Expect next Autumn/Winter 2009 to be a light show extravaganza in the illuminated wardrobes of fashionable gents across the land. There were plenty of gem-like colours to brighten up one’s day. Cue ruby suits at Lanvin, yellow trousers at Paul Smith, fuchsia pinks and cobalt blue undertones at Gucci, neon pink velvet tuxedos at Dolce & Gabanna and shaggy green cashmere pulls at Marni. You might well need to keep those Ray-Bans on even if it is -20° outside and pitch black.
Colours were not just reserved to large blocks of statement tones, but carried on over the finer details in contrasting trims. Blood red lapels juxtaposed on a slim-fitting black double-breasted pea-coat at Burberry Prorsum, oversized plaids sneaked a peak at Missoni on their looser fitting pea coats; whilst over at Raf Simons the use of colour was achieved in a more conceptual manner, playing with the shape of the body and redefining it with “Nelly the elephant” pinks and blues, tricking the eyes interpretation of shape.
Having said that there was still a swathe of black, black and more black on the runways this season. Prada’s show kicked in with laser-cut leather pieces and studded jackets, shirts and shoes giving it the edge. Dolce & Gabbana’s show was equally as black with a distinct nod to the Rat Pack, and with plenty of flat caps signalling trouble and strife. Christopher Bailey’s collection for Burberry Prorsum was a monochromatic-fest referencing the work of photographer Bill Brandt whose images documented Britain in depression during the post-war years. Yet more caps and snoods return in the Burberry house check, and London’s boy of the moment Gareth Pugh debuted his first men’s collection, yet again heavy in blacks but in a variety of textures and with plenty of emphasis on the shoulder.
If black’s not your thing then no need to worry, the other big colour that gained plenty of representation from designers this season is grey. Again it’s another safe bet in times of crisis but it lacks the harsh edge of all-black looks. Kris Van Assche featured a whole bevy of shades of grey for his military-esque show, which opened to drums and marching. Over at Yves Saint Laurent Stefano Pilati dazzled us all with a conceptual interpretation of his collection via a film featuring Michael Pitt followed by the traditional runway show which had a flurry of grey tones on wide-fitting trousers that were then pinched with leggings at the calves and on big sleeves.