New fashion forces enter with the change of each season. This past month alone, we’ve witnessed a heaving lot peppering the Spring 2019’s menswear shows. The industry’s tectonic shift was most palpable in Paris, where millennial-backed royalties Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones made their anticipated debuts at LVMH giants Louis Vuitton and Dior Homme respectively. It’s also where nascent but promising Los Angeles-based label Alyx presented its first-ever runway show. In a city once synonymous with couture, streetwear now reigns.
Trainers ran rampant, on or off the catwalks, but not all designers were sneaker-obsessed. Off-piste on a postcard-perfect beach somewhere in Marseille was Simon Porte Jacquemus with his inaugural men’s show (he lovingly called it his “man show”), where a tribe of free-spirited boys strode barefoot with no oversized hoodies in sight. Raf Simons had a homecoming in Paris after seasons of anchoring New York’s fashion week schedule and posited an anti-streetwear manifesto. So did John Galliano, who showcased couture for the gents via his very-first Maison Margiela Artisanal menswear.
Sifting through all the looks, the men’s shows proved to be the best of both, if not all, worlds. Hype advocates or pessimists, purists or modern dandies, there’s something for everyone. Below, we’ve charted the biggest trends that are set to make waves come Spring 2019.
It’s out with toxic masculinity
And in with evocative progressiveness. Rigidity and Dior Homme’s gauzy shirts don’t go hand in hand, neither does aloofness with Saint Laurent’s glitter torsos and high shine pants, nor reservation with Craig Green’s tie-dye togas.
As conversations around the nature of masculinity buoys an open-ended redefinition, designers strive for fair representation in their sartorial outputs. Perhaps 2019 can finally be the year men can nonchalantly wear a chunky Raf Simons knit dress to work, no questions asked.
Look ma, no hands!
That catchphrase is what many seemingly giant lanyards, now dubbed neck wallets, seem to state. It may be a few sizes smaller than what was last season’s man bag obsession, the fanny pack, but this neck-encircling accessory does make up for its lack of space with insouciant convenience. On days when more room is needed, there’s the like of Louis Vuitton’s ample-sized alligator skin neck clutch to bear the extra weight.
Pro tip: When it comes to slinging your bags next season, necks are the new torsos.
Wearing your dream destination on your sleeves (or investment piece)
Be it a statement sweater posing your inclination towards equatorial escapades, or a flesh-immersed trompe l’oeil temporarily inking a former Soviet country on your chest, unsubtle graphics are at the heart of menswear designers. Tear a page from Vetements or Maison Margiela, and trade those tired slogan tees for these instead.
Sun’s out, leg hair’s out
Parallel to the downsizing of eyewear, bags, and possibly in the near future, garments — part-kudos to Queer Eye’s crop top-mainstreamer Jonathan Van Ness — teeny man shorts are having a renaissance. Even the streets have taken a liking towards thigh-high pants, upping them with slackened suiting. The higher, the closer to heaven, so they say.
The camp collar shirt is here to stay
One of the most likely items to permeate the runways to full saturation? It’s the camp collar shirt. Stemming from the classic silhouette of the Hawaiian shirt, this vacation requisite now goes beyond just tourist-core. It’s the breezy in-between you need for casual Fridays without compromising on panache. Engulfed in the new season’s wildly garish-cool patterns, cash registers are poised to light up for another round of camp collar mania.