SHORT WIDE TROUSERS
It used to feel like men’s style was split into two camps, the men and the boys. The boys dressed like dandies, rude boys or skaters and the men dressed like David Brent or Ricky Martin, or somewhere in between. Then the lines all got blurred and sales in All Saints went through the roof. It’s good now because these wide leg trousers are masculine and stylish and not too smart or considered. They could have come out of the 50s or 60s, out of a time when jeans were still as rebellious as nipple piercings and so trousers were just trousers. Carven took the short to the extreme with their high-waisted, high concept pairs, but they looked a bit awkward.
Speaking of the 60s, quite a few of the designers took inspiration from retro, minimalist style, often leaning towards science and technology. At Dior, there was a nod to classic Bond, or was it Star Trek, with their retro futurism – not unlike that at Bobby Abley in London. Polonecks were a feature at quite a few of the shows, Jean Paul Gaultier being one, and there was a heavy emphasis on crisp, clean lines, structured tailoring, discreet or hidden seams and neatness, at Lanvin for example.
At Maison Martin Margiela, models looked more like modern bohemians and many of them were – a bunch of waifs, strays and musicians scraped off the streets and wrapped in fur and patchwork. Despite all evidence pointing to the conclusion that patchwork, craft and make-do-and-mend is a repulsive way to approach luxury fashion, designers apparently can’t help themselves. Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent models also bucked the trend – art fops in long scarves and skinny jeans, like a parading indie band.
At Hermes there were splashes of deep yellow and pink, and at Raf Simons more bold yellow details against a neutral palette of tan, beige and navy. At Comme des Garcons there was more yellow and pink but a bit zingier. Their version of the short trouser was more like a skater short. Mugler used highlighter brights, too, taking ‘the digital age’ in a more serious direction than the usual 90s graphic prints, creating serious military-inspired suits.
Paris used soft grey, brown and navy as backdrops instead of intense black or white.
At Thom Browne, hats were reminiscent of the Amish and Hasidic Jews, large and squared off and worn with sock suspenders and briefcases – modern conservatism that waved farewell to flashy casualwear. There were also big hats at John Galliano, looking a bit Jay Kay, and at Junya Watanabe. The bunny ears at Comme des Garcon were a bit too ‘fun’, there is such a thing isn’t there? Ask Secret Garden Party, they know. Elsewhere, if heads could be seen they complied with the global autumn/winter code of long and floaty or slick, side-parted and serious. Like I said before, you’ve had your fun dossing, now get to work.