TREND REPORT: MENSWEAR SPRING 2016 By Riaan Jacob George
As one of the leading experts in menswear and grooming in India, Riaan Jacob George gives Stylecracker.com an ultimate style lesson in how to make international runway trends relevant to Indian street style. As the former Culture Editor at L’Officiel India, former Editor at Eat Stay Love, DLF Emporio’s luxury magazine, currently Riaan splits his time between contributing to leading publications like Robb Report and Conde Nast Traveller, traveling the world, attending fashion weeks and reviewing menswear collections for all the leading brands. You can follow his adventures on Twitter @riaangeorge or Instagram @urbaneyebyrg and his own blog www.urbaneye.in Read on to know why Riaan thinks florals work for the metro-sexual man, what’s great about coloured jeans and how the bomber jacket will transform you.
DECODING THE SEASON
If you were lucky enough to score an entry — doesn’t matter if it was in the glamorous front row or a strain-in-the-neck last row seat — to any of the recently held menswear shows in London, Paris or Milan, the flurry of new trends would have left you reeling. Attendees were treated to androdynous silhouettes, ambiguous drapes, broad trousers, lace and leather, which pushed the limits of men’s fashion, while denim, camo, bomber jackets and trainers, once again, established themselves as timeless, ageless and ultra-masculine icons. A look at the top trends in clothes and accessories for spring and summer 2016.
Androgynous — Blurred lines, is possibly the best way to describe this trend, which had some raving and others reeling. Arguably, the biggest — and most debated trend — witnessed in the Spring-Summer 2016 shows was that of the androgynous silhouette. Gucci and Burberry’s shows were prime examples of this where masculine fashion was drawing from the fluid lines of womenswear. Loose tunics, deconstructed trousers, blouse-inspired shirts, flouncy fabrics and even man-skirts were de rigueur on the ramps.
India Quotient: Don’t expect androgyny to trend on our shores in the near future.
Coloured Denims — All of this year, the ubiquitous denim shirt has ruled the roost of men’s fashion, establishing itself as a veritable style staple, enjoying an undisputed cult status. This spring, denim undergoes a major overhaul — or an over’hue’ as I like to call it — and emerges in an eye-catching gamut of colours. If jeans in mint green, cobalt blue or even cherry red aren’t enough, shirts in olive green, cream, burgundy and pink are to be expected too.
India Quotient: I see coloured denims as one of the top fashion trends in India for 2016.
Camo Rules — Decidedly masculine, the ever-friendly camo exudes an air of rugged chic.
For the Indian male: A trend to be reckoned with, camo has long been ignored and threatens to enter the Indian male’s wardrobe with a bang. Shirts with subtle camo hues, belts with camo elements, sleek urban jackets with a hit of camo will be seen throughout 2016. Military style has never been trendier.
India Quotient: let’s start with camo tees first…A camo-strap watch is also a good idea, perhaps?
Bomber Jackets — While the traditional blazer is classic, the bomber jacket is inching its way to superstardom. No one can deny that a chic bomber jacket can sharpen and slim the silhouette, besides assuming the role of a modern, 21st century, city jacket. Keep it snug, play around with textures — leather, corduroy, denim, gabardine, even a lightweight cotton — and maybe even replace your blazer with a nifty bomber.
For the Indian male: Everyone, yes EVERYONE can carry this trend off. If you do live in a hot and humid part of town, invest in a light cotton or denim bomber.
Broad Shirts and Broad Trousers — Hindsight’s 20-20, they say and we couldn’t agree with them more. Especially when, come spring, we will be looking back at the ‘50s and ‘60s for style inspiration. We will witness a loosening up of trousers, and the return of the boxy, retro-shirt of our forefathers. From Louis Vuitton to Lanvin, pleats, high-waists and loose cuts are très chic!
For the Indian male: We can’t resist the charm of a retro trend, especially in a palette of sobre, austere browns and greys.
Trainers on Trousers — One of our favourite looks of the season was Tom Ford’s all-black suits, coupled with a pair of chic trainers. In fact, even Brunello Cucinelli, one of Italy’s finest menswear designers, prides himself on his suit-and-trainers look, labelling it as ‘casual sartorial’. If this well-defined look is anything to go by, we can expect to see more trainers, as an acceptable alternative for evening lace-up leather kicks.
India Quotient: This trend might take time to catch on, but it is, certainly, the way forward. Trainers with trousers — 2016’s key combination!
Feminine Allure — Lace, lace and more lace. From Chantilly to guipure, this dainty style is all set to soften silhouettes and tread into a hitherto unexplored world of women’s clothes. From Moschino’s sheer lace body suits to Burberry’s Chantilly lace shirts, men are unabashedly and unapologetically embracing their feminine side. Add satin, silk and chiffon to that list.
India Quotient: I personally am not a huge fan of this trend, nor do I see it catching on in an Indian context. Fashion forward it is, but do I see Indian men walking around in lace tunics? Certainly not!
Au Naturel — Over the past few seasons, floral prints, which have been a traditionally feminine ideal, has gracefully assumed a masculine identity. Spring is synonymous with flowers and for 2016, suit jackets, blazers, shirts and tees are being bathed in a sense of stylish naturalism, with plants, flowers and fruit prints. Hermès, Dior Homme and Saint Laurent, are just a few names to watch out for…
India Quotient: The modern Indian male is now proving himself to be comfortable with prints, especially floral ones. I see this as an important trend in India for 2016.
Bracelets Galore: Wrist accessories have officially stepped out into the sun since the past few seasons. And from the looks of it, they are only getting niftier for next spring. Personally, my ensembles are never accessory-heavy, but even I get weak in the knees for a dapper bracelet, especially the nautical, anchor, leather and canvas blends that we’ve been seeing all over. What’s best — bracelets are now being worn on ANY ensemble, effortlessly taken from the beach to boardroom.
India Quotient: It’s easy to adopt this trend. So all I can say is…stock up on those bracelets.
Bagging It — At the Milan, Paris and London men’s collections, it was pretty evident that man bags — satchels, leather city bags and even stylised backpacks — are making stronger statements, complementing every ensemble. From discreet leather and natural canvas to funky patent and even exotic hides, the urban male is stopping at nothing to make sure he is correctly accessorised.
India Quotient: A trend like this couldn’t be more self explanatory. It’s time to step up the style and make heads turn with a statement bag, effortlessly flashed across the city.