Men are no longer content to be overshadowed when it comes to fashion. As James Bay releases his fashion collection for Topman, Stephanie Smith highlights the new luxe elegance and points out what to look out for.
The devil is definitely in the detail as embellishment, luxe textures, rich colour and print characterise a new era of sophistication for menswear.
First texture, which sees velvet and corduroy tailoring bring a tactile opulence to the new season. Think Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. If you’re feeling retro bold and groovy, invest in a slim-fitting corduroy suit in navy or olive green. You are also allowed to wear corduroy trousers and a jumper without feeling like a 1970s geography teacher. For an off-duty look, team with your leather biker for a rock star edge.
And on the subject of rock stars, British singer-songwriter, and two- time Brit Award winner, James Bay brings his rock ’n’ roll aesthetic to Topman next week when he launches a 13-piece collection for the men’s fashion brand.
The man with the hat says: “I’ve taken inspiration from performing live and the way I dress on tour. Many of the details I have focused on are also based on my own original drawings and sketches.”
Embellishment and pattern are key with this new collection, which will launch online and in selected stores on August 17. A black denim jacket has an embroidered illustration of two interlocked hands, inspired by Bay’s album Chaos and the Calm, and lyrics taken from his song Incomplete.
Then there is what is described as “evening and performance attire”, including a jacquard evening suit using Bay’s fingerprint to create an all-over abstract print, plus a sequinned bomber and skinny jeans with embroidered side panels.
Topman creative director Gordon Richardson says the brand likes to collaborate with personalities outside the world of fashion, “as it challenges our perceptions”. Prices range from £25 for a tee to £200 for the embroidered biker jacket and the silk bomber.
Meanwhile, in keeping with the Sixties-meets-Seventies theme for menswear, roll-necks are pretty much everywhere this coming season, from fine knits to chunky pieces, in a variety of rather chic shades.
A cashmere or merino roll-neck in camel, navy or black is an essential to wear with suiting, and look out for a slouchy, chunky sweater to wear at weekends with your jeans.