Overview of 18A/W and Preview of 19S/S
The End of Street Fashion, and the Rise of the Tailored Fashion Era
The fashion scene is not slowing itself down. The tight fitted silhouette represented by Hedi Sulimane during his tenure at DIOR HOMME swept the 2000’s. Upon entering 2010, the rise of street fashion took over with the introduction of oversized silhouettes. When luxury brands started to get influenced by street fashion, it marked a historical event in fashion history, since “runway fashion” and “street fashion” are in contrast of one another, and had never intersected. However, the revival of the 1990’s, the emergence of Kanye West and ASAP Rocky, and the role of social media and its praise for flamboyance had completely diminished the boundaries of the two genres. What followed suit: luxury brands started to hire designers seasoned in street fashion, campaign visuals featured rappers, and sampling began in fashion merchandising. The movement rapidly progressed to the point where LOUIS VUITTON, the epitome of runway fashion, announced their collaboration with Supreme. Had anyone 10 or 20 years ago imagined LOUIS VUITTON and Supreme --- runway versus street --- shaking hands? Thus, what is left today are styles mixing items emblazoned with luxury brand logos, oversized silhouettes, and sneakers.
However, as 2020 is approaching, such trends are starting to reach its end. In fact, on runways, it had already ended in 2018 A/W collections, and the reason is obvious when looking at 2019 S/S collections. Here, many luxury brands showcased chic and elegant masculinity wrapped in tailored style. This was most prominent in Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga collection that has shifted from being in the forefront of oversized silhouettes and logo-heavy items. The new season’s theme, “Neo-Tailoring” took a complete turnaround from the previous collection of voluminous pieces, and reflected Demna’s respect for Cristobal BALENCIAGA. Looking at it in retrospect, his 2018 A/W collection featuring extremely oversized silhouettes built from stacks of layers could have been Demna’s way of letting people know that it is officially “the end of the oversized era.”
Likewise, Virgil Abloh, who had been appointed as the new artistic director of LOUIS VUITTON, has done the same. What Virgil chose for his new collection’s first look was a beautiful, pure white double breasted jacket. Demna and Virgil not being the only ones, more designers are reviving tailored fashion, and are bidding their farewells to street style.
In addition, Hedi Slimane has returned to runway, and revealed CELINE’s new collection that highlighted tailored style and tight silhouettes, in which he is skilled at creating. Why are designers starting to shift to tailored style? It could simply be because they are not in the mood for street style anymore, but there must be a more underlying reason. With society being saturated with information, trend cycles accelerating, and people forced to replace what they already own, designers are beginning to face the unwavering value and essence of men’s fashion. Tailored style rang the bell for these designers. This may be like how archive styles of COMME des GARÇONS and Giorgio Armani from the 80’s is getting its attention again. Designers and consumers are both looking for elements and value beyond the reputation that a brand has behind its logos and collaborations. In any case, from the next spring and summer collections, the tailored era will be opening its new chapter. Get ahead of the game by updating your fall and winter wardrobe this year by letting your arms through the sleeves of a tailored jacket.
Text_ SOHEI OSHIRO