The Big Fat Fall 2016 Menswear Review
After attending my first New York Fashion Week where I dapped up Joey Bada$$, got a shoutout from Jon Moy on Complex when I asked him for lean, told Robert Geller to his face that his zippers suck, got reallly sad at Ye’s show because he didn't perform, and got lit the fuck up on the streets by photographers, it’s time to sit back and relax to look back and what the hell happened menswear this season.
Before getting into the review, I would highly recommend you all to go Vouge runway and look at the runway shows for menswear 2016. This is an easy way to see all the shows, but it’s better to watch the runway videos instead to better embrace them (or go to them, ya know).
Lets get into some of the trends
Okay guys so if you don't already know, Helmut flippin Lang before he was a failed sculpture designer was one of the best designers, period. He had tons of original silhouettes and materials that only he used. He cultivated a modern look in the 90's which rubs off today with plenty of brands, celebrities, stylist and others still using his now vintage design.
One very notable thing he has done was recreate the down parka. In Valentino's show there is a supremely obvious take on the AW 99 parka from Helmut Lang. Now I won't say "rip off" because Valentino certainly isn't trying to be Lang like some other brands we know *cough* Yeezy *cough* but they definitely have some influence from the brand. Another outfit that was Lang inspired was from the Versace show which featured an outfit in full metallic, near identical to the AW 99 Lang one. From the Calvin Klein collection, there was a metallic sash used which resembles the same silhouette from a women's SS 1994 Lang suit. And finally, at Dsquared2's show there is a metallic inside layer used on their parkas just like the AW 98 Lang one. Other shows used a lot of Helmut innovations with straps, like at Jil Sander's show and Lang's use of oversized jackets also influenced Burberry, Raf, and Yeezy, both this collection, and collections prior.
Whether your opinion is that Lang is being repurposed or bastardized, what this says about current menswear is that it is just another 90's element being reinvigorated. The popularity of Lang's vintage wear certainly has become more of a hot commodity. So possibly designers are noticing this more, or the design is just inevitably cycling back into the limelight after a little over a decade. But anyways, at the end of the day, Lang is king and it'll be interesting to see how his influence continues into the future.
Citrus Color Pallet (Especially Orange)
Yo, aright, where the fuck did navy go. Navy hype was so real and now there is all this gooey big fruity coloring going on in FW. A color arrangement as such is certainly a risky one as brighter colors don't last year to year. But with the death of all black in 2015, the fashion world and fashion consumer has reacted. The fact that orange and red look spectacular to the eye now is no coincidence and a great move by these brands honing in on the emerging trend.
Marni subtly uses orange as a base layer to bring out a pop of color, while Craig Green uses a full orange outfit to personify on the popping color. Ann Demulemester takes a look back at how the brand used orange in their AW 2001 collection with orange distressed leather. While Tim Coppens and N. Hollywood used an blazingly bright infrared like red. N Hollywood even uses a laser during their show to personify the intimidating warning like red.
Zips and more 90's influences
Even more so than Helmut Lang, with brands like Vetements and Gosha Rubchinsky gaining popularity, the norm core lifestyle that is all about low quality clothing, baseball hats, and tucked in t-shirts is among us whether we like it or not. Antwerp design is in full force again, as Raf's vintage 90's influence has also taken center stage. With vintage Simmons and Lang gaining massive recognition it's almost as if David Casavant's fashion choices have controlled a hefty portion of fashion in the past three years. The runway shows this season was filled with deconstructed trench coats, pastel colors, and and overwhelming abundance of zipped up thin sweatshirts.
The front zip hasn't been styled closed as enormously as it did this season in a while. Once dreaded and even replaced by crewnecks and hoodies, this style is gaining traction again. Zips up all the way to the neck with large dangling zip tabs under jackets and sometimes tucked in. One most notable which emerged last year was J W Andersons zip sweater detailed with a large white square zipper piece. Another influence was that the always classic turtleneck had it's revival last year playing a big part in bringing the full zip back and a gave another harsh nod to 90's fashion choices.
Martin Margiela and Burberry both used zipped sweatshirts coddled up to the neck and trench coats as a combo in their shows. While Margiela has always had some 90's influence, Burberry especially took a leap to 90's fashion after dropping Porsum and now looking much more approachable and less detailed. Off-White has been gaining a bit more design on the runway, but sadly coming off as somewhat inauthentic directly taking a loose 90's fit suit and overcoat on top of the full zip. Without mixing anything else the brand may be noticed for it falls a bit short. Lanvin returns to using full zips, tucking the jackets into trousers again, but this time using more baseball fitted zip jackets and showing more chest which gave a greater sense of flamboyancy in their runway show. And of course Raf Simons returns with more of his 90's like clothing, cementing this year that he has returned to his old style after transition from the Sterling Ruby collection.
To solidify this trend, even Rick Owens the man himself used oversized trenches and orange in his last collection. A left field choice for the brand that worked out amazingly for this season.
Now it's time for the best of list!
Yo kingdom hearts, fuckin, gravekeeper, third eye, wizard, nerd keys man. Yo these are so fire. Shout out to all you lames who have your lanyard laying outside of your pocket with your REAL keys hanging from your ass. Keys you don't even use to get into places that don't exist are the only keys that are cool.
These keys according to Miuccia Prada were ment to talk about issues going on right now. So I'm inferring that looking at the sailor like hats, combined with the loose collars of shirts flailing around, that the keys are prison keys. They show how this young generation of people are supremely frustrated with constantly being incarcerated without justice. Anyways, Imma look for a pair to lock down my fits.
Best clothing piece:
Gucci Demon Coat!!
Okay, so Gucci, or shall I say new Gucci, is god. Alessandro Michelle is a detailing legend and this jacket is just unspeakably beautiful and abrasive in its texture. It grabs attention on a grand scale with not only it's unreal carpet like fabric but it's rose colored studs, red fur collar, and Chinese dragon embroidery. The stunt level is too high on this one, and it stood out as the most detailed outlandish piece on the Gucci runway. It's perfectly fit for a 70's shogun fashion lord.
Robert Geller's final outfit!!!
This was defiantly a hard choice, but I do have to give it to my mans Geller. He came through with a beautiful color palette and spectacular layering. His styling this collection has improved levels ahead of any of his other runway shows. I was lucky enough to see this in person and was able to grasp in just how well the clothes moved. The coat flew with such power, owning the orange theme this fall. The fit used Geller's cropped trouser look but with a more Yohji like baggy pant and a fantastic sash around the waist to accompany. The focus on the waist makes the perfect loafer design, and movement at the ends of the coat really feel amazingly cohesive. A perfect outfit for this season.
NOW ITS TIME FOR THE WINNER
I've never been the biggest Junn J. fan, but this collection said something everyone else was forgetting. Junn J. ignored all trends and focused on the coming fashion apocalypse. His collection went to slim legs, peak lapels and all leather, a reminiscent image of mid 2000's Dior Homme, but given that Junn J. flare of futuristic and robot gear. This collection shits on anything his direct competitor Christopher Kane, will ever do.
The whole essence of monochrome and words plastered on amazing looking leather and wool really shows the quality Junn J. has achieved in each piece this collection. The leather pants attached to boots is a detail I have never seen walk down a runway. The simply elegant leather suits mold perfectly with simple slim jackets, letting the detailing in the boots, latches, prints, and shearling stand out.
The finale of all shearling jackets gives a skin crawling sensation as it feels like a robot solider revolution is beginning. Patterns of violent looking sentient robots swamp the back of the jackets. Hajime Soryama's robot art gives homage to H.R. Giger's paintings and perfectly aligns with Junn J's one of a kind dystopian cyborg like world. While Junn J. has always had this type of vibe, this latest collection shinned brightest and brought forth the best composition and cohesion not only for himself, but overall this season. Watch the runway show here
Other notable shows such as MAN, Devon Halfknight LeFlufy, Duckie Brown, even Thom Browne, Greg Lauren and Dries Van Noten all stood out from the trends well and I highly recommend looking at their shows.
Catch you all in the spring!