Much of the clothing on the Fall Menswear runways suggests or outright imitates survival gear. There are protective coatings, industrial tapes holding keys or extra shoes, all kinds of drawstrings & zipped pockets, ballistic nylons — even identity tags. A bit of handicraft, like a crochet detail on a sweater, will warm up the techno aesthetic.
Stripes get wider, bolder and more colorful for next spring. Whether duotone and evenly spaced awning stripes or multi-colored, multi-width bayadere versions, graphic bands of color enliven shorts, dresses, knits and accessories. Pieced constructions, diagonal placements, wavy layouts or mixes of different striped patterns bring more newness.
Even when an item is a perennial, there are subtle shifts in material, proportion and silhouette that move the piece forward and speak of the “now”. Such is the case with this season’s trench coat. The newest must-have versions are boxy, with a straight, waistless shape. Firm fabrics or smooth leathers uphold the rectangular silhouette, and bellows pockets or flat-flaps echo the squared-off aesthetic. Sleeveless styles offer lots of options for easy layering. Most of the boxy trenches on the runways are minimalist, but Prada decorated the extended shoulders and flaps with an array of cabochons and colorful paillettes.
While comic-book graphics abound this season, there is a more subtle interpretation in the form of ben-day dots. The dots were used in 19th and 20th century printing to achieve half-tone tints, or were overlapped to create blended shades. The effect was borrowed and exaggerated by the 60s pop artists, particularly Roy Lichtenstein. Some designers used a rough, broken “registration” for their dots to mimic the imperfect comic-strip effect. For embellishments and accessories, evenly spaced beads or half-dome cabochons deliver the same visual “pow”.