To be a men’s sartorial conservative (I prefer my suits tailored to classic proportions even though I am adventurous when it comes to suit separates) and then provide commentary on Spring 2018 Menswear trends has been a bit of a mixed bag for me, particularly since I have a greater interest in Pitti Uomo, the Florence menswear trade show, sandwiched between London and Milan fashion weeks. Nevertheless, duty beckons and for Luxuo’s first Men’s Sartorial Report, I will be reporting on Spring 2018 Menswear from the perspective of sartorially conservative brands like Tom Ford, Brunello Cucinelli and Armani.
Spring 2018 Menswear: Men’s Sartorial Report
First, I am glad to report that the slew of superhero movies helmed by the likes of Henry Cavil, Chris Hemsworth and Hugh Jackman haven’t raised the bar on masculine physique beyond what is mortally achievable with your average salaried employee, furthermore, there seems to be a slight regression from the uber-masculine David Gandy form to the gentler, more refined musculature of slimmer proportions. Most surprisingly, Tom Ford opted for the sharp jawed man-boy instead of the square jawed man-men of Brunello Cucinelli and Giorgio Armani. Second, for these key brands, classic proportions and slim-cut profiles reigned supreme
Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2018
As a predominantly menswear oriented company, Brunello Cucinelli stands impressively in terms of market cap with €1.3 billion. Over the years, the Italian brand has expanded into ready-to-wear women’s wear and accessories in key territories – Switzerland, Belgium, the United States, France, Germany, Austria, Canada, China, Japan and three years ago, Singapore.
Headquartered in a 14th century castle in the middle of Umbria, Italy, Brunello Cucinelli’s spring 2018 menswear collection is a reflection of that nobility and regal elegance. It’s a deeply humanist company unlike most purveyours and producers of fashion today – Brunello Cucinelli donates 20% of its profits to charity, pays its employees 20% higher than industry average and most surprisingly, does not allow after-hours e-mails – all while maintaining production in Italy where other companies have turned to most cost effective European cities to improve margins.
My dream is to set up a form of modern capitalism where business profit must be sought while respecting the human being’s moral and economic dignity. Hence our idea to act as guardians of the creation.
It is little wonder that their namesake founder was recently awarded the Global Economy Prize by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. As a merchant and a humanist, Cucinelli has managed to circumnavigate his brand through tough economic waters without sacrificing its humanist values in support of its bottomline. With Cucinelli’s family owning a majority 57% stake in the company, spring 2018 menswear collection is fully consistent with the founder personal style – the Italian penchant for sprezzetura, that is to say, the formally informal outfit, well tailored blazer, lived in and thrown over an informal shirt, crew-neck even sometimes, all while rocking ankle length pants sans socks.
Filled with earth tones and rust hues, Brunello Cucinelli’s new Spring 2018 menswear collection has a definite safari-adventure vibe which becomes all the more clear when Cucinelli himself refers to Out of Africa as his inspiration. Harkening back to the classic age of fitted double-breasted blazers and safari jackets in a variety of light weight wools and linens for Spring 2018.
Giorgio Armani Spring 2018
Over 40 years on, Giorgio Armani has made a name for himself not just in native Italy where the brand is still one of the peninsula’s most storied fashion house but the potency of the Armani cut and sense of style also encourages Hollywood to eschew their own costumers and wardrobe specialists for Giorgio Armani himself.
While shades of grey featured strongly for Giorgio Armani Spring 2018 menswear, the river of slate made way for light silvery, almost iridescent offerings as the collection transitioned from its more sombre offerings and made way for something almost equatorial – a welcome respite, as if a wintry gloom had lifted and as if to say, “spring hath sprung!”
Among the most prolific of Italian designers for spring 2018 menswear shows, Giorgio Armani commanded a runaway of consumer-friendly and fashion-savvy pieces within a massive collection of suits, knits and texture tailoring – fuschia paired with turqoise, a masterstroke for opening the palette tastebuds of a general audience in a fashion-forward manner. The Giorgio Armani spring 2018 menswear show finally closes with a slew of navy executive suiting and blue cotton worksuits.
Having designed Daniel Craig’s suits for his last three James Bond films: Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre, Tom Ford is well-known as having single handedly undone the nightmare that was skinny suits and slim lapels and revived a dormant classical male penchant for wide and peaked lapels, boys were out and men were in.
In even before he left Gucci, the later collections of Gucci menswear started to bear the aesthetic trademarks of Ford’s signature hyper-masculine style. As a designer, Ford was a power-house, his departure from Gucci Group necessitated the hire of four others to do the work that he was singularly managing. At Tom Ford, the aesthetic vision he heralded came to fruition, hyper-sexuality, and equal opportunity objectification, Ford built his empire on sex appeal and it worked. Ford once described the “the Tom Ford customer” as international, cultured, well traveled, and then for Tom Ford spring 2018 menswear, the deft, sharp cuts of suits remained but the models he chose somehow looked like they were wearing dad’s suits rather than their own. Was the “Tom Ford customer” suddenly a man-child with an allowance?
Tom Ford Spring 2018
Nevertheless, Oscar-nominated, statement-making and a creative genius equally adept on runway as on film, the master designer in signature black watch is Tom Ford Spring 2018 menswear collection ushered through Via Borgonuovu, wide shouldered suits with peak lapels and narrow waists draped on the shoulders of boys.
Ford’s mastery of colour combinations, even the ones that on hindsight seem sartorially adventurous actually become safe choices in the careful hands of Ford. Mustards, pinks and even leopard prints become less outlandish when carefully dressed with gold-chained loafers and retro sneakers – there is an art to trendy men’s fashion and Tom Ford spring 2018 menswear collection proves that Ford really knows how to help you, the straight (or otherwise) male work it.