Last month’s Fashion Week flurry of Spring/Summer 2016 Men’s Collections staged in London, Paris and Milan revealed both distinct trends and divergences among presenting designers. In an attempt to unravel and decipher what some fashion pundits suggested was an ‘anything goes’ hodgepodge of trends in men’s fashion, I ran a social media analysis in NetBase.
The resulting Crosstab analyses in this post is an attempt to provide a glimpse of some of the themes pervading men’s fashion, where they might intersect, and to identify brands leading the narrative.
The Paris Men’s collection garnered significantly higher discussion around Street Style—both on and off the runway—further underscored by mentions of leisure attire. Discussion about sneakers and the prominent parading of designer brands at shows—worn by models and attendants—reinforced the notable design trend toward more casual athleisure and unstructured men’s designs.
Many fashion pundits tap Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent for his vital role in leading the pack, since his Dior days and before, in influencing luxury labels in the fine art of the grunge factor.
To some designers, this grunge factor has been otherwise reinterpreted in renditions of highly tailored, even appliquéd, ultra casual gender boundary-pushing designs that riff on street style and 60’s punk. Slimane, as it were, is highly regarded for his first-hand research rigor on the subject and meticulous attention to detail.
However, tailoring has not been sacrificed for casual allure or relaxed deportment. In fashion parlance, refined tailoring is accompanied by an attitude, one that, ideally, singularizes the label and design house from season to season.
Designers at the European Men’s shows were also applauded for their fine tailoring, in the bespoke tradition, as noted in the Crosstab analysis. Designs included techniques usually found in women’s fashion, including appliqué and the use of embroidery and lace, often sewn onto layers.
Coinciding with the appliqué trend—dominated in Paris by Burberry and Gucci among the designers we analyzed—is the gender-bending social media discussion attributed as bold statements of fashion androgyny.
In an analysis of nine fashion labels presenting at the European Men’s Collections, Ralph Lauren led social media discussion on leisure wear, whereas Gucci and Chanel (followed by Dior, Burberry and Lauren) spawned discussion on the retro/nostalgic theme. Gucci dominated the discussions on several themes: appliqué, gender neutrality, sneakers and retro/nostalgia.
More high-end and luxury designers are jumping into the sneaker market, too, clearly revealed at the Paris Men’s shows in the Crosstab analysis chart above. Prominently featured in the discussion are Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Versace.
We have yet to discover whether the same thematic narratives and brand values will transcend or riff Europe’s on the New York City stage. As New York Fashion Week: Men’s prepares to strut the catwalk next week, more will be revealed. The show will be presented by Amazon’s fashion sites – including Amazon Fashion, East Dane, and MyHabit, among others.