There’s a rather hackneyed old observation that some fashion commentators level at the world of menswear.
There’s a rather hackneyed old observation that some fashion commentators level at the world of menswear. You’ve probably heard it – it’s the one that bemoans the fact men’s trends progress at a slower speed than womenswear. Yes, the looks aren’t in a constant state of flux, but there are still a raft of tweaks and updates that push menswear forward each season, and autumn 12 is no different.
The biggest development sees the convergence of the traditionally disparate formal and casual ends of the market. What was once more relaxed is now smartened up with new fabrics, silhouettes and trims bringing a cleaner, sharper edge to well-loved styles. Conversely, formal pieces get recontextualised alongside more off-duty knits, coats and accessories, giving tailoring a new lease of life beyond the boardroom.
Heritage and workwear haven’t gone away but this season are more refined and modernised, with slicker fastenings in metal and crisper cuts giving the look a shot in its well-constructed arm. Colour remains muted but berry and moss tones add interest to the blacks, browns, neutrals and navy blues. Get the lowdown on all the season’s essential buys.
Autumn 12 is undoubtedly a strong season, and certainly a more interesting one than the previous two autumns, but it feels like we’re on the cusp of a real shift. The well-known themes that feature season on season have been taken to their natural conclusion, meaning spring 13 and beyond should see significant innovation. After all, there are only so many times you can rework a toggle.
- Ian Wright Fashion director