Menswear fashion weeks showcase refreshing, exuberant summer 2022 trends
The end of the pandemic has been the focus of the fashion weeks that ended on June 27, whose shows heralded the industry’s palpable optimism, showcasing collections that were clearly conceived for a return to socialising and for enjoying the open air. The menswear collections for the Spring/Summer 2022 unveiled in London, Milan and Paris via a handful of in-person shows and the now-familiar video format, were distinctive for their wearability and great feeling of comfort, their laid-back mood and their unusual palette, veering from exuberant, even fluorescent colours to delicate, soothing hues in pastel or muted shades.
1 Total looks
Essential, timeless garments to be mixed and matched, provided they are all the same colour, including accessories, handbags, socks and shoes! Total looks are the new menswear mantra, as epitomised by Alessandro Sartori at Ermenegildo Zegna, as well as by most of the other designers, with their strictly monochrome sets in which clothes are layered and matched in a range of tone-on-tone combinations.
2 Technicolor suits
Suits remain the centrepiece of men's wardrobes, but their proportions are now softer and lighter, especially around the shoulders and in the lining. Although the classic grey, white and black suits are still a thing, this menswear staple has become comfortable but no less elegant, done in unconventional colours. Either in a candy-colour palette infusing a whiff of freshness into summer outfits, from pink to sky blue, pale lilac and yellow. Or, conversely, in vibrant, acidic colours like red, green, turquoise and bright yellow, injecting wardrobes with new-found energy.
3 Short-sleeved jackets
Within the newly blurred boundaries of a wardrobe that is shedding the traditional codes of men’s fashion without jettisoning them altogether, the classic formal jacket has become a laboratory for all kinds of experiments. For next summer, the directional trend is the short-sleeved version, a hybrid design that is part jacket, part blouse. Some designers have even shortened it to above the navel, transforming it into a bolero like Fendi, or a pelerine like Wooyoungmi. In many collections, jackets are quite simply sleeveless, for extra comfort.
4 Workwear and utility clothes
Aiming for ever-lighter and more practical outfits, designers have re-imagined clothes and accessories to make them more functional without overloading them, dipping with gusto in the world of workwear and its jackets with generous pockets, multi-pouch gilets and tote bags, dungarees and boiler suits. Everything in its place, for maximum ease of movement. Even the most basic wardrobe essentials have been redesigned in multi-function mode.
After being forced to shelter indoors for more than a year, in summer 2022 men will leave home comforts behind to enjoy life outdoors. Loungewear and the pyjama suits of seasons past are out, ushering in outdoor clothes (some collections were solely focused on this segment) as well as climbing and adventure outfits. Innovative ultra-light fabrics, high-tech nylon and feather-light wool are extensively used to produce jackets, windbreakers, overcoats, hunting vests, overshirts and safari jackets, matched with sport shorts and trousers overloaded with pockets.
Every collection featured them. Whether roomy and practical (again with pockets galore), in slightly retro mini versions, darted for a more formal look, worn a tad longer pirate-style, or lightweight like an invitation to go on holiday, there were shorts for everyone. They often replaced trousers in suits, and Prada even dared to present them in a romper-style version.
7 Tie-dye and shaded effects
The tie-dye trend seen in recent seasons continues undaunted, cropping up ubiquitously with all sorts of fabric treatments. Designers have innovated by testing different dyeing techniques, aiming to replicate as closely as possible the countless smudges and flecks time leaves on garments. Fabrics seem washed out and discoloured by sunlight, scored with shadings, reflections and whirls. Tie-dye effects crop up everywhere, on t-shirts, trousers, blouses, jackets, coats and even meshed garments. Shaded effects too are to be found everywhere, adding a gleeful, rainbow-like note to many outfits.
8 Fishnet knitwear
These lightweight, casual garments are not without a hint of sensuality, especially the open-work sweaters and vests, or the fishnet tops that allow a glimpse of the skin beneath. Some items came in high-tech fabrics such as mesh, for a sportier look. This sensual register was also expressed through a penchant for baring the skin, as in the silk shirts unbuttoned down to the navel, and through the use of lace, still highly popular for tops, shirts and trousers. Designers also went for sheer effects and sexy underwear.
9 Festive mood
Many menswear collection videos seen this season looked forward to the post-Covid period. Next year is expected to bring a return to normality, especially next summer, hence collection films embraced a liberating return to evenings out with sequins, lurex and flamboyant outfits. Men will wear a profusion of jewellery and the most beautiful finery to go out and have a great time. Colours will explode, silhouettes will shine. There will be plenty of occasions to get those satin suits and those outfits in lavish brocaded fabrics out of the closet.
10 Maxi skirts
Long draped skirts, down to the ankles and below, are now a feature of men's wardrobes. They were spotted notably at Louis Vuitton, samurai-style, at Yohji Yamamoto, at Avellano in a neo-futuristic design with a nod to The Matrix, at Tokyo James, which combined a long African-style loincloth with a classic black jacket-white shirt combo, at JordanLuca in a variety of lengths, at Loewe and at Thom Browne in a shorter, pleated version.
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