Men’s – Embrace The Weirdness. JW Anderson AW22

For autumn-winter 2022, Jonathan Anderson embraces all things “weird”, and seems to be aesthetically torn between the 1980s (sparkly party dresses) and now trending, early 2010s “indie sleaze” (metallic lycra jumpsuits). The JW Anderson collection was planned to be shown live in Milan with a late-night after-party. An IRL event would have enhanced and disrupted this season’s menswear week. As Anderson explained in a preview, however, the party element especially was nixed by Omicron restrictions and the live Milan debut has been pushed back until June. During that preview, Anderson used the word “weird” countless times: most often at a point at which he unlocked the thinking that had led to key elements in this collection. It was “weird” how a documentary on Cristiano Ronaldo inspired him to re-engage with “the limits of hyper-masculinity.” This lead to Anderson’s gleeful excavation of the polo shirt – “there is nothing more quintessential”—as a masculine cipher which he then disrupted by variously lengthening it into a hoop-hemmed dress, rendering it in micro-sequin with a vintage “Glamour Bonnet” hair net advert, or reconfiguring it as a high-shorted playsuit. This last look brought back fond back-in-the-day memories. When not watching documentaries “on everything and anything” Anderson spent much of his time weird-scrolling, and the results inflected this collection. The gorgeous eye-graphic dresses had a chin-strokily John Berger inference yet were sparked by a bout of engaging with the world of YouTube make-up tutorials. The menswear tunics peppered with rubber bands and sweaters featuring tubular protrusions that ran from one side of the hem, between the wearer’s legs, and up to the other hem with both pieces designed to generate sound through contact. “A lot of the materials have these odd sounds qualities that are kind of almost sexual… there’s a kind of tension,” he said. These were the by-product of spiraling into ASMR content on TikTok, another “weird” lockdown stop-off. When Anderson detects weirdness, he is not repelled but stimulated: for him “odd” and “bad taste” hold creative opportunity. Allied with his highly refined sense of beauty, the results are unorthodoxly compelling.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Cosmic Dandy. Prada AW22

For autumn-winter 2022, Prada “ate” (that’s how TikTok kids communicate that something is absolutely brilliant). There are two reasons why this collection, which opens the fourth season of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons‘ ever-exciting creative dialogue, is truly mind-blowing. Exactly 10 years ago, Prada invited some of her favorite actors to walk the runway, from Adrien Brody and Gary Oldman to Willem Dafoe and Tim Roth. That 2012 collection was a refined, at points ironic, take on the Old World elegance. In 2022, the brand invited a new pack of actors, with Kyle Maclachlan opening (he’s definitely Team Raf – this is the ultimate Calvin Klein 205W39NYC guy!) and Jeff Goldblum closing the show (the Prada-print-loving-Insta-Zaddy is an obvious Team Miuccia choice). All the men that were casted for the show walked out of an “A Space Odyssey“-like entrance, wearing garments that can be described with two words: “cosmic” and “dandy”. The line-up focuses mainly on investment tailoring and voluminous outerwear. Exaggerated shoulders and faux-fur patches in unexpected colours are this season’s key take-aways, and I really loved how Prada and Simons managed to make this futuristic style feel elegant (please, lets have a major comeback of elegance in menswear!). You could see how these garments elevated the movements of the models. And Goldblum looked utterly alien-chic in his long, black coat. There were also nylon boiler-suits, plenty of rubber-ish leather and a great selection of color-block turtlenecks. The Internet, as always, debates whether this collection is more Miuccia or Raf. To me, it’s a balance, which wasn’t always present in their previous creative endeavors.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Wild ‘N Preppy. Etro AW22

Kean Etro‘s autumn-winter 2022 collection is to die for! The Etro offering for men delivered rushes of wildness and preppy, a combination that isn’t that easy to pull off. Royal velvets meet knitted sweaters with tearings; shearling jackets with folklorish embroideries styled with slightly scruffy, vintage-y denim pants; wolf motif layered over the brand’s signature paisley pattern. This is certainly a wardrobe for lovers of eclectic dandy-ness with a hedonistic twist. I wonder if Etro had Luke Edward Hall‘s style on his moodboard, because I definitely see him wearing most of these outfits. The collection orbited around the idea of contrasts. We’ve got a cool, solid PVC coat in purple, and the other moment a billow-y, romantic, chest-revealing silk blouse in mustard. This is one of those collections that are both desirable and filled with styling tips ready to be implemented into a guy’s autumn wardrobe.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.