Att'n Guys! Roundup of Autumn/Winter'12 Trends from Milan & Paris Fashion Weeks...

Zina Tasreen , 13 Feb 2012
A/W’12 trends in a nutshell (from left to right): Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein, Roberto Cavalli, ACNE, John Varvatos

Not exactly out of winter ‒ are we??? ‒ and those restless fashion folks have already transmitted the sartorial memo for the next one. Can you believe! Menswear A/W’12 shows at Milan and Paris wrapped up a good three weeks ago (errrr… was cleaning Oreos out of the couch all this time), and yours truly has separated the wheat from the chaff ‒ for you, you, you and you. Wouldn’t you click through? Promise you won’t be nudged towards dressing up like Laddie Gaga… :-)

DBs rampant in runways (from left to right): Jil Sander, Burberry Prorsum, Dries Van Noten, Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada

The overriding theme in this round of shows, as the fashion houses went all out to get men from BRICs (just in case you didn’t know, that’s Brazil, Russia, India, China ‒ be flattered, guys!) to spend big on their wardrobes, has been the return to tailoring (and away from sportswear), and, in-your-face luxe (!!!). Which means, the runways were awash with suits and coats in the most decadent of materials (astrakhan, anyone?). Mostly of the double-breasted variety. Y-es. After a few false starts in the seasons past, the double-breasted jacket has finally taken off this time, be it in snug fit or boxy shapes (loved Dries’s interpretation!). Time to raid your old man’s wardrobe! Get it altered to fit you like a second skin, and that’s you covered for A/W’12. But, if you want to splurge on your wardrobe for next autumn/winter, make it a *beautifully-cut* double-breasted suit…

DBs in PoW checks (from left to right): Canali, Iceberg, Christian Lacroix, Moschino, Corneliani

…in Prince of Wales check/window pane.

More PoW checks (from left to right): Hermès, John Varvatos, Ermenegildo Zegna

If the cut for A/W’12 is double-breasted, the fabric is PoW check. It’s a slight variation on the solids, and makes one stand out in a subtle way. The key to pulling it off is the right fit (Christian Lacroix‘s I liked the best), otherwise you run the risk of looking like fusty wide boys. What PoW check suits have going for them over solids is that its individual components on their own (when worn separately), leaves quite the impression as well. Score!

The charge of the velvet brigade (from left to right): Hermès, Dirk Bikkembergs Sports Couture, Burberry, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana
The charge of the velvet brigade continues (from left to right): Emporio Armani, Versace, Gucci, Etro

Another fabric seen too often for my liking on this season’s runways was velvet. Velvet suits were everywhere!! And I blame Tom Ford for it; that man has been rocking the head-to-toe velvet look for so long, that the menswear designers thought that it was about time it went mainstream, so here we are…

The not-so-velvet (light) brigade (from left to right): Vivienne Westwood, Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton

Luxurious as it may feel, I’m a little apprehensive of this fabric as it’s tricky to pull off. But, if you don’t want to miss out on this awful big trend for A/W’12,  I’d suggest mixing it with other textures. Kim Jones showcased velvet beautifully ‒ that is, exercised restraint over its usage ‒ for Louis Vuitton.

Ways to rollnecks (from left to right): Pringle of Scotland, Hermès, Wooyoungmi, Moschino, Hardy Amies

Moving on from coats and jackets, we’ve the ‒ most groundbreaking of trends! ‒ rollnecks, seen in a myraid of colours, as layering or on their own.

Sock flashing (from left to right): Kolor, Dries Van Noten, Paul Smith, Junya Watanbe, ACNE

The ankle-grazing trouser hem looks to be very much alive and kicking, still, for better or worse. It’s winter after all ‒ you can’t leave your ankles exposed to the elements ‒ and hence came the need for sock flashing (HA!). So, if you are the one with the inclination towards snazzy socks, and always felt the best part of your outfit remained hidden, A/W’12 is your time. Tasteful contrasts between trousers/outfits and socks were created, and they looked fun and adventurous (Dries’s and Kolor‘s were bril!). Sure-fire road to sartorial glory, I say ;-)

Monk straps at Mugler
Monk straps (clockwise): Bottega Veneta, Hermès

And down to my fave bit, the shoes :-D. Monk straps have been my shoe of choice for… ever, really, so I was excited to have spotted both single (quite a rakish one at Dries’s ‒ pardon my excessive mention of him, can’t help as I bow at his altar!!) and double monks aplenty across both cities’ runways. I find them to be distinctive and characterful; best of all, they inject some discreet style into your outfit. You’d do half-badly by saving up for one, for A/W’12.

Monk strap Marvel: Dries Van Noten

Then there were the prevalence of capes, ponchos, slippers, silk pyjamas, jumpers with animal prints (dinosaurs, foxes, doves, whales and what not) and skirts (in PFW), but as promised, I wouldn’t go in to the whacky, so this post ends here. :-)

P.S.: Next up comes my picks from these two fashion weeks…

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