I don’t usually talk about menswear, mainly because I’m more focused on the womenswear side of fashion (partly because I find it a lot more interesting and broad, but also because well… I’m a (young) woman), but for today I thought I’d do a review of the latest AW16 menswear collections that are coming from the catwalks. I know that the season for menswear is yet to finish, but I wanted to get a post up before the rest of the fashion season starts coming in. (All images are via VOGUE.co.uk)
~ ALEXANDER MCQUEEN – RATING: 7.5/10 ~
For me, reviewing menswear is slightly more difficult to do in terms of looking at the background and inspirations, perhaps because each collection is usually more simple and tailoring based, which is quite different to womenswear (even on the high street you can see examples of this – there’s a lot more variety in shape and size rather than style and colour), so I’m sorry if I’m rather subjective in this. But Alexander McQueen‘s collection was a nice balance. There’s texture, print, embroidery and applique yet it’s still a smart and sleek base of suits.
I think all over prints in a men’s collection is always interesting and I have to say, I really like how it’s been done for this season. Although the colours are monochromatic (A/W… what can you expect?), the butterflies and florals break it up slightly and add that more feminine touch without having to go that step further and add brighter shades.
~ BURBERRY – RATING: 7.5/10 ~
First of all can I just talk about the amazing tribute that model, Hayett McCarthy, gave to Bowie? She wrote his name on her hands on her own accord (as the show was on the day the sad news was announced) and opened them up at the end of the catwalk. It was simple, but it was a nice nod to how Bowie was always about breaking the boundaries and doing what you want. There was also hints of glitter splashed across the faces of all the models (Christopher Bailey said that he started with one as a small hint towards Bowie, but the whole line-up ended up with glitter covered eyes).
In terms of the actual collection, it’s a great introduction to what Burberry‘s all about. It’s a mish-mash of every different style and shape, but somehow they come together in a blend and mix that works unexpectedly well. My personal favourite aspects have got be the use of more modern textures like satin and faux-fur… it’s just that subtle nod to something more fresh and new. As 2016 is the year Burberry are housing all of their labels under one roof, it probably makes sense that this collection is almost a ‘catch-up’ selection of designs… a taster menu, if you like.
~ CHRISTOPHER RAEBURN – RATING: 8/10 ~
I’m always interested to see what Raeburn has up his sleeve seeing as his collections are mostly created from re-purposed fabrics (more specifically, the military variety). You’ll also know I always find it interesting when I can spot trends appearing for the upcoming seasons, and I can most definitely see some appearing within this, and other collections. It was simple safe route to be honest, but it had that slight twist to break it apart from the norm. Parkas are most definitely going to be a focus of A/W 16/17 along with sweaters with bold prints (more on that below).
I don’t have much to make note of here, but I thought I would include it because as I mentioned, Raeburn’s use of recycled materials always interests me, especially from a sustainable stand-point.
~ COACH 1941 – RATING: 7/10 ~
70s are still going strong. Late seventies, more specifically, but seventies nonetheless. Coach’s collection is full of it, but in a way of which is probably more palatable than most retro, free-living inspired collections. It’s once again a collection of simplicity, but it has enough to it that you can grab onto. One thing I like about Coach, is how everything the brand does is so put together, whether that’s in terms of design, or whether that’s in terms of branding. It just always slots together effortlessly.
Even if I don’t have much to say about the collection specifically, I can say that they’re still knocking it right on the head. A key note though? – Leather jackets. Cool, simple, leather jackets… even with the addition of shearling.
~ GUCCI – RATING: 8/10 ~
For me this is basically just an Italian, Gucci-style, interpretation of the seventies. Mix prints, embroidery and texture are always a big hit for me, as well as the catwalk, so I’m expecting some very Gucci inspired pieces to be popping up all over the place when it comes to Autumn time. There was also a lovely Bowie tribute once again, with his name embroidered into a cardigan. Bowie influenced fashion in so many ways, so if a designer gets a chance to honour him in the next week, they 100% should. (Bowie via Instagram)
~ MOSCHINO – RATING: 9/10 ~
Inspired by artists, Gilbert & George, I love the direction that Jeremy Scott went. I have to admit, for womenswear, the novelty collections are personally starting to wear off, but this was a nice inbetween. It’s loud, it’s bold but due to the dark, deeper colours running throughout, it’s still fit for the A/W season (although I don’t really believe in saving darker colours for the colder months – brighten up the darker days, right?).
Suits and outerwear were of course a key focus… a lot of them designed in an almost collage style with different fabrics splitting up the textures. I’m a big fan, which means Moschino are once again, in my good books.
~ ROBERTO CAVALLI – RATING: 9/10 ~
I think a great way to look at this collection is to hear what Peter Dundas had to say about it (who is the current creative director of Cavalli)…
“Nothing in the collection was anything I could not imagine myself owning, or my friends or my lovers wearing. And it’s a start of what I hope you will consider the beginning of creating a Cavalli wardrobe and a Cavalli look. For me, I dissected in my mind every piece of clothing that I wanted and then how to give it relevance in my vernacular and the Cavalli vernacular, and how also to kind of position it today.” – (via Vogue)
I love that way of looking at collections as a designer. In my opinion not many designers think this way, which can make collections very stuffy and too focused on a certain outcome… when you step outside of that and just think about what you specifically want for the clothes, you often end up with a just that… a really, brilliant looking range of clothes.
Of course sending out messages is great too, but sometimes you don’t need that, and this A/W selection from Cavalli is a great example. You can still have a very aesthetically pleasing collection, with a strong focus, without actually thinking too much about it.
~ TOPMAN DESIGN – RATING: 6.5/10 ~
I feel I have said this for every collection, but Topman/Topshop always intrigues me because it’s in that middle spot where it’s actually still fairly affordable which means really we should be keeping a strong eye on what higher end collections they produce. The one word I would use to define this Topman collection would be… loose. It’s full of loose fabrics and fits as well a loose key inspiration. It’s as if a young guy has raided his granddad’s 70s wardrobe and mixed it in with some of his newer pieces.
It’s a mixture, and I think that’s how we might have to define A/W 16. Every collection is slightly different, just with this rough undercurrent of the 70s still flowing through.
~ VERSACE – RATING: 7/10 ~
And this, is why we might have to define A/W 16 as a mixture. Here we have a modern, space vibe that you can put a pin on immediately. It’s metallic, it’s sleek, it’s smooth, it’s bold and slightly sporty. It’s it futuristic though? In many ways, it is, but in many ways, I feel as if the classic Versace style through it off a bit. Or perhaps it’s that undercurrent once again? Versace is a very particular kind of brand… a Marmite brand, but this season definitely caught my eye, which is something new.
I think it might be the metallics… and the badges… but mostly it’s just the metallics (which were also seen in Calvin Klein’s collection – a trend?)
~ VIVIENNE WESTWOOD – RATING: 7/10 ~
Another Bowie tribute, with a Starman remix being played over speakers, here we have Vivienne Westwood’s menswear range. I’m going to be honest and say I’m not 100% sure what “Be Specific” meant (the collection’s name), but either way, I like it…
It’s just a really nice collection. It has it’s smart, fitted, tailoring with it’s more casual fits and relaxed knits. It’s the kind of collection I would one hundred percent want my future partner to wear. Is that sad to think about? Yes. Is this review totally subjective? Yes. Am I going to leave you to admire it on your own, now? Yes.
What do you think about AW16 so far? Are you excited for the upcoming fashion month? Let me know in the comments!
Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx