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The buyers' verdict: spring 18 menswear catwalks

Six of the industry’s top buyers weigh in on the spring 18 men’s catwalks, revealing their verdict on the trends of note and shows of the season.

Bosse Myhr Director of menswear, Selfridges

Bosse selfridges

Bosse selfridges

How would you sum up the season?

All in all, it felt like a really strong season, especially from a commercial point of view. The collections from every city were laced with a strong sense of commerciality. As the menswear market continues to grow and develop I think brands – especially younger names – are understanding the importance of creating collections that translate to a retail setting. This isn’t to say that creativity had taken a back seat this season. In London, particularly, we were treated to some jaw-dropping spectacles from brands such as Charles Jeffrey Loverboy and this season’s impressive Fashion East MAN roster.

What stood out?

The trend of collaboration still seems to be going strong, from JW Anderson teaming up with Converse, to the masters of collaboration Vetements tapping Tommy Hilfiger. Other notable trends could be found in silhouette, as wide tailored pants continue to serve as the perfect antidote to years of spray-on denim.

Craig Green, Comme Des Garcon Homme Plus, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, JW Anderson

Craig Green, Comme Des Garcon Homme Plus, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, JW Anderson

Craig Green, Comme Des Garcon Homme Plus, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, JW Anderson

What were your favourite collections?

Craig Green’s show was a huge highlight – the level of craftsmanship was truly impressive. While we missed JW Anderson from the London schedule, his Pitti show was one of the standout moments of the season. The back-to-basics attitude of the collection, although different from past JW shows, felt fresh and relevant: an exciting new proposition from a brand that has done so much to shift the menswear landscape in the past few years. Finally, Comme Des Garçons was spectacular. There was an amazing atmosphere in the room and I think we are all desperate to get our hands on a pair of the Nike Air Max 180 sneakers.

Lee Goldup Menswear buyer, Browns

Lee goldup mw buyer brownsfashioncrop

Lee goldup mw buyer brownsfashioncrop

How would you sum up the season?

The men’s market is extremely exciting – lots of newness and continuous creativity. We saw this very clearly at this season’s shows. Designers are pushing the boundaries, but there was a healthy balance between the avant-garde and the commercial.

What stood out?

We’ve seen blown-out proportions everywhere. Oversized shoulders, sleeves and trousers will be central to the new season. The 1990s have been referenced again and again. Mid-wash denim, vertical stripes, overhead jackets and one-pieces are also important. Green was most definitely the colour of the season and, in terms of accessories, bumbags proved to be the standout style.

For me, the comic book-printed shirts and futuristic sneakers at Prada, argyle knits at Marni, oriental dragon shirts at Balenciaga and utility vests at Alyx are all set to be key pieces for the season ahead. In London, the oversized parkas at Martine Rose and colourful blanket wraps at Craig Green really stood out as must-have styles. Looking to footwear, the Nike Air Max collaboration at Comme Des Garçons is a definite contender for most-anticipated sneaker drop of the season.

Liam Hodges, Yohji Yamamoto, Martine Rose, Prada

Liam Hodges, Yohji Yamamoto, Martine Rose, Prada

Liam Hodges, Yohji Yamamoto, Martine Rose, Prada

What were your favourite collections?

Liam Hodges and Martine Rose were favourites in London. JW Anderson was a highlight at Pitti in Florence, and in Milan, Marni and Prada really stood out. In Paris, it was Yohji Yamamoto, Comme Des Garçons Homme Plus and Sacai in particular.

Damien Paul Head of menswear, Matchesfashion.com

Damien paul head of menswear, matchesfashion.com

Damien paul head of menswear, matchesfashion.com

How would you sum up the season?

There were a lot of great shows, which meant it never felt dull. There was a real energy in each fashion capital, and the choices of venue were interesting. I think, in the current market, most designers ensured that collections were underpinned with commercial pieces. Valentino, for instance, lost the camouflage that has been a feature for several seasons now, which made it feel fresh and modern.

What stood out?

There was a lot of layering – shirts worn under shirts, collars poking out from jackets. Oversized anoraks will be huge for next spring, as will sportswear mixed with suiting. We also saw a lot of cycling shorts – let’s see if this translates.

Martine Rose, Marni, Rick Owens, Craig Green

Martine Rose, Marni, Rick Owens, Craig Green

Martine Rose, Marni, Rick Owens, Craig Green

What were your favourite collections?

In London, Craig Green and Martine Rose were the standout shows. Craig really developed his brand – laying a foundation of wearable pieces and building upon this with high-concept menswear. Martine cannily premiered certain pieces we would see again and again in the coming weeks: the oversized anorak, the cycling short, clever use of logos. In Milan, both Prada and Marni delivered collections that played on each brands’ strengths. In Paris, Rick Owens just excelled at being Rick Owens – a man very much in command of his artistic vision, brilliantly building and developing his very particular aesthetic season upon season.

Fiona Firth Buying director, Mr Porter

Fiona firth buying director mr porter 2016crop

Fiona firth buying director mr porter 2016crop

How would you sum up the season?

For me, the spring 18 season has been exciting. Brands injected an abundance of vivid colours and prints, alongside loose-fitting silhouettes: all part of key trends that will be commercially successful next spring.

What stood out?

The overall style of the shows embraced a relaxed feel with garments that were more generous in shape or slouchier, as seen at Giorgio Armani and Acne Studios. A cultural colour palette of orange, brown and terracotta stood out from numerous brands such as Dries Van Noten and Fendi, alongside neutral colours such as stone and pale greys. A 1970s street/California trend was seen at Saint Laurent and Sacai, while graphic prints and logos were prevalent at Balenciaga.

Berluti, Sacai, Oliver Spencer, Fendi

Berluti, Sacai, Oliver Spencer, Fendi

Berluti, Sacai, Oliver Spencer, Fendi

What were your favourite collections?

Oliver Spencer and Craig Green in London, Tom Ford and Fendi in Milan, and Berluti and Officine Générale in Paris.

Reece Crisp Buying manager, Farfetch

Reece crisp, menswear buying manager at farfetch crop

Reece crisp, menswear buying manager at farfetch crop

How would you sum up the season?

I think the season was a little flat. There were no significant new trends to emerge. Although some designers put on some incredible shows from a production perspective, the collections on the runway lacked newness. Designers seem to be playing it safe, holding on to trends that have been performing well.

What stood out?

Sports grunge continues to be the main focus for a lot of designers. Tracksuits, and in particular track pants, were in almost every collection. Denim was also in most collections – it’s shape that defines the designers. Pastels were a highlight for me, in particular the use of pink. Great to see some colour. Overall, I thought that the runway was more commercial than usual.

Versace, Craig Green, Thom Browne, Sulvam

Versace, Craig Green, Thom Browne, Sulvam

Versace, Craig Green, Thom Browne, Sulvam

What were your favourite collections?

Craig Green, Martine Rose and Blood Brother were favourites in London: super-fresh, strong, and doing their own thing. The Off White show in Florence was a spectacle, for sure. In Milan, Sulvam, Jil Sander and Versace were highlights. In Paris, the focus was Rick Owens and Thom Browne – the execution of the shows was on another level. Namachecko was also an interesting newcomer.

David Aquilina Head of menswear, Harvey Nichols

David aquilina portrait 2 2mb

David aquilina portrait 2 2mb

How would you sum up the season?

It was a pretty diverse season, but the majority of major collections had a very commercial undertone.

What stood out?

Trends were driven more by the codes of each brand then perhaps an overlapping theme across multiple brands. One thing that brought a lot of collections together was the use of bold colours to lift the ranges.

What were your favourite collections?

Maison Mihara Yasuhiro in London, Off White at Pitti Uomo and Dries Van Noten and Amiri in Paris.

Off White, Maison Mihara Yasuhiro, Dries Van Noten, Dries Van Noten

Off White, Maison Mihara Yasuhiro, Dries Van Noten, Dries Van Noten

Off White, Maison Mihara Yasuhiro, Dries Van Noten, Dries Van Noten

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