Boys to Men: The Growth of Men’s Fashion
British menswear has a classic tailoring heritage yet, in a time where forward-thinking and originality are key, men’s fashion has become far less predictable. Men are evolving as braver fashion species, being more experimental with what they wear and opening up to styles with simultaneous heritage and modernity. This modern generation of the fashion-forward male has led to an industry boom, with an influx of new brands redefining menswear.
Testament to the growth of the industry, a platform was established in June dedicated to showcasing the best for the boys. London Collections: Men ran as the first official men’s fashion week in London- a breakthrough given previous scheduling just saw them tagged onto the end of the women’s shows. The influx of emerging designers such as Jonathan Saunders, Agi and Sam, and Lou Dalton provides an eclectic mix, with this year’s shows presenting everything from colour-blocking to innovative prints, to hybrid tailored sportswear as answers to men’s demands for choice and variation.
The fashionable idea of menswear is catching on, in somewhat unexpected circles. Far from being fashion school graduates, familiar celebrity faces are tapping into its success. Liam Gallagher’s label Pretty Green is gaining notable acclaim in the industry, with our very own store here in Leeds. Rarely seen without an oversized parka and Lennon-like glasses himself, its no real surprise that these have become signature pieces in Gallagher’s design collection. Elsewhere Robbie Williams is taking a stab at the market with his fresh new label, Farrell. Offering a more refined alternative to a celebrity collection, Farrell draws influences from Saville Row tailoring with its sharp lines and attention to detail. Both brands are offering wearable, crowd-pleasing pieces, with high-fashion influences reformulated for the high street.
Finally, its all hail the Internet! E-tailers aren’t exactly one to miss a trick, and capitalising in on the ‘new male consumer’ ASOS have amped up their online offerings for men. Concession brands, designer goods and lookbooks generating ideas, they’re now offering 252 menswear brands under one imaginary roof – note the new additions of Boy London and Reclaimed Vintage as our brands to watch. Just a click away in cyberspace, MR PORTER.com (sibling of NET-A-PORTER.com) is offering instant access to high-fashion labels such as Givenchy and Tom Ford, for the totally dapper gent.
With the newfound glory of menswear, and the onset of newbie labels, the male market has fast become a force to be reckoned with. Girls, boys, its game on.
Photo: Courtesy of Pretty Green