While we love the layering options and diverse fabrics that dressing for winter affords us, let’s not kid ourselves: dressing for the summer is infinitely more fun. For a start, we metamorphose from a palette of muted, earthy tones to a visual riot of colours, patterns and textures. Then there’s the summer silhouette, which, free of the shackles of winter formality, is nonchalantly loose, oversized and carefree this season. Think of our trend guide then as your figurative sunscreen, providing vital protection against dubious wardrobe choices and allowing you your glorious moment in the sun.
By Ryan Thompson
A parka? In the summer? Hear us out. The original parka coat, that is, the US military cotton ripstop style famously appropriated by Mod culture in the 60s, might well be considered a winter staple, but we’ve come a long way from Vespa meet-ups on Brighton Beach. The parka has evolved into a lightweight, performance-fabric favourite for trans-seasonal wear, offering elegant yet easy-wearing volume to your silhouette, and given its long-line length, perfect for summer layering. This season we saw the parka come in nude tones at Joseph, Givenchy and Palm Angels, while the likes of Louis Vuitton and E.Tautz opted for soft summery pastel hues. But it was the inky black versions seen at Valentino, Bottega Veneta and Givenchy that really piqued our interest as edgy urban antidotes to bright colours. Whatever your colour preference, the key to this season’s parka is volume and weight (plenty of the former and hardly any of the latter) so you’d be wise to seek out [brand] and [brand] who have both crafted shining examples.
With the industry spotlight on eco-practices and sustainability, it’s no surprise that designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Jacquemus and Dsquared2 got ever more green fingered this season by evolving the floral trend that has been so strong in recent years. The dark moody florals of collections past have been weeded out for more punchier tropical blooms with a decidedly green hue. If you want to turn heads, we suggest you look out for the jungle print shirting, but if you’re more wallflower than bunch of flowers, then you needn’t fear the fauna - check out the softer khaki tones by Vans and Lacoste in an array of lightweight technical fabrics and silky cottons. Note, these were applied to a utilitarian style (think performance-fabric cargo pants and multi-pocket vests at Fendi), giving the look a more urban edge but still more tropical jungle than concrete one.
Menswear has a lot to thank the military for, especially the naval tradition. Throughout history the sartorial needs of seafarers have found their way into mainstream fashion, from waterproof waxed cotton and fishermen’s sweaters to the Breton tee and the classic pea coat. This summer, one of your wardrobe’s ports of call should definitely be the maritime look, which was beautifully reinterpreted by the likes of Chalayan, Lanvin and Hermes this season, where classic Breton stripes found themselves jibbing in all manner of widths and directions. The great thing about nautical references, aside from the very wearable ocean blue, navy, white and green palette, are their versatility, with references as diverse as preppy yacht club and rugged trawlerman. Stripes are of course key, which is why Armani and French Connection should be on your radar, but don’t forget about combining textures, especially lightweight slouchy knits from M&S. As for accessories, sandals and boating shoes are a nice way to bookend the look but also look for rope handled bags and sailor’s caps to really round off the trend.
Ever since fashion’s disruptor-in-chief Demna Gvasalia dropped the dadcore bomb in Balenciaga’s SS18 show, tailoring has taken a turn for the boxy and billowy, a far cry from the overly waisted styles of the noughties. The awkwardness of the dadcore trend has today been usurped by a much more elegant 80s motif as this season’s designers explore 80s blazer silhouettes and wide flowing trousers. Strong structured shoulders built into oversized fits are the future of suiting if the runways of Dior, Louis Vuitton and Paul Smith are to be believed (and we are believers!) The palette is overwhelming pastel powered, with pale pinks, lilacs and greens evoking dreams of heady Miami nights, the best of these coming from Reiss and Moss Bros. Standing out from the crowd was the double-breasted blazer, which offers more volume than its single-breasted cousin, especially when worn unbuttoned. Forget any notions of shirt and tie - this trend is louche and laid back.