Topman: subversively casual at colourful London Fashion Week Men's show
The design team focused on a complete lack of formality for AW17/18 - even the suits were deliberately informal - while casualwear played games with mismatched colour blocking, print and silhouette. Exaggerated shapes for oversized knits carrying cartoonish motifs marked it out as one for youthful consumers who are unafraid to experiment.
The cuffed pant - a kind of jogger but in a variety of materials including traditional suitings - was the foundation piece of the collection. Cut slim but easy, it worked with distressed grey leather jacket or coats as well as with tailored double-breasted jackets and coats.
When teamed with a jacket this way it offered up a surprising interpretation of the traditional office suit. But no more surprising perhaps than the rest of the collection’s ‘suits’. Think quilted athleisure suits in pink or peach, or denim suits that made a statement both through silhouette and colour.
Their wide-shouldered denim jackets sat cropped and tight to the waist and emphasised a broad chest, especially when teamed with high waist denim slouch pants, their pockets having slipped down from the usual position to somewhere around mid-thigh.
And the big colour statement? Bifurcated colour blocks with one leg dark and the other pale, the torso dark and the sleeves pale.
Colour blocking proved key throughout with multicolour panelled pants offering up a surprising palette of pastels. Pink, yellow or green made an impact when contrasted with suiting grey, but also stood out when used as allovers.
And colour was key for the collection’s favourite shoe - a dark trainer with power soles and contrast piping.
The waistcoat was another staple piece, worn as a supporting item for the new suits, as well as keeping things romantically casual when teamed with those slouch pants and a shirt (plain or vividly printed). The shirts’ loose cut and pirate-sized sleeves was one trend borrowed from last season’s womenswear shows.
And while some of the prints might take a bit of getting used to (power florals can be hard sell for the menswear market), Indian-influenced almost-psychedelic prints, subversive cartoon characters complete with statement graphics, and purple-toned oversized leopard all made it clear that Topman sees AW17/18 as a season that men will want to be noticed.
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