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.

SHALINI SHAH

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