For Autumn/Winter 2016 I have decided to do a menswear trend report as well as my usual womenswear one. Partially because I 'm now working in menswear, but mainly because menswear is now so closely linked with womenswear. This season, more than any previous, we have seen a huge increase in designers replacing separate gender collections with women+men combined collections. The gender divide in fashion is becoming even more blurred as women and men are integrated throughout the runway collections. In fact, it would not surprise me if this time next year I am posting a colossal set of combined men+women trends, but for now I will keep them separate.
(NB: In the next few weeks I will be working on a post which looks at the 'genderless' topic and how it is affecting the fashion industry).
As this season is my first time looking at menswear trends, my boards are not as tightly themed as my womenswear boards normally are, so apologies for that. I guess they'll improve as time goes on. I find menswear print trend reports particularly taxing as there doesn't seem to be enough graphic imagery to clearly identify any strong trends....but I have done my best to pull some together....anyway enough apologies and excuses,here is the print trend section of my Autumn/Winter 2016 menswear report.
Stripes are a collection staple for most seasons and the new collections for A/W16 are proving to be no different. As a general rule stripes for the coming season are quite tight with narrow spacing and toned down/minimal in colour. My favourite stripes are definitely the placed ones at James Long and the ombre knitted stripes at Missoni. I would probably avoid the tonal grey stripes at Craig Green as they have holocaust striped pyjama connotations.
As stated previously I don't really know the normal print content of the menswear collections but I did notice a heavy amount of checks, particularly red/black and black/white combinations- very punk inspired. In fact I sensed an entire atmosphere of rebellion in the menswear collections with politically inspired graphics, ragged edged styling and punk/hardware accessories. It will definitely be interesting to see if this transpires across to womenswear.
From punk rebellion to military uniformity, camouflage seems to be a menswear staple. There didn't seem to be anything particularly new/groundbreaking in the camo area but I did quite like the stretched camouflage prints found at Maharishi and the blue and red pop colours added to a classic camo at Moncler Gamme Bleu.
Although I am unaware of the recent history of animal print in menswear, I know that, in womenswear, it has taken a back seat recently. This year, however, it seems to be re-emerging in a very classic form- no garish pop colour leopard prints, no abstract animal patterns, just prints representational of actual animal hides.
The abstract prints seem to be where designers have chosen to inject the most printed colour and we all know how much I love colour. From painted brushstroke effect artworks to ink splodges and tie dye, this was probably the only collection of menswear graphics that actually had enough of a following to stand out as a trend. I think the Daks collection absolutely nailed abstract prints for Autumn/Winter 2016, giving them a soft watercolour effect and applying the rich earthy colour palette to them.
In contrast to the hand-drawn/hand-painted route that most designers have chosen to go down for AW16, the oversized geo trend offers a range of large scale structures and oversized flat coloured shapes. This is a welcome change of scenery and I really like the oversized aspect.
From large scale geometrics to their polar opposite- small florals. I was unsure what to expect of menswear florals. As a womenswear print designer who is currently trying her hand at menswear(an interesting experiment) I am constantly faced with the dilemma of creating a masculine floral. I wouldn't say that any of the florals here strike me as particularly 'masculine', in fact, when removed from the context, and shown as a close up print rather than on a garment, I think people would struggle to identify which collection they belong to. I am extremely happy to be able to fit all floral prints on one board- in womenswear there are usually so many floral prints that I have to make multiple floral trend boards. All I can really gather from men's florals is that there are a lot with an amber colouration and dark grounds seem to be popular.
Paisley wasn't actually a huge trend on the menswear catwalks for Autumn/Winter 2016 but I feel like it is a print design staple across the board so I always like to include it anyway just to see if there are any new print ideas... on the whole it's just more of the same traditional paisleys in the new seasonal colour palette. This being said, I did really like Katie Eary's simplified amber paisley and think it could very easily be applied to commercial menswear.
Photo prints seem to be a lot more popular in the men''s collections than in the women''s. For A/W16 there seems to be a trend of figurative photography, although there aren't really enough photographic prints to identify a specific trend.
Moving on from the only digital prints I found(photographic ones) to the most popular trend of hand-drawn/hand-painted imagery. In this board I have included linear outline imagery as I feel it sits quite nicely alongside the outline sketches. If you haven't already, I would definitely advise taking a look at the Yohji Yamamoto collection as it has beautiful outline facial sketches reminiscent of Picasso paintings.
Even the license designs have a hand-drawn feel to them- I particularly love the Mickey Mouse sketchy artworks used at Iceberg and how they have been combined with a retro stripe. It's also quite refreshing not to see a hoard of star wars insignia as I really feel that I have reached stars wars saturation point. It is unsurprising, however, that this has been replaced by a Marvel license. I am however, slightly shocked that there weren't more Marvel related graphics as an incredible 8 Marvel and DC films are set to be released in 2016; from Deadpool in February and Batman vs Superman in march all the way through to Sinister Six in November.
Novelty prints and conversationals are finally making a comeback. The collections for Autumn/Winter 2016 featured a lot of placed singly motifs on sweatshirts and knitted jumpers, topics varying from animals to rockets.
The slogans seemed to cover quite a range of topics, all quite controversial, menswear fashion designers seem to be using their garments as a platform to provide political comment which I absolutely love. Juun J, in particular, had a range of controversial slogans as the collection was themed around the 'genderless' topic which I will be writing about soon.
That's all the Menswear print trends I picked up on for Autumn/Winter 2016. As always I would love to hear your comments and which trends you think will be popular. Also if you feel I have missed anything please let me know, menswear is not my forte and it's always extremely interesting to see what other designers have picked up on.
I should have the colour and styling menswear post ready this evening so stay tuned ;)