What does menswear have in store for the coming years? Mehtap Gungormez on ‘the new man’

That the traditional divisions of roles in Western society have been subject to changes in recent years is nothing new. How these changes still influence men’s fashion to this day, however, remains a surprise every year. Developments that were set in motion years ago continue to take on new visual forms of expression time and time again. During Modefabriek, trend forecaster Mehtap Güngormez shared her vision of ‘the new man’ and what this character means for men’s fashion in the coming years.

Today, men are still stepping further and further out of the traditional role pattern, according to Güngormez’s view. Men search for new forms of meaning. The imbalance in the world that arises from crises, polarization and war is reflected in fashion. Whereas in the past it was about moderate and average perspectives, extremes are now being sought. This way there is more room to play with the pillars of masculinity and femininity and to reinterpret them in your own way. There is also more room for vulnerability.

The real currency: Room for your own beliefs

This translates into a trend that Gungormez refers to as “the real currency.” Authenticity, a word that has been on the rise for a number of years and seems to be on a peak right now, is an important aspect of the ‘new man’. Men have more room to live up to a strong, willful character. They take their place as a ‘real’ person, with authentic beliefs and feelings, also through fashion. Rapper A$ap Rocky and designer Aimé Leon Dore cite Güngormez as examples. For example, Leon Dore plays with a balance within streetwear, which was previously mainly associated with hip-hop, by authentically linking it to American sportswear.

Interestingly, according to Güngormez, the tie is making a comeback through authentic reinterpretation. “Now that the suit is no longer mainstream, it is once again valued among the innovators. People take elements of it and give it new meaning, like rapper Tyler, the Creator.” The suit is therefore not worn today in the traditional, formal way as we know it from Georgio Armani, but with a cap, hoodie and sneakers.

Givenchy FW23 Menswear show in Paris. Image: Launchmetrics Spotlight.

The old vs new paradigm: The digital underpins the mystical

There is little room left for mystery in the modern world. Even the most specialized information is only a few clicks away and religion plays a role for fewer and fewer people. It is for this reason that according to Güngormez, men search for new forms of meaning through spirituality, yoga, meditation, silent retreats and psychedelics: common mechanisms today to keep up with the speed of society.

In men’s fashion this is visually translated through materials and patterns. There are visual references to the Stone Age, ‘occult’ symbolism, funghi and psychedelic visual effects. The digital and mystical come together here and artificial intelligence (AI) plays a significant role. For example, many of the patterns are generated by AI. In addition, the rise of AI and all the questions and concerns that come with it seem to be incorporated into clothing through a game of visual effects that make you wonder what is real and what is fake, as seen in a pair of distorted jeans by Dolev Elron and Diesel.

A need to ground in a digital world leads to an increasing use of natural fabrics such as linen and hemp. The Gorpcore trend (wearing functional outdoor clothing outside its intended use) is of course also related to this and is expressed on a different level in what Güngormez refers to as ‘ninja tech’. Outdoor is lifted to a level where you can protect yourself against more extreme unpredictable weather conditions. The covering of the nose and mouth, so far mainly seen among younger generations, is an example of this. Also ‘puffiness’ falls within this theme. For example, the bomber jacket, despite the fact that it has never really been gone, is experiencing a revival.

Dries Van Noten FW23 Menswear show in Paris. Image: Launchmetrics Spotlight.
Botter FW23 Menswear show in Paris. Image: Launchmetrics Spotlight.

New surrealism: The role of fantasy

A playfulness in fashion is now also widely accepted for men. Fashionable men are becoming the new norm, explains Güngormez. In line with the theme of authenticity, this is expressed in playfulness and fantasy, which in its more extreme form takes on surrealistic forms. Colm Dillane, founder of the KidSuper brand and designer of Louis Vuitton’s FW23 men’s collection, presented last week, applies this in colorful patterns that revolve around fun and creativity. Güngormez refers to this colorful and imaginative aesthetic as a ‘new surrealism’. A major development in men’s fashion, which has a more serious undertone, especially in the past, but even today.

According to Güngormez, retro elements also come back under the guise of playfulness. Alessandro Michele already introduced this trend at Gucci, with his style rich in seventies patterns and colours. This also leaves room for truly iconic items, such as the thick-soled loafers known from Prada, or the old-fashioned duffle coats.

Kidsuper Studios FW23 Menswear show in Paris. Image: Launchmetrics Spotlight.
Botter FW23 Menswear show in Paris. Image: Launchmetrics Spotlight.

The future of streetwear?

The future of streetwear in general, which has recently been denounced by media such as Business of Fashion and Vogue Business, was also discussed during a round of questions at the end of Güngormez’s story. The conclusion? Streetwear plays too big a role to simply disappear. It will remain relevant, albeit in new forms. For example, the development of men in our society will go hand in hand in the coming years with what we can expect from streetwear.

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Source: fashionunited.nl by fashionunited.nl.

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