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Our guide to the key fashion trends for the autumn/winter 2018 season, from cowboy steez to maximalism.

Trend forecasting may not seem like an exact science, and it’s not, but by paying attention to runway collections, backstage buzz from designers, and current cultural conversations, it’s a little easier to see what fashion trends the zeitgeist will be adopting in the latter months of 2018. A case in point: Kim Kardashian stepped out in frozen yellow neon wig, and matching Lamborghini the other day, a color trend we predicted last year, and let’s not forget that the neo-mint hue from Kanye’s most viral outfit of 2018, was also on our radar a few months ago.

In light of this, we spoke to Nick Paget, Senior Menswear Editor at global trend forecasting agency WGSN, to see what fashion trends 2018 is going to throw at us now that the FW18 season is approaching.

Get informed, ahead of the curve, on what to buy this season by scrolling down below.

Tailoring

“The biggest message for menswear is that it’s time to clean up and grow up a bit. Streetwear has gripped our attention for a long time now and we’re sensing a shift away from that sporty vibe which ushers in smarter pieces, not least tailoring.

The major designers have increasingly been showing suits in a fashion context, and in the context of ’90s looks, slouchy-fitting double-breasted blazers and wider cut trousers make sense and are easier to understand than lurching from track pants to skinny suits.

There’s a parallel between the power of dressing in head-to-foot streetwear labels and the previous understanding of power dressing which gave us the heavily padded shoulder line of ’80s and ’90s suits.”

The Wild, Wild West

“The ripple effect of Raf Simons’ tenure at Calvin Klein is in full flow and western styling cues from jeans-inspired pocket details to plaid shirts and cowboy boots appear in the ranges of many directional brands.

Like Raf’s collection though, the vibe is cleaned up and city slick, ensuring it feels modern. Denim is rinse-washed with obvious branding and new nickel trims, while leathers are sharp and polished, rather than authentically worn and distressed.

Forget the Wild West and think American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman on the weekend.”

Maximalism

“Alessandro Michele’s maximalist vision for Gucci spawned countless imitations, but for FW18 that trademark look is translated in a much more accessible way.

Burberry’s SS18 collection and Versace’s FW18 runway showed how to ‘do a Gucci’ in more obviously street-style, wearable way, by swapping the more feminine jacquards and bouclés for checks, stripes and denim, blended with the showier headscarf-inspired baroque prints of both houses, spawning one of this winter’s biggest trends.”

Techwear

“Because winter can be fairly horrible and because guys like to geek out on tech, the urban ninja look never feels that far away, and FW18 isn’t an exception.

This winter, the influence of outdoor brands such as The North Face and Patagonia lingers, having inspired the many brands to swatch colorful sleeping bags to construct their palettes and to trim even tees with ripstop nylon and clip fastening adjusters.

Advances in lighter weight and ever-more weather proof fabrics means that even mainstream players can start to offer some serious all-weather gear and it needn’t look like you’re lost from an orienteering trip from the ’80s (although that sounds like a lewk).”

Fetish Gear

“For smarter, party-wear looks a darker, brooding mood is in store. Details inspired by fetishwear sit well with the constructed feel of suiting, with straps, metal buckles and clips as detailing, inspired by the another menswear icon, Helmut Lang. Slim and oversized layers compete in outfits that play on proportion and tactile textures are also important.

Black tones are augmented with blackened jewel colours, with emerald and burnt red shades being key. Leather, suede, shearling and PVC complement the wools used for suiting, making for a luxurious and intimidating look that Marilyn Manson would approve of.”

For more insights on current fashion trends, here’s how cowboys became menswear’s latest obsession.

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Words by Max Grobe
Associate Fashion Editor
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