The showers that bring spring flowers rarely keep city dwellers inside. For next Spring/Summer expect men to take to the streets in fashion-forward raincoats and parkas in sheer nylons or new soft vinyls. These featherweight slickers come in solids or prints, and can be sophisticated enough to layer over a tailored suit or playful enough to adapt for young men or even kidswear. Lengths range from fingertip to almost-ankle; hoods and drawstring hems are key.
At first glance the newest graphic pullovers seem geared more to toddlers than trendsters. Screen-printed tees and intarsia sweaters are emblazoned with Saturday morning favorites from Simpsons to manga; others sport images from vintage comics or monster movies like Godzilla. A dark ground and a good dose of irony keeps it all feeling grown-up.
Flat quilting, the kind usually used for industrial protection, gets an elegant turn for fall. There are diamond quilted jackets, circle skirts that borrow from bedspreads, and skirts that mimic moving blankets. While the thought of extra padding for apparel may make some cringe, lightweight constructions and clever cuts make these pieces wearable and desirable.
There’s a new matchy-matchy combo this season — pants layered with a matching skirt. The skirts can be long and graceful for Contemporary customers or short and sassy for Juniors. Many of the skirts tie-on apron-style, but some are created with built-in panels. Perhaps the look got its start with all the dress-over-pants layering seen on the streets — and emerging on runways as well.
The newest kicks on the runways show lots of interesting details, signaling a movement away from the basic “dad sneaker” of last season. Design attributes range from the technical to the whimsical. There are ergonomic panels, fat-padded tongues, velcro ankle straps and furry accents. Black-and-white or brights still work, but newest are mirror-finish silver or pops of Day-Glo against a neutral upper. Soles include extended heels and checkerboard flatforms, spanning the divide between function and fashion.