The main Fall/Winter 2020-21 trends from the menswear catwalks
The menswear collections for the Fall/Winter 2020-21 recently presented in London, Florence, Milan and Paris all clearly bear the mark of our troubled times, showcasing composite looks heavily influenced by the controversies stirring society, from the environment to gender politics. Designers highlighted 10 main trends, creating looks that express men's multiple sensibilities and feelings, hovering between comfort and conventions, the past and the present, virility and femininity. In particular, suits remain a staple of most collections, though they have been given a contemporary, highly hybridised twist.
It is no longer women who help themselves to men’s clothes, but the reverse. While the #MeToo movement still flourishes and gender diversity is a hot topic, men will be laying bare their feminine side next winter. In addition to skirts, already featured in the past and now cropping up here and there, that feminine symbol par excellence, the bra, has appeared on menswear catwalks, though of course under a different guise. Especially used as a decorative accessory by Stefano Pilati, Ludovic de Saint Sernin and Bethany Williams. In similar fashion, necklaces and other kind of jewellery featured in many collections, like the diamanté headband by Takahiromiyashita The Soloist.
2) Thigh-high boots
Another classic women’s item, thigh-high boots, are a success with men, worn in oversize models, angler-style or in a modern-day seven-league version at Vetements, Telfar and Martine Rose. They are a tight, corkscrew-like fit at Random Identities (Stefano Pilati), or look like elongated cowboy boots at Palomo Spain or even like large, high-rise plastic Moon Boots at White Mountaineering. Thigh-high boots may not be for everyone, but one thing is certain: men will be fine in boots next winter, with trousers tucked into them, as seen on all the catwalks.
3) Bare legs
Is it a consequence of global warming, a reflection of over-consumption or mere commercial pragmatism? Winter collections are getting more and more summery, and men are increasingly going bare. Never before, during the fashion week marathon, was underwear under the spotlight in quite this way. Looks made of jackets and underwear/shorts, or featuring overcoats and raincoats over bare legs and shoes, or boots, even more elegant - the socks clearly visible - will be most directional in Fall/Winter 2020-21.
4) Leather galore
Leather remains a must-have material in men’s wardrobes. It still features in many collections, especially in matching sport jacket/top and trousers, as well as in long overcoats, jumpsuits and that leather essential, the biker jacket. Several designers took the biker trend literally, introducing knee, elbow and shoulder guards too.
5) Hybridisation and patchwork
Mixing and matching genders and materials, already a dominant feature in fashion collections for several years, is more on trend than ever. Classic jackets and trousers come sometimes in two colours sharply split down the middle, sometimes in two materials, the upper part waterproof, the lower wool. There is an abundance of garments that have been disassembled and pieced back together in patchwork fashion. Junya Watanabe overhauled the whole menswear wardrobe, blending down jackets into coats, or a biker jacket into a classic one. With others, like Marni, clothes become torn between two radically contrasting styles.
Playing with different layers and lengths of clothes might become men's new favourite pastime, judging from the attitudes seen on the catwalks. Jackets are worn in double, even triple layers, like at Comme des Garçons. They are often shortened, like some knitwear, to allow a glimpse of a coat, a pullover or a tunic, in turn exposing shirts and more knitwear.
Workwear is still going very strong, especially with aprons and above all dungarees. Dolce & Gabbana, whose latest collection is a hymn to craftsmanship, showed leather dungarees, as did Salvatore Ferragamo. Gucci went for classic denim dungarees, Casablanca for a comfortable fit. In many of them, the top part falls over the front, making it more stylish.
Leggings have made a noticeable entrance into men’s wardrobes, in a snug, sexy spirit. They are worn outside the gym, uncovered and undisguised, as though the gentleman in question had simply slipped on a pair of tights. In some cases, they look like men’s underwear from a bygone age, or like medieval tights. At Rick Owens, they are worn on one leg alone, the other half of the legging left dangling.
9) Frilled shirts
Frilled shirts have made a come-back, discreetly inserted into many collections. Colourful ones by Dries Van Noten and Martine Rose, more austere ones by Prada, reinterpreted with frills extending over the shoulder by Louis Vuitton or oversized by AMI.
Next winter, menswear will take on a glam touch, with sequins and long gloves de rigueur. Worth mentioning are the pearl-decorated leather gloves by Dior Men, the latex gloves and shimmering rope belts by Ludovic de Saint Sernin, the long woollen gloves by Dries Van Noten, and the sequinned turtleneck sweater by AMI.
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