Shorts slam back into mens fashion in 2018 – but we don’t mean easy-going cargo or safari styles.
Prada dealt out red micro boxers with sportswear detailing, while Louis Vuitton offered lean-cut
black leather shorts. Often, short shorts were paired with otherwise conventional pieces – a suit
jacket at Thom Browne, slouchy tweed at Dries van Noten – to create a styling tip for the ordinary
punter: go as brief as you care to and then pretend nothing else is amiss.
Silhouettes are going supersized with loosely structured jackets and trousers billowing from
shoulders and from hips, as if their wearers have ever so slightly shrunk. Big jackets – often over
matching trousers – show form at Ermenegildo Zegna (in pink), Kenzo (in purple, with shorts),
Y/ Project (enormous and embroidered with silver). High waists – the waist a new focal point – topped
trousers so exaggeratedly wide, they were two cuffs short of a zoot suit. The effect is an oddly
glamorous dishevelment; a dashing, faintly devilmay-care boyishness. Chaplin never looked this good.
Designers are using a spirit of rebellion as well as a continuing fascination in genderless fashion
to push identity frontiers. Skirts for men appear in the work of eternal provocateur Vivienne
Westwood as well as Thom Browne, Alexander McQueen, Loewe (helmed by JW Anderson) and
Craig Green. The bifurcated leg wear known as the trouser is now just one option. Think kilts, think
sarongs, think exoticism, think new definitions of masculinity. You’re halfway there.
The rugged outdoors continues to hold fascination for designers and wearers alike and it’s not hard to see why. Where better to explore tropes of traditional menswear than in a range of handy water-resistant hoodies,
tracksuit tops and tracksuit trousers in technical fabrics with all the right zips and pulleys?
Except, 2018 being what it is, nothing is quite as it seems. Valentino’s anorak is decorated with elaborate detailing, Kenzo’s comes in candy colours. Z Zegna’s sailing gear is as yellow as the sun and Hermes’ duffle coat is as
sleek as they come. Practical and pretty: what a winning mix.
One For All
Few themes have dominated menswear catwalks like workwear. In 2018, it’s the turn of the boiler suit,
the all-inone, the jumpsuit – perennial favourite of mechanics and aviators – to take, controversially, to the stage.
We say controversially, because it’s hard to work out quite where to wear Prada’s sexy navy zip-up onesie,
Alexander McQueen’s palm print take on the shape or Missoni’s pyjama check. To the office, on a first date,
walking the dog, to lunch with the in-laws? But that’s the beauty of this look. You can make it your own.
And isn’t that what fashion is all about?