We might be in the midst of the SS17 fashion shows (the globe-trotting fashion circus landed in Milan on Wednesday), but out there in the real world, the FW16 collections are starting to hit retailers. With fall and winter lurking on the horizon, we hit up a few industry experts — namely Nigel Minani, Daniel Todd and Stavros Karelis — to give us the lowdown on some of the oncoming season's biggest trends, most exciting new labels and must-have pieces.
Nigel Minani heads up Highsnobiety's shopping channel, What Drops Now. From coveted sneaker releases to up-and-coming new labels, Nigel knows the streetwear scene like the back of his hand.
Daniel Todd is Buyer for luxury men's mega-retailer MR PORTER, so it's safe to say he knows a thing or two when it comes to the luxury and high-end sections of the menswear market.
Stavros Karelis, meanwhile, is the Buying Director for fashion-forward London destination store MACHINE-A, and is going to let us know how things are shaping up at the more avant-garde designer side of the game.
Here's a heads up on whats coming your way this season.
Tell us about the overall vibe for FW16 – what can we expect in terms of trends and themes for the season?
Nigel Minani, What Drops Now: The FW16 season is gonna be full of cozy materials. Corduroy, velour, faux fur, faux shearling and fleece, fleece, fleece! It's all about the cozy look. Puffer and pullover jackets are staying big (that includes the bomber as well), but the look is continuing down to yours legs, with quilted, padded and lined pants. We're seeing strong colors like orange and royal blue more and more, too.
Another trend would be liner jackets, like the OAMC "Peacemaker" jacket. Oh and a lot of graphics will be embroidered instead of printed.
Daniel Todd, MR PORTER: Military outerwear was definitely a big trend for FW16. Ranging from MA-1 bombers to parkas and duffle coats, military jackets are utilitarian and functional, with traditional elements and masculine appeal. We saw good examples from brands such as Margaret Howell and Our Legacy, and then again from Dries Van Noten and Balenciaga in Paris.
Embroidery and patches was another reoccurring motif that we saw, especially at Dries Van Noten, GUCCI and Saint Laurent. These items are very much statement pieces and were presented in variety of colors, often on top of heavier and sturdier bases such as leathers and wool.
Lastly, for FW16 we've seen the continuation of the sportswear trend, particularly with side-striped trousers — they're like a smart evolution of the tracksuit.
Stavros Karelis, Machine-A: I think it was an extremely interesting season, with some really strong collections that dominated the wish lists of buyers, press & customers. I don't think there was a universal trend, perhaps even the opposite. Individuality occurred, as each designer chose to showcase a collection that represented themselves rather than just fitting in.
What were you favorite collections, shows and presentations of the FW16 season?
Nigel, What Drops Now: I really liked Ronnie Fieg's KITHLAND show and all the clothing he presented with it. The Columbia and Aimé Leon Dore collabs he teased are awesome! The guys from Patta also did a really good job this season, I'm really into their pullover fleece shirts and the jackets they're about to release. Supreme did well, as always, although I'm not so happy with their puffer jacket options.
Daniel, MR PORTER: Some of my personal favorite shows for the season were AMI, which presented a general round up of all of the major trends. Informed by Alexandre’s traditional and classic execution, it all came together very nicely.
John Elliott was new to us for SS16, and it's done extremely well. This was John’s third runway show and had quite a dark and moody vibe, said to be inspired by Berlin. It was also ahead of the curve when it came to the military outerwear trend — the collections feature amazing fabrications such as a parachute jacket in waxed poplin, bonded wool and sashiko fabric on denim and T-shirts.
Stavros, Machine-A: This season the menswear shows and presentations were dynamic, energetic and strong. Gosha Rubchinskiy delivered another extremely strong collection. Raf Simons' "Nightmares & Dreams" collection was perhaps the strongest one of the season and one of my favorites of all time! Craig Green's utilitarian collection was a highlight of LCM, together with one of the strongest presentations of the season: Cottweiler.
What labels and designers should we be looking out for?
Nigel, What Drops Now: Although they're not new labels I'd suggest to keep an eye on the fast fashion labels like ZARA, ASOS or even H&M. They're getting stronger design-wise and could make you very happy for not much cash.
Stavros, Machine-A: Cottweiler, Liam Hodges, Faustine Steinmetz, Claire Barrow, Marta Jakubowski, Tigran Avetisyan, FUTUR & Roundel are all ones to look out for. They're extremely promising brands and designers, and our customers will absolutely adore them.
What specific pieces should we look out for?
Nigel, What Drops Now: Any rough/thick fleece/sherpa jacket like H&M's Pile Jacket or mfpen's Brushed Fleece Jacket.
Daniel, MR PORTER: Going back to that military outerwear trend, there are some amazing duffle coats out there for the season, in really nice heavy materials. Raf Simons, Margaret Howell and Balenciaga were just a few that did this.
Sportswear pieces such as bomber jackets and track tops in luxurious fabrics and intricate patterned detailing from brands such as Our Legacy and Kapital are a key update for the season ahead.
Stavros, Machine-A: For me, the key items of the season are Gosha Rubchinskiy's double-sleeve crewnecks, Raf Simons' oversized knits and leather boots, Martine Rose's metal ring T-shirts, Craig Green's bronze silk top and trousers, the "Acre" hoodies by Cottweiler and C.E's "Articles may not be exchanged" hoodies.