Male Fashion’s Heritage


At the menswear shows for autumn/winter 2016, one thing was crystal clear: they were all about the past. About each brand’s heritage. About the large fashion houses’ inexhaustible archives that have become sources of inspiration for new trends and new perspectives this autumn.

Where is Saint Laurent? This was a question that kept bothering the front row at the menswear shows in Paris: Saint Laurent was nowhere to be seen. They say that the new collection will be presented in LA, which leaves a lot of room for speculation as to what star designer Hedi Slimane is up to next. He’ll no doubt keep us wondering a while. Slimane can even count fashion god Karl Lagerfeld among his most enthusiastic fans. The latter even lost 45 kilos just so that he could squeeze himself into one of Slimane’s characteristically slim suits when Slimane had taken over the reins at Dior.

Louis Vuitton Kim Jones has analysed the heritage of Louis Vuitton and decided to intertwine the old Paris with the new, thereby further entrenching the company in its hometown. (Which he also talks about in our interview "Keep up with Kim Jones".) “Future Heritage” was the fitting title he gave the show. It is all about what lies ahead for heritage, turning your mind to what is already there and making it future-proof with a sort of creative rejuvenation. With new materials or surprisingly distorted quotations from art deco or the applied arts that defined the tastes of the 1920s. You can find work jackets and blousons, jackets turned inside out and trench coats here, as well as navy blue Louis Vuitton suitcases that point to the company’s origins as a manufacturer of high-quality luggage. The suitcase as an accessory is very much in for A/W 2016. From the briefcase to the micro case, it is the bag to wear this autumn.

Kiton The pieces on display are but the tip of the iceberg in the realm of this luxury Neapolitan men’s tailor. Bespoke tailoring that even comprises T-shirts and jumpers – and now sportier outfits, too – without ever becoming too loud. 350 tailors sew here by hand. Kiton is synonymous with perfection paired with an understanding of Italian fashion that has evolved over several decades, as well as a level of comfort that is simply beyond the reach of machine-manufactured clothing.

Valentino The designer duo Chiuri and Piccioli is taking a trip into the world of the wild and the nonconformist, right through the fringes of society: the existentialists, the punks, the Beat Generation, the Burroughs – all the way to the Pearly Kings and Queens (a London charity whose members sew mother-of-pearl buttons onto their clothes to attract attention). From polo neck jumpers to embroidered suits, from punk checks to studded woollen coats, this collection is about men being the protagonists of their fashion, about fashion as an expression of men’s histories, say the designers. Even if Valentino’s version is a rather more reserved retelling of the original.

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