping with testosterone, here and there is an unexpected soft accessory.  For example, Hermes showed a very lacy white Victorian-looking pocket hanky with a tweed jacket, and at Viktor & Rolf, a lacy bib gave an unusual appearance over a dark shirt and pants outfit.

We can’t finish without mentioning all the stripes flashing their way across the men’s fashion scene.  Wide stripes.  Narrow stripes.  Horizontal stripes.  Vertical stripes.  Material cut into stripes.  Can we say any more?

At agnes b., a hooded black sweat with white stripes was a terrific look for fall.  At Dior Homme, material stripes gave a distinctive look to a long over shirt.  At Dries Van Noten, a red and white stripe over a bright blue vest stood out dramatically.

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, February 15th, 2010


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