A Spring 2021 Menswear Forecast
Expect heavy Utility pieces and classic black staples.
Johnny Cash, Batman, Steve Jobs and Joan Jett are my fashion heroes and absolute style icons in my private fashion encyclopedia. What they have in common is an indescribable love for black. Each of them, including Batman who does not belong to the real world but symbolizes a style icon at least when it comes to the imaginary, film world, wore black in their own way.
There are countless unforgettable images of Johnny Cash in perfectly tailored black shirts and black suits that seem to have arrived directly from London’s Saville Row. Although Batman’s cape was supposed to be used for easier maneuvering in the air, I still have the impression that he always wore it primarily for an effective dramatic effect. The fluidity of his cape seems to have been precisely invented in the haute couture atelier of a house such as Chanel.
Steve Jobs religiously adored black, simple turtlenecks created by Japanese designer Issey Miyake. He reportedly had about a hundred identical ones in his closet. Joan Jett is not only a rock’n’roll royalty but also a black princess when it comes to her style. Black has a dose of consistency and simplicity that other colors in the spectrum simply do not possess. And if you ask me simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
The European digital men’s fashion weeks that are behind us have confirmed the thesis that black is not only a chic phenomenon but also an armor. It has become much-needed protection for the hysterical world we live in today. People who constantly wear black are often said to look unapproachable like they move in a cloud of mystery.
In the era of the chronic need for social distancing, black is proving to be a practical move in this segment as well. For black to be striking, it needs a strong shape & form so many designers excelled because they focused on various tailoring techniques to further protect us and create that much-needed armor for the uncertain 2021.
For spring-summer collections, designers usually go wild with colors but special times require special measures. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have clean up the style palette of designers with finally abolishing the often tragic need for noisy trends that must appear every season. The return to black is not just a return to color which represents simplicity but also returns to a color that symbolizes the first-rate class, especially when it comes to tailoring. Iconic phrase “florals for spring” is finally becoming painstakingly trivial and black is here to stay. Like a safe haven to guide us through the misfortunes of our shamelessly packed closets and dangerously empty wallets.
Kim Jones is a true genius credited with the new renaissance of men’s fashion. His new collection has been carefully edited as Jones seduces us with haute couture references from the archives of the house of Dior. The absolute winner of his vision for next spring is this remarkable utility jacket with four huge pockets. This piece doesn’t just present luxury but timelessness. The styling seems to be deliberately militant and ready for much-needed new victories on our horizons. If Kim Jones did military uniforms around the world, there would be no war. Just catfights in canteens about spilled champagne on splendid fabrics.
Alessandro Sartori knows a thing or two about classic dressing where every detail plays a crucial role. These flawless high-waisted trousers combined with (again utility-style!) black shirt can instantly transform you into a style icon even though you are perhaps far from that aristocratic title. This is definitely not a look for boys, but for men who know what they want. But it can also be used for boys who pretend to be men who know what they want. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Coco Chanel gave women a “little black dress” but Hedi Slimane is the father of the “little black suit” that sparked the first serious revolution in contemporary menswear two decades ago. Rarely anyone can cut skinny suits like Slimane. In recent seasons, this prophet of fashion has succeeded in an impossible mission: how to bring the allure of tailoring closer to a young audience? The trick is also in the thoughtful styling, but when you take away that element, you are left with a jacket and pants that you can combine regardless of the time of year or the situation on the fashion radar. The only thing Slimane needs to work on is the time machine so I could go back in my late teens.
COMME des GARCONS HOMMES PLUS
Decoding Rei Kawakubo is almost always mission impossible. Failure is guaranteed. Kawakubo is the last living giant of the avant-garde and her creations usually live in closets for decades before being hijacked by passionate collectors or museums. The trademark of her personal style is a flawless black leather biker jacket. In the new collection, Kawakubo explores how to transfer the power of silver metal to clothing, so these shorts are potentially the most important shorts we can witness at the moment. And what about one more majestic interpretation of a biker jacket that looks like the child of some former punk suit?
The perfection when it comes to the cut of this baby pink jacket demonstrates all the power of minimalism as armor. In a short time, Lucie and Luke Meier gained a faithful cult of devotees who worship the bible which preaches “less is more”. You can introduce this jacket to your favorite shirt, tank top, vintage t-shirt but also naked skin. It will be love at first sight. I guarantee.
To wear gentle, creamy shades or perhaps white, you have to have a damn good dry cleaner on your speed dial, but such an investment pays off when you study in detail luxury materials like cashmere and the surgically precise cuts courtesy of Bruno Sialelli. This look along with white gloves is great for a Sunday church after you made a series of sins during a long night of crazy partying on the Cote d’Azur.
Although Christophe Lemaire may not be a well-known name to the masses, he is a designer who should be on your fashion map. Lemaire masterfully rules minimalism in a quintessential Parisian way in “je not sais quoi” mode. This trench coat is a piece that you can successfully combine with everything you have in your wardrobe, regardless of whether you are a sports geek or a fashion addict.
In this outfit, you should definitely avoid going to an intimate dinner party because the sleeve movements would cause dramatic damage to your host, but it is a vision of Jonathan Anderson that deserves a standing ovation. The greatest fashion philosopher of his generation took the elements of the classic black turtleneck and combined them with couture volumes that we normally see exclusively in women’s fashion. With all that, he combined relaxed pants with almost cargo vibe. If you end up in strict isolation again it would be ideal to combine this top with your old PJ pants and appear at a Zoom meeting from the bed in the full glory of an intellectual fashion spectacle.
In this epic suit, even an altar boy could look dangerous. But that is exactly the strength of Miuccia Prada. Hidden passions raging beneath the surface of seemingly minimalist clothing. Prada symbolizes the power of subversion because nothing is ever as it seems. Her men’s collection for spring 2021 is also the strongest fashion message of the season. When you first look at this collection you think about school uniforms, the principal’s office, and the rules of discipline pushed upon you. This is basically the ultimate power suit moment when you don’t care what the principal or parents will say.
High priest of fashion Rick Owens confirms the thesis that a seemingly simple piece of clothing like this jacket can give you more confidence than several self-help books from the local Barnes & Noble. With these shoulders, you should not be afraid of anything. This type of jacket is like a magic cape that only superheroes are entitled to wear.