Don't fret. We are not telling you that flares are back. But suits are more tailored again, and their accessories, the ties and the bright or optical white shirts, as bold as they were in the Seventies.
In place of the Italian looks that have dominated menswear for a decade, the sharp and dapper Savile Row look gets a renaissance this autumn with the release of this season's "clothes movie", Goldeneye. Rumours are that Pierce Brosnan's James Bond in his slim three-piece suit, complete with ticket pocket and hand-stitched lapels, might do for English-style tailoring what Richard Gere set in motion for muted Italian menswear in the memorable clothes scene in American Gigolo. Ironically, Bond's suits are English-style, Italian-made. They have been created by the Italian firm Brioni for two reasons: the first, Savile Row's unique one-off tailoring is unable to cope with the vast numbers of suits needed for the actors, stunt doubles and walk-on back view doubles required for modern filmmaking; and the second, outside Savile Row bespoke, a Brioni suit is probably the finest in the world.
Today's suit is no longer stiff and starchy; it is comfortable enough for easy daily wear thanks to super-lightweight fabrics and innovations in all the stuffings that used to go underneath them. Even today's tweeds (and tweed is very much back in favour) are not scratchy, nor so thick that you could stalk the grouse moor in them. Suitings have lightened up. The fabrics for business are dark wools: navy, grey, black, and also brown, the latter again an acceptable tone for a good suit for the first time in years.
Those on the cutting edge will go for shiny mohairs, synthetics and velvets for a latter-day Mod look. Those not on the cutting edge, but game for a spot of modernity, will balance dark colours with shots of bright white beneath.
Of course, menswear isn't just about whistle and flutes. For casual clothes, think of England and heavy but soft wools, reworkings of traditional checks and the return of the muted check shirt. Knitwear, rather improbably for those over 20, becomes sexy. The bravest men, the youngest and slimmest, might even take to the twinset.
Old-fashioned ski boots, from the days before these became heavy with gizmos, are the inspiration for some sturdy footwear this season, while the sporty look of the Ivy League college boy gets another re-run in graphic tops by the likes of hip menswear design labels such as Duffer of St George and Dries van Noten.
Another name to know, but not necessarily to wear, unless you're brave (or mad) is W< (Wild and Lethal Trash). That's what you get from Walter van Beirendonck, who proves to Tamsin Blanchard on page 65 that it is indeed possible to be both wild and Belgian.
Jeff Griffin makes the kind of clothes we love; clothes you can throw into the washing machine. He talks about pockets, gadgets and the Internet on page 68. People buy his clothes, promoted mostly by word of mouth, because they like them. And that should be the only reason to buy.
Gentlemen, we offer you the looks for Autumn/Winter 1995, from checked shirts to rubber bodysuits.
Marion Hume, Fashion Editor
Rich man, not-so-rich man - happy is he who is sharp and suited this autumn
Grey wool single-breasted suit, pounds 279, and silver silk tie, pounds 25, by Austin Reed, and cornflower blue double-cuffed shirt, pounds 47.50, by Stephens Brothers, all available from Austin Reed, 103 Regents Street, London W1, for enquiries nationwide 0800-585479; original Sixties cufflinks from a selection at Steinberg and Tolkein, 193 King's Road, London SW3
Brown polyester viscose mix suit, pounds 195, by Jigsaw, 9-10 Floral Street, London WC2, and 39-43 King Street, Manchester, enquiries 0171-240 5651; black-and-white check cotton shirt, pounds 59.50, by Gallagher, from Way In at Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1
Clockwise from top
Patent mock croc lace-up boot, pounds 89.50, by Hudson at Russell & Bromley, 24-25 New Bond Street, London W1; brown boot with stitch detail, pounds 120, by Jeffrey West at Office, 57 Neal Street, London WC2, enquiries 0181- 838 4447; black leather and suede boot, pounds 185, by Johnny Moke, 396 Kings Road, London SW10, enquiries 0171-351 2232; black leather boot with buckle, pounds 135, by Russell & Bromley, as before; black leather shoe, pounds 160, by Johnny Moke, as before; brown leather brogue lace-up boot, pounds 49.99, by Ravel, from selected branches, enquiries 0171-631 0224
Left to right
Brown pinstripe jeans, pounds 67, by Jigsaw, 9-10 Floral Street, WC2; lime green wool knit sweater, pounds 70, by French Connection, nationwide; jumbo cord jacket, pounds 275, by John Rocha, at Harvey Nichols, SW1; brown brogue boots, pounds 49.99, by Ravel, as before; black leather belt, pounds 18.99, by Kangol, for R Newbold, a division of Paul Smith, 7-8 Langley Court, WC2
Check trousers, pounds 80, by French Connection, as before; red, long, roll neck mohair jumper, pounds 68, and beige canvas mackintosh reefer, pounds 240, both by Jigsaw Menswear, as before
Navy V-neck wool sweater with striped sleeves, pounds 68, by John Smedley, from S Fisher, 22-23 Burlington Arcade, W1; grey and navy check trousers, pounds 155, by Paul Smith Jean; brown leather belt, pounds 27, by Otto Glanz, enquiries 0181-365-1711
Two-tone boot, pounds 69.99, by Puma, at Office, as before; brown leather football- style shoe, pounds 75, by Camper, 39 Floral Street, London WC2, and Eden, 75 Warwick Street, Leamington Spa; leather 408 trainer, pounds 65, by Blunstone, available from Pil, 61 Neal St, London WC2, and Schuh Clothing for Feet, 01506-460250; suede terracotta Jack Purcell trainer, pounds 29.99, by Converse at Office, as before
Left to right
Striped crew neck top, pounds 115, by Jose Levy a Paris, from Browns, 23-27 South Molton Street, London W1; navy combat trousers, pounds 125, by Griffin Laundry, from Way In at Harrods, London SW1, and Liberty, London W1; black leather belt, pounds 18.99, by Kangol, from selected River Island stores; heavy brogue working boots from Office, as before
Kagoul, pounds 145, by R Newbold, a division of Paul Smith, as before; cream moleskin jeans, pounds 85, by Polo Ralph Lauren, 143 New Bond Street, London W1, enquiries 0171-491 4967
Black zip cardigan, pounds 155, by Robert In't Veld at Browns, as before; black nylon jeans, pounds 54, by Works at American Retro, 35 Old Compton Street, London W1; orange T-shirt, pounds 19.75, by Sun and Sand, enquiries 0171-490 4684
Photographer David Fernandes
Photographers Assistant Sandy Fernandes
Stylist Jo Adams
Grooming Leslie Sayles at GSM
Model Terry at Boss
Reefer jackets, chelsea boots, hipsters - that Sixties thing is trendily with us again
Camel wool coat, pounds 275, by Jigsaw, 9-10 Floral Street, London WC2; black-and-white rayon shirt, pounds 340, by Yohji Yamamoto available at Joseph, 77 Fulham Road, London SW3; striped grey-and-black stretch wool trousers, pounds 67, by Jigsaw, as before; dark brown leather gloves, pounds 59, by Paul Smith, 41-43 Floral Street, London WC2 Camel wool coat, pounds 275, by Jigsaw, 9-10 Floral Street, London WC2; black-and-white rayon shirt, pounds 340, by Yohji Yamamoto available at Joseph, 77 Fulham Road, London SW3; striped grey-and-black stretch wool trousers, pounds 67, by Jigsaw, as before; dark brown leather gloves, pounds 59, by Paul Smith, 41-43 Floral Street, London WC2
Navy double-breasted jacket, pounds 355, and flat-fronted navy wool trousers, pounds 135, both Paul Smith, as before; blue-and-pink black python effect boots, by Patrick Cox, 8 Symons Street, London SW1; black- and-white zigzag tie, pounds 45, by Hacketts, 137 Sloane Street, London SW1, enquiries 0171-730 3331
Above Black double-breasted, belted coat, pounds 395, by Paul Smith, as before; black-and-white viscose diamond shirt, pounds 340, by Yohji Yamamoto, as before; beige jumbo cord jeans, pounds 95, by Costume Homme, from a selection at Browns, as before; belt, pounds 85, from Gucci, as before; boots Patrick C ox, as before; tie, pounds 105, by Yohji Yamamoto, from Liberty, as before
Right Black velvet jacket (part of suit), pounds 560; brown wool check trousers, available to order, both by Gucci, 33 Old Bond Street, London W1, enquiries 0171-499 1081; red dog's-tooth check shirt with white collar, pounds 195, by Dries van Noten, available from Jones, 13 Floral Street, London WC2; diamond vintage tie, pounds 40, by Paul Smith, as before; black python effect boots with side buckle, pounds 235, by Patrick Cox, as before
Photographer Garth Meyer Stylist Emma Sanchez Model Diego at Models One Shot at Longleat HouseReuse content