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Boys will be boys: Menswear returns to an age of innocence

The Spring/Summer 2020 menswear collections are brimming with a boyish-yet-sensual allure.

Boys will be boys: Menswear returns to an age of innocence

(Photos: Various; Art: Jasper Loh)

If the recently concluded fashion month was of any indication, streetwear is losing its dominance in menswear. Instead, we witnessed the pendulum swing away from the oversized hoodies and chunky dad sneakers that have proliferated the menswear catwalks in recent seasons, to a vibrant display of masculinity that draws on the charm of boyhood.

Fashion is a sign of the times, too. And with gender issues the topic of hot debate, the industry is re-examining what it means to dress like a man (or woman) today. For spring/summer 2020, designers proposed many ideas to rewrite the codes of masculinity. Whether delicate pastels or princely tunics, these are the key trends and takeaways from the men’s spring/summer 2020 shows you must know.


Ever the visionary designer whose collections somehow manage to capture the essence of every season, Miuccia Prada kicked things off by staging a special men’s show in Shanghai. Inside the vast halls of Minsheng Wharf, the influential designer showed plenty of pastel hues on crisp shirting and oversized polo tees. Call it coincidence if you will, but the soothing colour palette soon turned up throughout the rest of the collections. From Berluti to Kenzo, Paul Smith to Salvatore Ferragamo, the shades lent a tenderness to the clothes. But make no mistake – when worn head-to-toe, pastels still pack a punch.


Accompanying the season’s spectrum of Paddlepop hues is tailoring, now making a comeback in more ways than one. Designers such as Ermenegildo Zegna’s Alessandro Sartori and Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh loosened things up a little by rolling out suits that boast a roomier fit. Kim Jones, who has explored using couture techniques to craft his collections over at Dior’s men’s side of the business, attached a satin sash to his reinterpretation, instantaneously adding an air elegance to the menswear classic.

READ> Spring flowers, pastel colours for new Louis Vuitton menswear collection


Like the humble sandal, the tunic has been associated with some of the world’s oldest civilisations. In ancient Rome, the long garment was worn by both men and women. It’s a unisex piece of clothing with a time-honoured appeal, which explains why some designers have based their gender conversation around the elongated top for the new season. To blur gender lines even further, designers stretched the tunic to new lengths (those at Loewe and Lanvin ended mid-calf), along the way extending the appeal of this shirt-dress hybrid.


Following the footsteps of boundary-pushing dandies such as David Bowie, Prince and Mick Jagger before him, the modern daredevil will take to spring/summer 2020’s turnout of bold patterns and prints with equal parts finesse and ease. From wild animal prints to romantic florals, psychedelic tie-dyes to bright graphics, no combination’s too outre for this debonair who breaks every single rule to thrilling effect.


Farm-to-table? More like farm-to-closet! Led by Silvia Venturini Fendi, whose own showing for Fendi in Milan’s Villa Reale played up the gardening theme to great results, designers and their fertile imagination gave utilitarian garments a green slant. A fine crop of cargo pants, jumpsuits, handy vests and bucket hats flourished under their care. During such troubled times when conservation efforts have become more crucial than ever before, designers seem to be saying: Why flex muscles when you can work your green fingers instead?

Source: CNA/ds