With the London fashion scene about to go menswear crazy next week with London Collections: Men kicking off we decided to catch up with stylist Darren Kennedy for some clarification on the colours, prints & accessories that we should be wearing this summer. Here is Darren’s SS14 menswear rundown…
If you’re convinced that camel will always be the trademark of the Del Boy type, think again. For the past few seasons this 1970s classic has been mounting a determined comeback, and this year it’s truly front and centre, where it belongs. Camel is once again the stylish man’s choice. Style tip: Stick to cleaner lines, sharper cuts and lighter weight fabrics for a modernist approach.
Last summer’s fling with Hawaiian shirts and Hibiscus blooms was fun wasn’t it? For the season ahead petals and posies have been elevated to a whole other sartorial level thanks to a much darker attitude which banishes garishness in favour of subtle tones. Feeling dubious? My advice is to ease yourself into florals by styling with blacks and other muted tones. Think interest-creator, rather than show-stopper.
3. Mirrored sunnies
The hottest trend in eyewear for 2014 comes in the form of saturated, rainbow bright-mirrored lenses. Even the iconic Ray Ban Aviator RB 3025 sunglasses have been given a splash of colour with full-on mirror lenses. The best part is the multi-coloured effect as the lenses give off slightly different hues depending on the angle the light catches them.
4. Lightweight knitwear
Masculine knitwear, be it complete with bold cabling or exaggerated ribbing, is a wardrobe staple of any stylish chap. Levi’s Made and Crafted best typifies the trend for 1970’s shades of burgundies and greens, in some beautiful brushed wool and degrade hues.
5. Checks, plaids & gingham
Checks are firmly back on the menswear agenda. What started as some fun flirting several seasons ago has developed into an all-out romance. The staple of Scottish sartorialism – checks, tartans & plaid – offers one of the most exciting men’s trends for 2014. Play with texture and colour or give the more traditional look a distinctly modern appeal with dynamic, oversized futuristic checks.
6. Bomber jackets
Gregory Peck in Twelve O’Clock High, Humphrey Bogart in Tokyo Joe, James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause and Ryan Gosling in Drive. Arguably four of the most iconic male film portraits of all time, but have you spotted the connection? Each of our heroes dons the ultimate in utilitarian menswear throughout: the bomber jacket. Whether you opt for Scandinavian cool at Acne or Balenciaga-inspired bombers with paneling, the trusty bomber is the perfect trans-seasonal piece.
7. Animal Print
There’s no escaping animal print in 2014. Be it a leopard print calf hair Derby loafer, a wild twill cotton bomber (pug optional) or a leather-trimmed feline patterned backpack by Saint Laurent, animal print is a winning formula. Perhaps not for the wallflowers among us.
8. The Double Breasted Blazer
The rise in popularity of double-breasted blazers, or the DB, over the past couple of seasons shows no signs of slowing down. Hardly surprising when you consider that many of the world’s best-dressed men have been wearing double-breasted jackets for decades. In general terms, the DB tends to be more formal than their single-breasted siblings but they also function equally well for more casual ensembles and are a fantastic addition to any modern capsule wardrobe. Traditional formal suits will generally have six buttons so as a rule of thumb, the fewer the buttons the more casual and versatile the jacket.
9. Rain Wear
Rainwear, as a look, is making quite a splash this season. Given our climate we should communally rejoice. While the sky may be grey and dull, your rainwear doesn’t have to be. Swedish brand Stutterheim raincoats feature every colour under the rainbow – including a to-die-for camouflage print – in rubberized cotton, which is both lightweight and exceptionally breathable. Even Jay-Z has bought in and is regularly spotted out and about in NYC wearing his black one.
10. The Shoe
Although you won’t be replacing your brogues as your go-to shoe anytime soon, there are increasingly interesting sartorial options for those keen to widen their footwear horizons. Take the ultra-stylish monk strap, available this season with all the trimmings – contrasting sole, colourful suede, double strap etc. Really make your monks pop by showcasing them with a bold coloured sock and a short hemmed trouser.
Darren Kennedy is a TV presenter and fashion journalist. Regarded as one of the UK and Ireland’s most stylish men, he regularly features on Best Dressed lists including British GQ, Elle UK, Telegraph and InStyle. As well as being an ambassador for Topman at London Collections: Men 2014, his first capsule collection of suiting, designed in collaboration with Louis Copeland, sold out in a matter of weeks. The much-anticipated 2nd limited edition ‘DK + LC’ collection hit stores in April 2014. Follow Darren on twitter @DarrenKen or online at www.DarrenKennedyOfficial.com.