Wilde at heart
Sure, Oscar Wilde once quipped about fashion's ever-changing ugliness, but it seems the pendulum has swung to his own sartorial style for winter, with loosely knotted silky pussycat bows, velvet suits and volumes of overcoats. There have even been a few capes. Wilde's wears were actually about standing outside of fashion – artistic dress, they called it. That chimes with Tomas Maier's Bottega Veneta vision of creatives' clothing, all mixed-up, muddled and mismatched fabrics – melange knits, with salmon corduroy, against soft chamois leather and chiffon, generally with a trailing scarf and something blousy underneath. A similar feel emerged from Alessandro Michele's first Gucci men's show. We can also do fashion's favourite connect-the-dots between those and the slinky tunics and elephant-ear collar-points of J W Anderson, or the Persian-carpet patterns on suits and coats at Givenchy. It's an urge to experiment with fragile fabrics such as lace, with layering, with silky, billowy trousers, with stuff that looks easier than menswear's tailoring tradition. In the words of Madonna: express yourself, don't repress yourself. Alexander Fury
Two for one
Practical concerns seldom invade fashion's consciousness. Chiffon for winter? Fur for spring? All par for the course. Maybe it was the bitter cold of this year's first quarter – when designers showed the stuff they'd designed for the last – that influenced the double-breasted, double-stuffed double-coating cropping up across the autumn/winter catwalks. For winter, like the animals of Noah's Ark, coats and jackets seem to come two by two. Some designers coupled them – Stefano Pilati cross-bred down-stuffed coats with tweedy outerwear. They sound like mongrels, but his zippered-up half-and-half hybrids prepared his Ermenegildo Zegna Couture client for the bitterest of winters.
Giant fluffball coats have been making female fashion followers look like Muppets (interpret that how you will) for years now; this season it's the turn of their male equivalents. Fur for men is still a tough sell – morally if it's real, and aesthetically either way. The release of Behind the Candelabra, the film about Liberace, illustrated two things: exactly when too much plastic surgery is too much plastic surgery and, more appropriately for these pages, the perils of a grown man wearing a full-length fur.
It's not easy being green
A lot of menswear designers – and the men who wear their designs – have interests verging on obsessional with the sort of lifestyles, activities and clubs that need a fair bit of kit. This explains why uniformity in its many guises, from sportswear to subcultures, is a recurring theme in menswear. Paramount among these is, of course, the army, and although the majority of creatives and their customers were born and raised on Civvy Street there's something inescapable about the appeal of a militaristic mood. It's a romantic ideal, of course, far removed from the realities of life in the service, but it explains why khaki, olive drab and bottle green are never far from the catwalk colour palette.
The new-season take on quilting saw padded parkas, vests and more given a svelte make-over. Whether it's the result of the prolific crossover between sportswear and fashion or the increasingly image-conscious male fashion customer's concerns over bulking up in all the wrong places is up to you. But this incarnation won't see you mistaken for a bouncer, barrow boy or Mitchell bruvva. London wunderkind Craig Green's meditation on martial-arts clobber was perhaps the most powerful, infused as his collection was with his usual sense of serenity and force.
Drop it like it's hot
The country is currently awash with the tears of teenage One Directioners mourning the demise of their favourite pre-packaged boy band. But, whatever umbrage you might take with the musical output of Simon Cowell's band of merry men, their service in the line of increasing awareness of drop-crotch trousers has been unwavering. It's a trend that was shadowed on the catwalks, too – albeit with a bit more maturity. Rick Owens has long been a proponent of playing with the proportions in this regard, and dropped crotches appeared on his catwalk again for autumn/winter. Not that you probably noticed, as it was, in fact, the absence of crotches of any kind in his peephole designs that was the real scene-stealer this season.