From soothing earthy tones to flaring bold neons, the SS22 menswear collections have been unabashedly experimental and startlingly body-baring, blending easy, breezy, and playful comfort with tinctures of gentlemanly, brisk formality. Millennials are in for a treat, as a hot favorite, recurrent theme this season was some good old nostalgia, with stunning pieces suspended in avant-garde twists on styling trends from the dreamy era of the 1980s and 1990s.
What every collection had in common, however, was that it drew on unique lessons and experiences from the pandemic. Gathering some of the most striking collections that caught our eye, we present some unforgettable highlights straight off the menswear runway this season.
Creative director Véronique Nichanian called this collection “Double-Jeu,” or “Double Game,” and expressed that in multiple ways. Many of the outerwear pieces of this collection were made in panels of gabardine contrasted with canvas, fixed with zig zag stitching to echo the free momentum of sailing. With the color palette being lifted from the earth’s foundations, the lightweight pieces are reversible, offering double value.
The brightly fluorescent collection is reminiscent of the long-forbidden pleasures of dancing in close proximity to hundreds of others in a club, now rendered a post-pandemic fantasy. Circling around the awkward beauty of youth, identity and rebellion, the défilé line is a take on experimental fashion in adolescence, with flashy pigments and unwonted patterns.
Headed by American rapper Travis Scott, the line is inspired by bucolic Texan landscapes, with muted colors, neutrals, and dusty pinks punctuated with bright cacti-like green, combining American pop influences with those of European old master paintings. Named Cactus Jack Dior, after Scott’s Cactus Jack Records label, Dior’s men’s artistic director Kim Jones lent a touch of formality to the oeuvre, with tailored suits to contrast with its sportswear elements.
Designer Virgil Abloh took chess as one of his organizing themes for this collection, which is a game he believes relates to life. Linking that to the Damier print in the Louis Vuitton archive, he interpreting the clothes through a historical lens. The line is identified by tall hats, furry headphone headgear, and long lines of skirts, like the queen, the knights, and pawns, contrasted by bright colors and tie-dyed neons.
This season’s sumptuous double-breasted linen and taupe suiting, in a range of creams, grey and navy, comes paired with relaxed bombers, and buttery leather jackets and tracksuits, made from a range of summery linens and virgin wool clothes, with ample knitwear modern comfort to the looks nodding to classicism and elegance.
The new Armani wardrobe was subtle, supple, and sophisticated, moving away from formality and decisively embracing the informality of sportswear. Imbued with weightless materials, shapes that fluidly caress the body, and a calm and nonchalant attitude, the collection’s color palette spanned span from blue to sandy hues and chalk white, with pops of red and green that recall nature.
This collection faithfully nods to the fashion house’s most iconic motifs: bucket hats with almond-shaped brims at the back with triangular logo pockets, and some with the awesome functionality of slits at the front to allow sunglasses to be slipped in them. Romper suits with turned-up short hems were presented in corporate-worker charcoal cotton or sailor-boy white, the latter printed with tattoo-ish nautical motifs, slightly reminiscent of Prada’s prints from fall 2016’s sailor collection.
Dolce & Gabbana
The one word that’d come to mind for this collection is “bling,” for the designers left no stone unturned, quite literally, as they encrusted each piece with enough crystals for a lifetime. Whether it’s the denim-on-denim baggy jacket-and-trouser combo, or the hip-hop silhouette that layered mesh tops over white tank tops, millennials are bound to be taken down memory lane through the collection’s unwavering nods to the early 1990s and 2000s.
The collection signposts to the views of Rome, from the panorama of its famous seven hills framed by the Apennine mountains to the northeast and the vastness of Tyrrhenian Sea to the west, inspiring the line’s motifs and sunset pastels. Translating the pandemic notion of our “shrunken world” into cuts, cargo shorts are scaled down to short-short dimensions and T-shirts are minimized into crop tops.
Compiled by Mohammad Hazem Rezq