Menswear Trends for Autumn/Winter 2011/12: The Oversized Coat
BY JOÃO PAULO NUNES
In stark contrast to the tight-fitting, tailored suits and jackets inspired by menswear of the 1970s many designers at the recent fashion shows in Milan and Paris opted for a completely contrasting approach to designing overcoats for Autumn/Winter 2011/12.
For the cool months of next year, the designers’ collective decision to choose oversized coats indicates the adoption of a trend that favours deconstructed, boxy shapes. In most designer collections shown, these shapes eliminate the contours and overall physicality of the male body by omitting the waist line and allowing the fabric to drape freely from the shoulders. In addition, a recurrent option has been to adopt narrow and sloping shoulders with little or no padding thus only relying on the pulling of fabric at the sleeves to give shape to the garment while its length often goes below the knees.
After the return of a moderate version of the 1980s shoulder pads in the first decade of the 21st century, this trend seems to be a resurgence of the anti-power shoulder that many Japanese designers adopted in the 1990s, and that subsequently permeated the designs of Western designers, too. More interestingly, if one bears in mind that the 1990s rejection of large shoulders and sharp silhouettes was a subtle way to voice social concerns by designers, and consumers that rejected a fashion of excess and capitalistic overindulgence, at a time when movements of social unrest seem to be taking place all over the world. This trend can be interpreted as an interesting coincidence or an apt metaphorical comment on the state of world. Coincidence or not, fashion plays an important role in all that we do, and a new style can bring a fresh perspective and reflection of changing times.
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