By now everyone knows that the whole fashion industry is going through a period of radical, sweeping change. During the last two years, in coincidence with the pandemic’s ongoing, the whole business had the opportunity to rethink its processes (both creative and productive) from their roots. This is leading not only to a new way of production – more affordable, sustainable and respectful of the environment – but also to a brand new aesthetic, radically different from the main trends of the last two decades.
From the time the fashion trading sector was invented, clothes have always been way more than a mere way to protect our bodies from the atmospheric agents. A dress is, first and foremost, the most visible and tangible sign of an individual’s identity. Clothes define who we are in the eyes of our communities of reference (family, coworkers, acquaintances): in other words, they contain a series of codes that allow those who don’t know us directly to guess (or at least imagine) which are our values, and how we want to represent ourselves to the exterior. The fashion industry does nothing but give form and coherence – both plastically and symbolically – to this intent. During the last two years, many big fashion companies have reached back out this primordial mission, giving up any sign of excessive – and sometimes self-referential – extravaganza. A sort of purification, aimed to reconnect the haute couture world with the people. Many big stylists and fashion company owners have stated that, from Olivier Roustaing from Balmain (maybe the first one who theorized this comeback to the origins, way before the pandemic) to Donatella Versace, not to mention other eminent members of the same business, such as Tom Ford, Anna Wintour and Alessandro Michele from Gucci.
Until recently, the main indicator of every shift and modification in the fashion industry’s strategy was the women’s fashion. But lately the male counterpart seems to have taken the lead: a huge part of the bravest and most daring innovations in our way of dressing have found a homeland in the menswear universe, before finding a proper translation in the women’s sector. Most of the pundits state that this is due to the affirmation of a new stage of gender fluidity, more proactive and willing to take risks, with the aim of breaking even the most established conventions. A trend that has found several influential ambassadors and spokesmen in the entertainment business: just think about personalities such as Harry Styles, Sam Smith and Machine Gun Kelly for what concerns the pop music, or Jonathan Van Ness and Ezra Miller if we take a closer look at Hollywood and surroundings.
The colors are probably the feature that shows in the clearest way how the male fashion has changed throughout the last years. If we look closely at the first 2022’s collections, we can immediately realize how drastically the “palette” of colors has changed, and how, compared to the past (even the recent one), the men’s taste has moved towards totally different hues. That’s why it’s useful, at this point, to take stock of the new upcoming trends in terms of menswear’s colors, and see which are the most original and unexpected ones. They’re listed below.
- Pink. The most revolutionary one is probably also the most expected among the unexpected ones. Pink has become the actual symbol of any gender barrier removal, not only for what concerns the fashion world. An old-fashioned symbol of early femininity – it’s always been considered suited especially for little girls and teenagers – has turned into the vexillum of a new masculinity. At the moment, the use of pink in menswear manufacturing is focused predominantly on sweaters and shirt. Will the time come for it to be experimented on trousers and jackets?
- Orange. May it really become the new black, intended as the most provocative and unconventional color for men’s evening dresses? The time is not ripe yet to be sure of it, but many signals seem to point in that direction. For the moment, it’s the most requested color for what concerns shoes and sportswear.
- Taupe. Straight from the early XIX Century, this peculiar nuance of grey is the quintessence of fluidity, since it looks almost perfect on both men’s and women’s clothes. Some fashion houses have bet a lot of their creativity (and even their reputation) on it. By the end of the year we’ll see if their investment will prove to be profitable.
- Kaki clair. It looks like a pale shade of green, but once wore it seems totally different. This is the main peculiarity of this hue, fit to be applied on both jeans, sweaters, jackets, T-shirts and coats. Probably the most versatile of this year’s “new” colors.
- Sable. Among the other colors, it plays the role of the veteran or, if you prefer, the survivor. Dumped and dug up in alternating phases, it seems to have found a sort of stability, especially if used on sweaters and tracksuits.