Menswear 2018 — Points of Convergence
Menswear for Spring/Summer 2018 can be summed up into two themes: the Boardroom and the Track. According to the most influential designers, next year fashion will be interchangeable, since the track has infiltrated the boardroom and the reverse also seems likely to happen.
Tracksuits and other athletic inspiration were present in almost every collection, from Hermès to Valentino. Clothes were generally looser than in collections of past seasons. A growing emphasis on construction details as decoration — Hermès, Comme des Garçons — is a standout trend, as is a preference for materials that are flowing, light and diaphanous — Louis Vuitton, Haider Ackerman.
Some collections were obviously more trend-cohesive than others, and here are our favorites.
Berluti — Haider Ackerman showed his second collection for Berluti and one can sense the style coefficient of this line already growing considerably. Short bomber jackets and slim-fit pants that were short enough to show the house’s justifiably famous shoes. Knit track pants in light blue with white stripes at the sides, cut with tailoring precision that made them look completely appropriate for a gentleman’s wardrobe. Like Hermès, this was a collection filled with pieces that were highly desirable and perfectly collectible.
Valentino — How interesting to see Pier Paolo Piccioli making this brand his own! Valentino for Spring/Summer 2018 is full of statement pieces, intricately constructed and Couture-inspired. The collection’s nomadic undercurrent was grounded with street-inspired looks, like oversized track pants and anoraks in vivid colors, all respectful of the house’s definition of luxury fashion.
Balenciaga — This season, Demna Gvasalia plunged into the psyche of the corporate man. This “corporate man” is a very fashionable individual, preferring bleached jeans and pinstriped shirts paired with relaxed suit jackets for the weekend. Gvasalia purposely aged the garments by weighing down the pockets and linings of the coats. Hawaiian shirts also seem to be making a comeback for next summer and they were present in this collection, as well.
Fendi — smack in the middle of the Boardroom and the Track, Fendi imagines workplace attire for the younger set. If suits and tailored shorts in checked organza are on your wardrobe wishlist for next year, look no further. Conceptually, Fendi perfectly captured the trend of material androgyny and interchangeability. Haider Ackerman for his own menswear collection also showed softer looks of pajama comfort.
Comme des Garçons — Junya Watanabe’s collection for CdG was full of inventive virtuosity. In this collection as well, the standout pieces were jackets and blazers, done with inside-out linings and in extraordinary material combinations. As a polar opposite to the restrained coolness of Berluti, CdG celebrates individuality and demands confidence in one’s style choices.
Finally, Prada and Louis Vuitton showed collections designed to fuel their accessories’ lines for many seasons to come. LV showed their new collection of signature monogram bags in split color combinations, a look so appropriate for the brand, it’s a wonder no one thought of doing it before. Prada menswear was full of excellent craftsmanship and inventive sartorial references. This collection was also responsible for sending some fashion editors into a state, as they tried to put words into describing the conceptual theme. Some of our favorites: “Preppy nerds and rustic hippies” — WWD, “A comic book fantasy” — Vogue, “The coming of the robots” — New York Times.