The mood at the men’s shows was almost oxymoronic to the times. Luxury was the buzzword for the season. Exquisitely crafted suits, tailored coats, fur, cashmere and couture like detailing such as gold thread embroidery made a stark contrast the sombre economic mood.
Unabashed elegance in terms of tailoring and details were an overarching trend which unified the Parisians and Milanese catwalks. The colour palette served only to emphasize the elegant theme which ran across the collections. This summer’s prints and brash colours were replaced by more seasonal hues of bottle green, deep burgundy as well as the evergreens like charcoal grey, blue and black. The colour splashes were provided by varying hues of camel, from rich tones imbued with warm yellows to colder more oatmeal tones frozen with greys. Prints were relegated to knitwear, emphasizing the vintage gentleman’s dress code so admired in FW13.
Tailoring, in the form of sharp suits and coats, is the central theme of FW13. Classic, uber structured suits, both double or single breasted, created an army of sartorially impeccable looks on the catwalks. Fashion, however, being what it is would never just reproduce tried and tested trends, without updating or re inventing some aspects. The younger generation of wanna be gentlemen have a pick from the season’s catwalks too. Suits have also been presented with subversive details which catapult FW13’s tailoring into a new sphere.
Black is a constant in winter, and for the FW13 season it is more present than ever. Black however does not have to be boring, or worse, flat. The collections masterfully illustrated how black can be rich, textured and diverse. By using different materials, like velvet, nylon, leather, felt, fur and satin, black takes on a new life. Matching these different materials give the designer first, and the wearer after, a chance to experiment with light reflection, texture and depth.
Winter demands a warmer colour palette, and for FW13 it was warmer and less varied than recent seasons. As well as the always-relevant browns, forest greens, and differing tones of red, from burgundy to brick, blue and rusty, burnt orange have made a comeback.
The real protagonist of the FW13 collections, when it comes to colour, is the ever-chic camel. Commercial, elegant and timeless, in many ways this colour crystallises the themes of the season. Camel transcends fabrics and textures, lending itself to varied interpretations. Corduroy blazers, cashmere jackets, suede and leather bomber jackets as well as quilted puffas and the ubiquitous coat are all present in camel on the runways.
Velvet has made a real comeback in recent seasons, climaxing with FW13. Velvet has a romantic quality to it. Whether its corduroy, or flat, or washed, or crumpled, it immediately stirs historical images, warm memories, and opulent connotations. The tactile quality, as well as its shimmering reflections makes velvet a king amongst fabrics. For FW13, velvet has been treated like a king and utilised in many ways, in suits, separates, coats and trims.
Military is a strong trend for the FW13 season. Embrace it will all guns blazing and choose outfits with stand collars, Austrian knots, cropped jackets and even faux medals. The military trend in FW13 however has a strong vintage feel: as well as referencing mid Twentieth century uniforms, the military inspired garments are richly embroidered with gold thread and other precious details, akin to those grand Napoleonic uniforms.
The undisputed protagonist of FW13 is the coat. Elegant, rigorously tailored, can be worn both as the finishing touch to formal look or nonchalantly thrown over a cable knit jumper. The silhouette is often cut close to the body, with razor sharp lines worthy of the most sartorially exquisite suits. FW13 sees a resurgence of classic dress, and the novelty or luxury often lie in the details, the finest fabrics, the buttons, the stitching, the velvet trims.
The waist is back in fashion. Tailored suits are cut closer to the body in FW13, and so is the coat. We’ve seen a re-emergence of the male silhouette, and a way to further emphasize it is through the use of a belt. Strong manly shoulders and a trim waist are key in this season’s looks. From trench coats to pea coats, the belt is a must have detail.
Knitted outerwear is back. Fashion is often made of contrasts, and in keeping with this maxim, slouchy and cosy maxi cable knit cardigans were shown as an alternative to the razor sharp tailored looks which dominated the catwalks for FW13. Whether belted, or with matching trousers, fashioned as blazers or almost like a midi dress, cable knits are fashion freindly.
Tailoring in menswear is key, but in FW13 its seen a real resurgence. As well as emphasising classic cuts, the runways played as the setting to many contemporary reinterpretations of the classic suit. The silhouettes vary, from egg shaped to more slim cut, with frog fastenings or buttons, what tie these looks together is the detailed study of the fabrics or patterns.
The double-breasted blazer, and coat, has made a real comeback in recent seasons, with a culmination in FW13. For next winter, the double breasted blazer has been stripped back to basics, less bulky, more svelte versions gratify the male shape without swamping it. A true modern classic.
Ah the jumper, cosy, multifaceted, timeless companion of our winter months. Knitwear was reserved a special treatment for FW13. The runways saw a lot of rigorous tailoring, but knitwear did not escape some masterful workmanship too. Cashmere and mohair reigned over the world of knitwear, a continuation of the overarching trend of unabashed luxury.
With a season so keen on tailoring, sports coats took a back seat. However, the chameleonic bomber jacket anchored the collections to a directional feel. Whether padded, quilted, classic or cool, the cropped bomber jacket looks like a trend that won’t subside any time soon.
Styled by: Yuri Ahn
Written by: Valentina Zannoni
Image Credits : Luca Cannonieri and Michele Morosi.