In a period of change both on and off the runways, with a number of menswear collections now stepping into the womenswear schedule in a co-ed, see-now, buy-now approach, if there was one key takeaway for men for Autumn/Winter 2017, it was all about getting back to the basics – even in suiting. And, key to this, while not exactly new, but gaining deeper traction this season, has been the appropriation of everyday streetwear and nostalgic 'normcore', the super-ordinary elevated to the luxury ranks.
Marking a radical shift in global style, trampling the boundaries between day and evening dressing in womenswear, likewise for men, athleisure cross-pollinated into most areas, from the subtle – think relaxed sporty silhouettes – all the way through to overt sporty motifs. Whether worn as co-ords or separates, look to tracksuits and statement hoodies to get on the team, turning to J.W.Anderson, Stella McCartney, Thom Browne, Neil Barrett and Gucci to earn designer kudos. For original '90s Champion fans, meanwhile – and largely thanks to Demna Gvasalia at Vetements – the brand is back, with the likes of Fila also enjoying a resurgence.
Fashion’s implicit need for reference also manifested itself in the revival of the super logo, with many designers using sweatshirts, jackets and hoodies – the season’s standout piece – to vocalise their statements. While the outspoken Valentino man shouts "Reclaim Your Heritage" and "Beauty Is A Birthright" on sweaters, tees and jackets, at RAF Simons he spoke of "Warning Signs" and "Any Way Out Of This Nightmare" and the Balmain man was with the band, going down the heavy metal logo tee route. At Givenchy, it was all about logos – etched on the back of a reworked denim jacket in this season's key colour, primary red.
If it was the element of nostalgia you were enjoying, Autumn/Winter 2017 served up another distinct memory: flashback to those art school days when adding DIY detailing and decorations to clothing was pretty much mandatory, along with chipped black nail polish, too. Fast forward to now and jackets, tees, shirts and sweaters all got that homespun look with patches, illustrations, crochet, paint, collage and tie-dye effects, as demo-ed at J.W.Anderson, Loewe, Gucci, Burberry and Versace.
Less artsy but still playing to a retro side, a '70s revival re-emerged on the runway. In keeping with the season’s general play on espousing the ‘norms’ in fashion, however, this wasn't a disco diva jaunt to the carwash, it was way more love and peace. Look to the cosy knits, ski sweaters and grandpa cardies from Valentino, Missoni, Kenzo and Thom Browne, along with lashings of corduroy in earthy tones.
And suiting's answer to all of this? A sense of heritage, of course. Paralleled in womenswear too, if the Prince of Wales check, Herringbone or Tweed could ever have asked for a finer return to the tailoring throne it would be now. Sometimes erring on the '80s in silhouette – think broad shoulders and double-breasted cuts, worn a size too big in some cases – Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith and Brunello Cucinelli all present worthy options this season.
Lastly, it wouldn't be autumn/winter without outerwear, and while the logo jacket trend may be for the more sartorially statement-led, and quilted puffas or technical wear remain go-tos for those who like to keep things on the casual or functional side, for an all-out classic, look no further than the perennial favourite, the camel coat. This season given a sometimes-shearling update, for the coat that transcends the trends, Valentino, Solid Homme, Gucci, Burberry and Loewe have the season all wrapped up.