Let's hear it for the boys! Top trends from men's fashion week

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Menswear month has wrapped up, and the designers have given their best for the boys to wear next winter.

As always, the clothes came with the buzzy meme-worthy fashion week moments, too. There was drama in Milan thanks to Prada’s A-list actor set: Kyle MacLachlan opened the show, Jeff Goldblum waltzed down the runway to close, and rising stars Asa Butterfield and Filippo Scotti were spotted in the mix.

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Over at Dolce & Gabbana, a freshly engaged Machine Gun Kelly was the final act. Kim Jones showed his Dior collection on a life size model of the Pont Alexandre III gold gilded bridge. JW Anderson made lamé football kits and pigeon clutches which Instagram savoured, while audiences sat in celebration at Louis Vuitton as lights went down on the late creative director Virgil Abloh’s last act.

Let’s hear it for the boys! Top trends from men’s fashion week
© Provided by Evening Standard Angels at Louis Vuitton (AFP via Getty Images)

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Gender-specific shows feel a bit archaic now – London Fashion Week Men’s was cancelled, and combined for a bumper LFW in mid-February – but those that did show in Milan and Paris this month found ways to make it work. Y/Project, Ami and Alyx all mixed in womenswear on their runways, while Acne Studios shot its mens’ lookbook entirely on female models. “It’s about looking beyond gender,” says Acne creative director Jonny Johansson. “For me, the point of having a brand is to think about possibilities, and to push forwards.” Boys (girls, everyone), here are the trends to rock next season.

Crazy for cummerbunds

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Let’s hear it for the boys! Top trends from men’s fashion week
© Provided by Evening Standard L-R: Acne Studios, Etro and Erdem (Evening Standard)

The pleated waistband is no longer bound to black tie dressing. Erdem, who debuted his menswear line with a London-shot lookbook, set the style making them moss green atop matching trousers, or canary yellow with cable knit jumpers and bucket hats. “[They] came from my AW20 womenswear collection,” the British designer says. “I loved the contrast of something formal like a cummerbund, but doing it in an informal way – in corduroy or a tweedy herringbone.” Paired with white Mary Janes, they are charming. Acne Studios did them disco, covered in sequin-style discs and cinching a loose cobalt shirt, while Etro borrowed the waist hugging silhouette but did it knitted with a zip – perfect with trekking trousers and red velvet dinner jacket alike. They’re the season’s most versatile staple.

Pop polo necks

Fold up the boring black turtle necks, and pack some punch with your polo: skin tight printed tops are the go-to for pizzazz. For her Paris show debut, London-based designer Bianca Saunders offered up a warped chain print on white jersey and co-ord trousers. Naomi Campbell threw her a party after to celebrate. Bluemarble, the self-proclaimed “trippy” French house, lived up to expectation with a flurry of acidic, floral pattern tops. “They are part of the sailor wardrobe we revisited this collection,” founder Anthony Alvarez says. “Usually these shirts are more unicolour, but I wanted them bright and colourful with these prints.” However, the standouts were at Y/Project, where creative director Glenn Martens had free reign over Jean Paul Gaultier’s trompe l’oeil pattern archive. That means rock hard abs printed in pink looking as good as they did in the nineties. Gym? Forget it.

King of quilts

Let’s hear it for the boys! Top trends from men’s fashion week
© Provided by Evening Standard L-R: David Catalán, Dsquared2 and JORDANLUCA (Evening Standard)

Your country coat won’t cut it next winter; 2022 will be the year quilt goes crazy. JORDANLUCA, the London-based brand by Jordan Bowen and Luca Marchetto, made it their mission to give the textile new edge. Result? Diamond quilted flared trousers squeezing thighs with sleek crop jackets. “Quilt is hard to work with, so the concept and silhouette was challenging,” Bowen says. Staying sexy was key. “We wanted to embrace London’s dirty and filthy glory. Go hard or go home!” At Dior Men’s, Kim Jones went opposite; crisp, clean and Parisian patent coats with stitching like Lady Dior bags. Industry veterans Dsquared2 opted for hiker chic padded vests and capes, while Portuguese up-and-comer David Catalán did classic cut quilt jackets in electric hues, finished with matching crowns perched on heads. Long live the quilt!

Balaclava baby

Let’s hear it for the boys! Top trends from men’s fashion week
© Provided by Evening Standard L-R: Louis Vuitton, Y/Project and Ernest W Baker (Evening Standard)

They have long been lurking, but now it’s official: balaclavas are blowing up. Always a step ahead, Virgil Abloh made them morph suit-style last season, and for the posthumous Louis Vuitton collection last week, new versions came in streams: knitted with ears, printed with Courbet’s paintings or LV monogrammed. You name it, they came with a little hole for your head. At ultra-chic Ernest W Baker, the Portuguese brand championing ‘grandpa athleisure’ by design duo Reid Baker and Inês Amorim, balaclavas streamlined outfits with polish. “I grew up in Utah and the balaclava was a staple in my wardrobe anytime I would go out in the winter,” Baker says. “We enjoy pushing our looks as far as they can while still feeling refined.” Think red and black jacquard rose patterns, or creamy white with a fluffy cardigan scarf combo. Black sunglasses, mandatory.

Faux bros

Let’s hear it for the boys! Top trends from men’s fashion week
© Provided by Evening Standard L-R: AMI, EGONLAB and JORDANLUCA (Evening Standard)

Faux furs forever. The It coats this year came huge-collared, cut at the waist, and oozing metropolitan glamour. AMI lead the pack, where creative director Alexandre Mattiussi looked at the ‘urban ballet’ of Paris’ metro. Cut to model Alton Mason striding forth in coal black fake fur, black tux and sheer heart print shirt. “This is how I imagined this quintessential Paris, this elevated reality,” the designer says. London grunge came from JORDANLUCA, where luscious, tawny faux was paired with greasy dip dyed hair, while emerging French house EGONLAB closed its show with a shaggy full length, cocooning, large lapel overcoat. “The ‘big fur coat’ belongs to the realm of fantasy,” co-designer Florentin Glémarec says. “They’re a glamorous and an intemporal shell, provocative of desire.” Sign us up.

Sliced-up sweaters

Let’s hear it for the boys! Top trends from men’s fashion week
© Provided by Evening Standard L-R: Fendi, JW Anderson and Neil Barrett (Evening Standard)

How to keep toasty but show off your pearls? Get acquainted with the sliced-up sweater. At Fendi, knitwear came oversized with triangular cut outs to frame O’Lock necklaces on flesh. Small but similar chops were done at Neil Barrett, where the pullovers came plain and lilac. But leave it to London’s own JW Anderson to really cut the mustard. There, exposing multicolour links made up the entire jumper front. “We have these special knits with interlocking chains that are done by machine, then are padded and open up onto the chest,” he says. “This collection is about the interlocking, twisting and turning. Things that sometimes we think are kitsch, and kind of letting go in the process.” It’s high time to stop overthinking: just have fun with that sweater.

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