Fash­ion Busi­ness

Top 5 Prints and Fab­rics from Men’s Spring/Summer 2018 col­lec­tion

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Or­di­nary Work­ing Class grabs Menswear’s fancy

Menswear shows just fin­ished the touch down in the French cap­i­tal and look­ing back at all the col­lec­tions makes us quite du­bi­ous about what’s in store for Spring/Summer 2018. The no­tion of bend­ing gen­der de­lin­eations has defini­tively come to the fore­front in men’s fash­ion and de­sign­ers have show­cased sur­pris­ingly wear­able col­lec­tions through this sea­son. The ap­proach is more back-to-ba­sics than ever; how­ever, rein­vent­ing the same clas­sics with an ur­ban streetwear touch and not hold­ing back on any fem­i­nin­ity which can be called the theme of the sea­son for our boys.

When it comes to prints, it seems like ev­ery de­signer has plenty of tricks in their bags – from con­tin­u­ing the slo­gan rage of last sea­son and rein­vent­ing their own brand lo­gos to wa­ter­colour flow­ers and hearty leit­mo­tifs, there is a print for ev­ery pau­per this sea­son. Sunil Kokare,

Opera Cloth­ing, elab­o­rates on the sea­son’s prints: “There is a huge va­ri­ety in the pat­tern­ing de­mands for Spring/ Summer 2018. We are work­ing on every­thing from digital to yarn dyed prints mak­ing mo­tifs like flo­rals, geo­met­rics or just abstract pig­mented pieces. While the fab­rics are called ba­sics, the type of work buy­ers are get­ting done from In­dia is very de­tail-spe­cific as it seems like all the pro­duc­tion of blanks has moved on to Bangladesh due to com­pet­i­tive cost­ing.”

Tak­ing up a very no holds barred ap­proach, the de­sign­ers are work­ing on sim­plis­tic fab­rics like cot­ton poplins or even woollen blends and are go­ing crazy with sil­hou­ettes and prints to cre­ate truly ground-break­ing ver­sions of our favourite best­selling styles. Even so, per­haps the most laud­able fea­ture of menswear this sea­son was the cast­ing of ex­tremely di­verse and un­con­ven­tional mod­els that be­stowed a sense of re­al­ity upon the cloth­ing. The col­lec­tions danced the line be­tween cor­po­rate boys and cor­po­rate boys on va­ca­tion so beau­ti­fully that we can al­most for­get how con­fused the direction of trends was look­ing this sea­son. Spear­headed by de­sign­ers like Demna Gvasalia who drew in­spi­ra­tions from typ­i­cal dad-type out­fits for Ba­len­ci­aga and went pho­tograph­ing com­mon peo­ple on the streets for his Vete­ments cat­a­logue – the ‘ugly fash­ion’ move­ment is in full swing.

While we get am­ply dis­tracted by the on­go­ing haute cou­ture shows in Paris and await the con­clu­sion of men’s fash­ion sea­son in New York, here are some of the hottest trends in prints and fab­rics that we be­lieve will go strong for men’s ap­parel in Spring/Summer 2018.


As the world tries to break walls and forge friend­ships be­yond hy­po­thet­i­cal barbed wires, the sto­ry­line of Boyne’s Holo­caust novel, The Boy in the Striped Py­ja­mas, feels more rel­e­vant than ever. As if di­rectly tak­ing 8-year old Bruno from Nazi Ger­many as a muse, de­sign­ers are pre­sent­ing over­all striped out­fits, which take mul­ti­ple di­rec­tions and some­times mul­ti­ple thick­nesses and line qual­ity.

Cre­at­ing mul­ti­tudes of lay­er­ing in lin­ear good­ness are brands like

Haider Ack­er­mann with his slim fit­ted pant suit in monochrome ar­ti­sanal stripes and Top­man’s var­i­ous shades of grey awning stripes on wrap jack­ets.


Summer is syn­ony­mous with spring break and va­ca­tions by the beach. So to pro­vide you with the right sar­to­rial garbs for hol­i­day­ing in 2018, de­sign­ers are pre­sent­ing var­i­ous takes on the atyp­i­cal Hawai­ian shirt. Per­haps the muse here is Char­lie Sheen, as we

With re­tail­ers at­tribut­ing menswear its own rhyth­mic at­ti­tude and spe­cific trends, men’s col­lec­tions are fi­nally at the centre stage in fash­ion ap­parel, and de­sign­ers seem to still be try­ing to un­der­stand which tone they would like to adopt for this blooming mar­ket.

have seen ev­ery col­lec­tion as well as the street style set in fash­ion weeks em­brac­ing the gusto of this Aloha shirt in vari­a­tions that go far and wide cov­er­ing every­thing from pineap­ples to voodoo dolls.

De­sign­ers are tak­ing the book of surf­ing and tear­ing off pages at their own fancy, where Paul Smith il­lus­trated the marine life and

Louis Vuit­ton went for glit­ter­ing botan­i­cal route.


As an­other ef­fort to make fash­ion more re­al­is­tic and closer to the lives of com­mon peo­ple, de­sign­ers are us­ing math­e­mat­i­cal tiles pay­ing ho­mage to ge­om­e­try as the repet­i­tive pat­tern du jour. Given that Maths isn’t ex­actly ev­ery­one’s strong suit in school, and no one re­ally likes prov­ing those the­o­rems, iso­met­ric tes­sel­la­tions and in­ven­tive hexagons, tri­an­gles and cir­cles are sur­pris­ingly tak­ing the men’s sea­son by a storm.

From bold blocks of hexagons at Pi­galle and mix­ing 2D with 3D views at Joseph, to the over­cast iso­met­ric cuboids and pat­terns at Dries Van Noten – math­e­mat­ics is fash­ion’s new favourite sub­ject.


Maybe it is the eas­i­est place to draw in­spi­ra­tion for fash­ion but art, be­ing the perfect rep­re­sen­ta­tive of what­ever is hap­pen­ing in the world, is al­ways the go to bank of prints for ev­ery fash­ion brand. How­ever, this sea­son’s art dec­o­ra­tion mostly par­lays in the district of abstract ex­pres­sion with Jack­son Pol­lock seem­ingly be­ing the help­ing hand to ev­ery design dilemma and con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous digital art styles like pho­to­copy monochromes, scrawled col­lag­ing as well as hand­writ­ten doo­dles.

From 3.1 Phillip Lim’s car­pen­ter splat­ters of paint to Yo­hji Ya­mamoto’s ad hoc, non­cha­lant colour dis­per­sion on crisp for­mal busi­ness­wear, Pol­lock is prob­a­bly look­ing down at men’s sea­son with a big smile on his face.


Throw­backs have be­come a fash­ion main­stay of late and while we did see a bunch of ref­er­enc­ing to post-’90s trends, the strong­est sym­bol re­turn­ing from the decade is the big ol’ sports­wear like su­per­sized cen­trally placed lo­gos. The name drop­ping ‘Lo­go­ma­nia’ trend was all the rage and fash­ion, as it is al­ways doomed to re­peat it­self and has made the same trend cool again.

Retro and colour­ful is the key to re­work­ing lo­gos, with Mar­tine Rose’s cream­ing up of MTV’s old logo, MSGM’s ty­po­graphic play-up as well as brands like Ver­sace, Ba­len­ci­aga and Dior Homme – all go­ing for hy­per vis­i­ble lo­gos.


Since the sea­son’s colours are bend­ing all the way down to neu­trals and candy land pas­tels, it seems highly ap­pro­pri­ate that de­sign­ers are us­ing the pow­dery blue of mildly washed denim as the fab­ric of choice this summer. From over­sized jack­ets and straight fit jeans to work­ing class jump­suits, head to toes denim was seen just about ev­ery­where and we hardly saw any overtly dis­tressed ver­sions of it ei­ther.

The col­lec­tions danced the line be­tween cor­po­rate boys and cor­po­rate boys on va­ca­tion so beau­ti­fully that we can al­most for­get how con­fused the direction of trends was look­ing this sea­son. Spear­headed by de­sign­ers like Demna Gvasalia who drew in­spi­ra­tions from typ­i­cal dad-type out­fits for Ba­len­ci­aga and went pho­tograph­ing com­mon peo­ple on the streets for his Vete­ments cat­a­logue – the ‘ugly fash­ion’ move­ment is in full swing.

Light and bright was the denim mantra of the week where de­sign­ers like Fac­etasm, Julien David and Tod’s were all in firm agree­ment.


Ny­lon is not just for streetwear and ath­leisure seg­ments any­more. A slew of de­sign­ers and fash­ion la­bels are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly re­cep­tive to syn­thetic fab­rics, whether it is the sporty ap­proach with over­sized jump­suits and shiny track suit com­bi­na­tions or the more prac­ti­cal vibe with over­sized parkas and bomber jack­ets – techno ny­lon is look­ing great this sea­son. With the ‘of­fice-core’ trend as its main prop­a­ga­tor – fun coloured ny­lons at Cot­tweiler as well as the off-kil­ter de­ploy­ment of ny­lon in tra­di­tional tai­lored ba­sics and neu­trally busi­ness ca­su­als are also go­ing big at brands like Prada and Ver­sace.


As the manufacturing pro­cesses get more cre­ative than ever, the quin­tes­sen­tial cold-weather tex­tile is en­ter­ing the summer mar­kets with panache. Be­ing the mar­vel­lous tem­per­a­ture reg­u­la­tor that it is, ate­liers and de­sign­ers are us­ing wool to blend with other pop­u­lar spring fab­rics like cot­ton, polyester and ex­tract­ing all the good qual­i­ties of this wrin­kle re­sis­tant tex­tile.

With firms like The Wool­mark Com­pany pioneer­ing the move­ment of cool wools in summer with the re­lease of its Spring/Summer ready to or­der cat­a­logues, brands like Band of Out­siders, Max Mara and Zegna, among oth­ers are now able to in­cul­cate this fab­ric in their summer of­fer­ings.


A di­rect off-shoot from the ath­letic ap­parel cat­e­gories – tech­ni­cally ad­vanced fab­rics that go be­yond the ba­sic func­tion of cov­er­ing your body, are the fu­ture of men’s fash­ion. With ma­jor lux­ury fash­ion houses open­ing up their an­cient clos­ets and throw­ing in some high-per­for­mance fab­rics that re­sem­ble noth­ing of their age-old tweed and checks, fash­ion is clearly mov­ing out of its shell of tra­di­tional fab­rics. As the con­sumer gets more digital and hy­per – aware than ever, how can the clothes that he wears be ba­sic? To fill in that space and seize this busi­ness op­por­tu­nity, her­itage brands like Her­mès, Louis Vuit­ton and Valentino are dress­ing up their boys’ sporty fab­rics.


Noth­ing is a bet­ter cer­tifi­cate of how de­moc­ra­tized fash­ion is be­com­ing than the hum­ble­ness of fab­rics that forms the can­vas of any col­lec­tion. Com­fort is the cham­pion of menswear and de­sign­ers are in­no­vat­ing the ba­sic tex­tile by blend­ing it with syn­thetic ny­lons to cre­ate crisp looks for the sea­son. Baig Muzaf­far, Sub­barow Ap­par­els, adds, “Cot­ton is, for sure, the main fab­ric in our summer col­lec­tion. With var­i­ous weights and weaves like poplin, twill – we do think that the tex­tile de­mand is more or less very prac­ti­cal for summer. We are also mak­ing a lot of yarn-dyed stripes and checks to make the core fab­ric shine out this sea­son.”

An unswerv­ing off-shoot from sports­wear and more­over, the ath­leisure seg­ment – tech­ni­cally ad­vanced fab­rics, per­for­mance tex­tiles like ny­lon and ver­sa­tile denim in its raw beauty are rul­ing even the more re­served her­itage fash­ion run­ways. Go­ing a step fur­ther, de­sign­ers are blend­ing var­i­ous sim­pler ma­te­ri­als like cot­tons and cool wools to foster new com­bi­na­tion tex­tiles that give wear­ers the best of all worlds.

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