TREND Head-to-toe prints for men is ushering in Autumn/ Winter 2013-14

Sartorially speaking, there are certain disadvantages to being a man; the line between adventurism and ridiculousness gets crossed easily (the latter often a consequence of the former). Many attempted to tempt fate last year (in the Spring/ Summer 2013 collections, soon to hit stores) by putting large-scale florals in menswear — Gucci, Lanvin, John Galliano, Christian Lacroix... They’re pushing it further next season. ‘London Collections: Men’, which kicked off the Autumn/ Winter 2013-14 calendar, has come up with what’s been big in women’s wear in recent seasons — head-to-toe prints.

While Prada brought it in with Autumn/ Winter 2012-13 in women’s wear, Frida Giannini at Gucci set the ball rolling last season. What was a surprise is turning into a trend now, especially with Alexander McQueen, which made its debut at the menswear event in London this year, embracing it. In a show that saw giant lapels, upturned shoulders, velvet, polka dots, transparent masks and a scary, pale grimness on the models’ faces that Bram Stoker would have approved of, Sarah Burton sent out suits in head-to-toe prints (with brogues to match). Designer Katy Eary made the sportswear silhouette the vehicle for top-to-bottom print madness, as did MAN, showing in the Topman show space. At Vivienne Westwood it was shoulder-to-shoes checks.

They probably don’t expect men to be walking around like chintz sofas or wallpapers. They’re relying on the smarter ones to break things down for the street.