Men’s Fashion Week, held annually in Milan, has now drawn it a close. Its conclusion most concretely means that we have an idea of what high-end products to expect next winter, and furthermore that the attention of the fashion world can now turn to the upcoming spring and summer shows.
But what can the Milan show tells us about the state of men’s fashion in general? What were the major trends on display?
If there is one main takeaway from Milan, it is that men’s fashion is solidly and undeniably looking backwards – taking its cue and inspiration from the styles and approaches of the past. This strong conservatism was on full display in many of the most hyped collections, including those of Neil Barrett, Calvin Klein, Bottega Veneta, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Gucci. Rather than the creative and new looks that we are so accustomed to seeing at women’s fashion shows, the models on the runway were sporting corduroy suits and Seventies sports coats. They were wearing camouflage uniforms and drooping capes. In short, the clothing on display looked like something that would be worn by a 19th century military officer, a Jazz Age poet, or a ‘60s era playboy – but not by a model in the year 2012.
How can we explain this overwhelming turn to history? Designers and analysts have provided the following reasons:
-The current economic climate breeds nostalgia. In times of austerity, designers believe, buyers look to the past for comfort and security. This naturally leads to an interest in conservative dress.
-The current economic climate reaffirms social power. Classy and conservative dress evokes strong associations with powerful, wealthy elites. High-end buyers in the current market (the target consumers of fashion show products) seek clothing items that help reinforce their social power during uncertain economic times.
-Men want conservative fashions. Even despite the grim global economy, women’s fashion shows continue to break new ground in the areas of creativity and style. So the appeal to history exhibited in men’s shows must be gender-specific. When it comes to fashion, men are less willing to try something new and are more concerned that they will look ostentatious by not following traditional patterns.
-The entertainment industry has been pushing conservative looks. In both the television and film media, period pieces have been all the rage in recent years. Some people believe that this trend has caught up to the fashion industry, as designers increasingly are captivated by what they see on television and on film.
Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that historical looks stand to play a dominant role in men’s fashion over the coming year. For the average man, this simply means that you can’t go wrong by following the traditional styles and approaches. Whether you’re shopping for a new suit or buying a ring from www.menstungstenonline.com, it can’t hurt to seek out something that is classy and traditional. Those futuristic outfits will have to wait for now.