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AW21: The Men’s Trend Report

Feature: Long Read
Words by ABIGAIL GURNEY-READ

Clothing doesn’t exist in a vacuum – what we wear is a sign of the times in which we live. As the new collections land, signalling the start of autumn, it behoves us to consider the context behind them as we navigate the new normal. “The main messages have been consistent regardless of whether we’re talking about Ermenegildo Zegna or Fendi,” explains Simon Longland, head of menswear. “There has been a blurring of boundaries – a lack of separation between work and home, formal and informal.” Read on for the trends and brands you’ll want to wear over the coming months.

All About Brown

The new neutral? Think brown. Though the hue has been known to divide opinion – not quite as classic as its black or ecru counterparts – the AW21 runways swung its favour for Simon. “After a lifelong aversion to shades of brown, I really find it the most interesting and rich colour now and I’ve started to buy it for myself.”

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Jewel Focus

“One micro-trend that we have observed is jewellery,” says Simon. “Jil Sander was a standout presentation for this, where significant statement necklaces were layered over winter coats.” Elsewhere, Ambush returned to its roots as an experimental jewellery brand, showcasing chunky adornments set with vivid cut quartz.

Square-Cut Stone Ring primary image

AMBUSH

Square-Cut Stone Ring

$964

The Long Game

The mass shift in working patterns is behind a number of trends this season – not least of all AW21’s standout shirt. According to Simon, the elongated silhouette is “almost a nightshirt” and has been versioned this season by several brands including Dries Van Noten, Lemaire and Maison Margiela.

Oversized Outerwear

Coats are one of the season’s key messages,” Simon says. “Shapes are largely oversized, with a sense of enveloping the body – or they’re wrapped or belted, inferring security.” Granted, solid layering is part and parcel of any Autumn/Winter collection. The difference here is what can be read between the lines. For Simon, it’s protection: “There is a real sense of cocooning,” he explains.

Wool Double-Breasted VLTN Times Coat primary image

Valentino

Wool Double-Breasted VLTN Times Coat

$2 828

Colour Pop

Autumn’s overriding palette may have erred towards the muted, but there’s still room for colour in your seasonal wardrobe. “Vivid brights offer contrast to the sombre hues,” says Simon. “Orange, yellow and scarlet are the colours we’ve seen most consistently.”

Noteworthy Knitwear

In the battle of layering, wool comes out on top for AW21. “Jersey has been largely noticeable by its absence,” Simon observes. “This season has been about advancing knitted techniques. The most important takeaway for your wardrobe should be a standout collection of knitwear – rich, thick-ply and high-neck styles are defining pieces.”

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