Tips on incorporating what was trending on the SAMW AW18 runway
Words: Akim Jardine | Photography: SDR
We’ve said a lot about SA Menswear Week, even questioned whether it’s relevant in the ocean of fashion weeks in South Africa (the answer is yes, in abundance). Many labels have used the platform to showcase brilliant collections that speak to the growing strength of African creativity and design, with carefully curated and styled looks. We can’t overlook, however, that the event's become convoluted with gimmicky presentation, positioned to create hype with fashion that is rather mediocre. Less-than-desired design and a couple of fit faux pas aside, last weekend reminded us of the greatness of conceptual African Menswear when done right, with collections that could stand their ground on a world stage.
Deep at the core of every story that designers have ever told on the runway, lies a response to the world that we live in. For a world in crisis the AW18 narrative is a return to reality, away from the grand fantasy of fashion, with strength at the heart of each collection. TWoU picked up on five of the biggest styling trends from the most recent shows, and provided tips on how to incorporate these into your look.
Belt it up
Belting should always be the final touch for a polished, considered look. Belts on the runway have transformed from a pedestrian necessity to a fully fledged expression of style. We suggest that once you've invested in a classic leather belt you try woven textiles in longer lengths with quick release clips, or plate buckles.
In the bag
Remember when bags for men meant high-function backpacks? When anything else was offensively called a ‘man-bag’, because assigning a gender to it made it seem ‘OK’ to carry around? Those days are long gone, and oversized shoppers, belt bags worn across the chest, and even little clutch bags exploded onto the runway, taking notes from Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton x Supreme. If you’re into it, try making your ungendered accessory do the talking and pair it down with a simple, minimal look.
Use your head
Hats off to everyone taking notes from Dior Homme and Prada and topping off their winter looks. This season introduces headwear that defines the look and really drives the aesthetic. Technical fabrications and utilitarian styles not only hint at hobbies like fly-fishing or hiking, but also protect your precious thoughts from being soaked in all the rain that will surely come bucketing down in Cape Town (someone make it happen, please) this winter.
Don't just mix, match
"Whether it’s solid colours or monochrome prints head-to-toe, colour blocking and mixing opposing prints is out," says the Fashion Volturi – me. We’d suggest soft pastel tones, camel or monochrome for strong unicolour looks, and if you’re playing with print go for simple repetitive patterns that can be worn in abundance.
Make a statement
Do you like words on your clothes? (If you answered yes, please continue. If not, that’s ok! Click through to the next feature, there’s nothing for you here). Still with us? Great job, you’ve made it into one of the most exciting fashion movements of the year. Bold branding and slogans on tees and jackets are the quickest and easiest way to show your alliance with a cause and unite with a group. You’re the coolest and we don’t need to tell you how to wear things, because your T-shirt is probably far too busy telling us what to do.