THE MUST-WEAR COLOURS FOR AW17
SHADES WITH MORE BODY AND DEPTH ARE ON OUR RADAR FOR THE UPCOMING MONTHS
The transition from summer to autumn involves shedding lighter materials, shorter silhouettes, and paler shades for ones with a bit more substance in all regards: thicker, sturdier construction, colours with more body and depth, and longer lengths that hit the wrists or ankles. As cuts and materials change, with denim particularly seeing a resurgence with autumn/winter 2017 collections, colours experience similar shifts. And, as menswear collectively reaches for and tries out more shades, with some sticking around and others dropping off after a season or two, we look at what’s on the radar for the upcoming months:
Out of all options, camel truly occupies the middle of the road. But, without negative connotation, that space is neither completely light nor fully dark, and projects neither brightness nor depth. Instead, its tan base exudes versatility and mellowness, becoming a sophisticated turn for khaki, a less-intense brown, and a shade that matches without creating overt contrasts with white and that ubiquitous dress-shirt blue. Yet, also going by such names as butter rum, toast, and copper tan, its presence softens navy while simultaneously adding a less-typical contrast.
Navy, light and sky blue, and even cobalt come with specific characters, but this Pantone shade highlights as a trend for the AW17 season and has few preconceived notions. From one perspective, the faded, almost lilac-tinged hue appears rooted in periwinkle, albeit with more depth added. From another, there’s a quixotic muddiness to it, as if you can’t quite tell where it’s supposed to go and what it should mean. As such, mysteriousness surrounds it without hitting you over the head with every archetype, yet it still retains some kind of effervescence.
Mossy and Forrest Green
For most, these two are pretty much the same shade, but for the more trained eye, the former comes with velvety, darker undertones, making you want to reach out and touch it. Likely because of this secondary dimension, designers view it through such a lens, adding it to more tactile, textured materials that appear lifted from the wilderness and added to a jacket or shirt. And, while this approach takes the concept of camouflage almost literally, both shades branch off as an extension from the current crop of military-influenced trends. As an alternative to olive drab, mossy green particularly injects a hint of turquoise, while forest green breaks up the flatness. Yet, since neither strays too far away from expectations, they enliven utility and souvenir jackets and epaulette-accented shirts.
“Earth tones” seems almost derisive, implying that you select subdued tans, faded browns, and off-whites for your wardrobe, without branching out into the far more varied colour palette beyond. But, AW17’s foray veers off the typical path, instead circling around toward more forest-inspired tones. What’s meant by this? Rather than the implied default blandness, their composition looks to the wilderness: Rough brown and grey tree bark, rust-coloured dirt, and greenish-yellow leaves. The result encompasses a greater camouflage-based spectrum, extending from darker and reddish browns through lighter shades Pantone dubs “lemon curry” and “golden olive.”
As a complementing contrast to this season’s array of brown and green, orange runs with SS17’s dance music-influenced trends. But, gone are the highlighter yellow shades, hot pinks, and metallic hues. Instead with a darker tint, variations ranging from autumn maple to the reddish grenadine imply maturity, as if you’ve shed the culture surrounding frenetic all-night parties for a more focused, driven character without dropping the brilliance that turned heads in the first place. Yet, what could’ve been a limiting, more novelty shade like last season’s retro clubland oeuvre, these brownish, reddish hues make it clear that orange can, in fact, be worn in everyday contexts. In solid form, let it pop next to navy or grey, or seek it out as a print with some combination of cobalt blue, forest green, or magenta.
Although Pantone calls this shade specifically Tawny Port, its reddish-purple blend with a hint of brown overlaps almost identically. But, regardless of what you call it, the colour manages to be everything at once: A pop that’s not too overpowering, a darker, deeper hue that doesn’t fit the neutral mould, and something simultaneously on-trend and mysterious. You’ve seen it before – specifically, back in Winter 2014, when designers tried out more jewel tones – and, as such, it has lost its novelty halo. On the other hand, it lacks the longevity of, say, black, blue, or tan, and thus, burgundy appears as somewhat out of the ordinary yet still familiar.
The SS17 season saw designers dabbling with royal purple, introducing a darker, blue-tinged variation. As we had explained, royal purple straddles the spectrum of blues and red, although its overall hue appears more rooted in the former and enhanced with a dash of the latter. Yet, while its connotations imply androgyny, wearing it in solid form essentially gives you a practical novelty shade: Yes, it’s something unexpected, but even within that context, you can pair it with nearly every colour out there.