Even Nostradamus didn’t dare make predictions about the world of fashion. It’s a fickle industry, where trends come and go quicker than a Paris Hilton jail sentence. In this age of instantly viewable runway shows, designers need to change styles up faster than ever to keep things fresh. So in order in order to ensure you don’t inadvertently commit some heinous style error, we pooled the minds of some of the most on-the-ball fashion experts out there to project this year’s sartorial trajectory.
Andrew Sardone, Fashion and Design writer, NOW Magazine (Toronto): “I think men are ready to break from basics. We’ve been coaching guys to invest in staples for the last few seasons but I know when I look in my closet now it’s a stale sea of blue dress shirts, chinos in every shade of khaki, tailored navy outerwear and tan brogues. Watch out for bold colour in footwear and timepieces, intarsia and fair isle knits as sweaters and blazers and oversized outerwear to switch up menswear’s proportions.”
Laura Serra, Social page editor, The Globe & Mail: “The Spring 2011 runway collections showed colour, colour and more colour but if I was a betting woman (and I am), I predict the boys stick to their usual shades of grey. For those looking to test their palettes, I suggest seeking inspiration from Alexander McQueen’s red redingote, Balenciaga’s orange jean jacket, Thom Browne’s candy-striped blazer and mixed patterns (sans the knee sox), and the hues of blue for Rag & Bone.”
Dave Lackie, Men’s style columnist, National Post: “You’re going to see a shift from the very slim, tight 50s-inspired suits to a more forgiving silhouette in 2011. That’s because North American men are much larger than their European peers and frankly they can’t fit into these unforgiving suits. Designers are already designing modified versions and roomier models for Canadian guys.
The men’s brands that will succeed in 2011 will all have a very strong point-of-view with great stories to tell. Guys want a story to their clothes – be it the heritage of Canada Goose or how vicunas are raised in the Andes. Expect to see forgotten Italian brands come to the forefront with new marketing and communication platforms.
And watch for more brands to offer systems of dressing – like Donna Karan’s seven easy pieces for women. Strellson’s limited edition collection with Bianchi is a perfect example. The Swiss brand has designed a black stretch suit with interchangeable accessories that is perfect for the guy who isn’t comfortable mixing and matching colours or patterns. Everything is black and white in this collection.”
Adam Gill, fashion blogger, 514blog.com: “I think that designers will continue to move away from the menacing tough look that had pervaded the industry a couple of years ago. The idea of an unapproachable fashionista wearing all black, or the more commercial studs and motorcycle leather formula feel a bit outmoded. The reductive minimalism that has been replacing the somber mood for a more optimistic one still doesn’t feel irrelevant, but I do think it will be built upon. I think this could be done with the tropes of classic menswear. A well cut overcoat, leather accessories and some looser trousers might be good items to invest in for the coming year.
I also think that a return to elegance, but not opulence could be in store. The aim isn’t to look like you’ve just spent thousands of dollars on luxury items. Instead, think of Dries Van Noten’s Fall 2011 outing. Fur trims, dapper silhouettes and a subtle range of textures made for a collection that was elegant, but never felt stuffy or outdated. Lucas Ossendrijver’s show for Lanvin also had similar appeal to it.”
Merv Maranan, Sales Rep, Uncle Otis: “I personally think ‘heritage’ is here to stay for the main part. Consumers are driving the market and are paying a lot more attention to craftsmanship, etc. A lot of traditionally “heritage” brands have and will continue to come back into the market with a huge driving force, while on the other hand you’ll see the continuing theme of minimalism, using monotones; blacks/whites/greys.
There has been a steady shift towards technical and functional clothing, and I think that’s going to pick up speed even more, with more companies exploring the realms of technical fabrics (i.e. GOREtex) etc., and merging them within both street and high fashion. I’d like to see functionality and practicality play a larger role rather than esthetics.
There will be a bit more of ‘everything for everyone’ at the end of the day. We are past the phase of fast fashion – hopefully.”
For Sharp’s take on the upcoming year’s style trends, stay tuned for the Spring 2011 issue of Sharp magazine.