Crayola Bright Colour
Unusually for the Autumn/Winter menswear collections, the runways were rather jolly - credited to the flashes of colour seen especially at Burberry Prorsum, Jil Sander and Bottega Veneta. There was none of the jewel-hued colour blocking we saw over at womenswear, but just pops of juicy brights: burnt orange, pea green, mustard or royal blue featuring as just one piece in an ensemble, a sweater perhaps, or coral red trousers - a favourite at Jil Sander, or maybe an eye-catching overcoat, as seen at Bottega Veneta and Burberry - choose from rainbow-hued pea and trench coats at Burberry (where the drama of the clothes was matched by the faux rain in the finale), or warm wool duffels at Bottega Veneta. No pastels in sight, and certainly no patterns: simple, high-impact pieces and astute colour usage is the key here - overkill is not an option. Pick one thing, and stick to that.
Translation: take cue from Tomas Meier at Bottega Veneta, who combined his elegant monochrome basics with shots of rich, bright hues.
Suave English Gentleman
From the penthouse on Canary Wharf to the manor house in Derbyshire, every type of English gent was catered for, with super-sleek debonair tailoring at Dolce and Gabbana and Ermenegildo Zegna for the former, and heritage tweeds, fur and shearling at Burberry Prorsum and Gucci for the latter. Plenty of playful tartans complete with leather elbow patches at Moncler Gamme Bleu for the dashing Scotsman too. For suits, the dapper gentleman has his pick of the bunch, with 2 vs 3-piece, double vs single-breasted and endless variations on fabric (pinstripe vs. plain), buttons (2 or 3) and lapels (wide vs. narrow) - the key here is to know your body type, and what suits you (sir). For heaven’s sake, choose wisely - a great suit is for life. With the right choice, he goes from “off-the-rack” to a bespoke, elegant and refined gentleman - and who doesn’t want one of those?
Translation: if ever there was a time to buy yourself a suit guys, it’s now. The tailoring is at it’s most flattering, turning even Homer Simpson into Don Draper.
Layered Urban Hipster
This is Russell Brand meets a young Johnny Depp, with a bit of expensive Milanese polish. The dark, brooding, existentialist hipster at John Varvatos could teach an onion how to layer: perfect textures were combined effortlessly; loose ties, cardigans, suit jackets, button-ups and slouchy biker boots - every ingredient your grown-up hipster needs to maintain his nonchalant charm. How To Layer 101: a great colour palette (shades of grey, black and khaki), luxe textures (leather, jersey and loose knits) and some of that raffish rogue attitude - plus don’t forget your fitted trousers (not too tight; remember the hipster that got thrush from his skinny jeans? It’s a true story). The sexiest trousers were seen over at Costume National along with the ultimate insouciant throw-over-everything overcoat - perfection.
Translation: embrace your inner hipster - he’s cool again. Side swept hair (no need to remind our Editor-in-Chief) skinnies and round sunglasses complete the look.
Fear and Loathing in the 1970s
The 1970s throwback seen on the Spring/Summer 2011 womenswear catwalks was always bound to translate into menswear, though with somewhat varying success. But let’s put it this way - Saturday Night Fever is definitely upon us, like it or not. At Prada, there were V-patterned nylon tracksuits, emerald green lurex turtlenecks (oh no they didn’t) and pumpkin suede patchwork jackets. A collective curled lip and hiss of disgust from every man worth his sartorial salt. But over at Salvatore Ferregamo and Roberto Cavalli, the story was a little different, with a slightly more subtle, and moreover tasteful approach to the groovy influence. The palette was splashed with teal and terracotta, with licks of leather and velvet, and touches of fur (fur on men? Save me) lending a more retro vagabond feel. Less kitsch travelling salesman, more Johnny Depp.
Translation: channel your inner 70s rockstar and throw caution to the wind in a coloured 3-piece suit à la Raoul Duke. Warning: this one isn’t for the faint-hearted.