Men’s fashion: five key trends

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Men’s fashion: five key trends” was written by Priya Elan, for The Guardian on Friday 21st October 2016 11.00 UTC

1 The third-year student cramming for exams


The “day three of finals” look has been perfected in this year’s autumn/winter collections. It’s one we can all relate to: wide-eyed from overcaffeination, and inexplicably covered head to foot in Biro. Why has it resonated with designers so much this season? Maybe because it’s not hard to draw a parallel between the mad panic of the atelier’s deadline and that of a student’s exam essay. Take that silhouette: untucked with bits of fabric trailing may look relaxed and layered, but we see it as more “couldn’t really be bothered to get dressed”. There’s a hint of insomnia and last night’s kebab.

Index-finger-length shirt sleeves to hold nervously like a security blanket as you try to remember the true meaning of Proust’s madeleine? Thank you, Maison Margiela, Prada and Raf Simons. Pyjamas worn by day, because you’ve fallen into a twilight hinterland of vampire-like living and can’t remember what month it is? Cheers Fendi, Gucci and Cavalli.

2 The 90s clubber

Astrid Anderson - Runway - London Collections Men AW16
Astrid Andersen. Photograph: Getty

Thanks to the closure of Fabric, the clubber as we knew him (and her) has been relegated to the chillout room for all of eternity. Luckily for us, the look of the nightclub regular has been preserved for catwalk posterity.

We’re not talking about the breed of discoball regular who wears a bucket hat, has a glow stick in one hand and an apple sour in the other. No, this is the type of high-end clubber who exists exclusively behind a perfectly preserved velvet rope. He is quite possibly a minor member of a boy band or a semi-regular on Casualty. His padded jacket (by Raf Simons or Ami) is XXXL and is the biggest you’ve ever seen, verging on silly. Does it need its own postcode, or a cameo in a Missy Elliott video?

His other looks are equally alpha and OTT: there’s the shiny, foil jacket that looks like one Puff Daddy might have worn in the pre-JLo days (Astrid Andersen, Calvin Klein Collection) and the faux fur coat (a bit Benny and Björn from Abba, via Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi and Burberry) that shouts, very loudly: “I have two free drinks tokens!”

3 The born-again jogger

Christopher Shannon - Presentation - London Collections Men AW16
Christopher Shannon. Photograph: Getty

Fashion is no longer a backstage bacchanalia of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. It’s all green juices, competitive spin classes and wheat-free recipes from goop.com. The sartorial revolution in sportswear hasn’t so much changed the way we dress as allowed us to go from our morning gym session to the office wearing the same outfit (let’s all hope there’s a shower available somewhere).

This season, things have morphed slightly around our 24-7 “always on” culture: it’s more about mixing up sportswear with day- and nightwear. It is now entirely acceptable to combine your zip-up running top with shiny disco pants. Designers such as Christopher Shannon and Burberry have taken the born-again jogger as a muse. This is the guy who, after being the last one to leave the party, insists on smugly rubbing your face in his new, pedometer-carrying, 10km fun-running lifestyle. It makes your sedentary, microwave meal-eating, Pokémon Go-playing life look pitiful in comparison; but, on the plus side, you’re not the one refusing to change out of your shorts for the entire day.

4 The accountant who does slam poetry nights

Topman.
Topman. Photograph: Getty

You think you know Keith, your accountant. You think you know his 2.4 kids, cul-de-sac-dwelling life, don’t you? But he’s not quite the open book you assume he is. Every fortnight, Keith is third-in-command at a regional spoken-word-slash-slam-poetry night. You can often hear him by the photocopier asking the nearest ear, “So, would you like to write anything for our next meeting?” He carries around a beaten-up copy of The Waste Land and writes blank verse about his surprisingly dark observations, so it’s no surprise that in his free time The Real Keith goes by the nickname Baby Baudelaire, and ditches the grey marl suit for a look that evokes a classic Romantic flâneur: velvet smoking jacket (courtesy of Topman Designs) and/or a duffle coat (Dior Homme) accessorised with a neckerchief (Louis Vuitton). Don’t worry, he’s working on a haiku about that.

5 The hippy who just won’t quit

Roberto Cavalli.
Roberto Cavalli. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

“Nothing after 1983”, is this guy’s motto. He’s not just talking about his music tastes, his film likes and his red wine vintage; he also means his personal style. His look is more analogue than the casts of Vinyl, The Nice Guys and Everybody Wants Some!! combined. This should be a cinch, considering the cyclical, self-referential nature of fashion. Especially this season, where the spirit of Richard Linklater’s Dazed And Confused and a lost summer day in 1976 lives on.

Roberto Cavalli combined slouchy blue jeans with a patterned pirate shirt and Converse, while Alessandro Michele at Gucci combined Suspiria colours with Exile On Main Street, to create something straight out of the Wes Anderson school of thrift-shop chic. Sure, it might seem like we are a chubby sideburn away from smelling like patchouli oil, powering up a lava lamp and wearing a clog, but this past-as-present vibe is a bit more luxe and self-aware than it was the first time around.

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