Trousers - Jil Sander
With its seasonal tradition of sticking to navy, grey, black, and brawny neutrals when the skies close in, men's fashion usually saves colour for the details at this time of year: a red sock, a lively tie or suit lining, a shock of neon on a sober sole. However, this winter, designers have abandoned the gloom more wholeheartedly and picked up palettes reminiscent of modernist painters. Bursts of bright colour set an optimistic tone that isn't just a show-pony choice for dandies or dapper Italian gents on style blogs, but one we can all accommodate and adjust to.
While British men, at least those of a certain age, don't always embrace the brighter shades beyond their holiday beachwear, designers are keen to push consumers out of their colour comfort zones. Orange was the theme at Ann Demeulemeester, Burberry, Mugler, Jil Sander and Louis Vuitton. It was bright yellow at Balenciaga, Burberry, Paul Smith, Kenzo and Yves Saint Laurent, and purple also reigned at Raf Simons, Jil Sander, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood and Acne. Code red ruled at Dior Homme, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein and Moschino. The message could hardly have been clearer.
These Jil Sander trousers, in particular, have a trace of autumnal ochre in their brilliant yellow that somehow works and wows despite its boldness (much like the similarly mustard-cutting "sulphur" jumper from Toast's new men's collection). Indeed, there's a bit of a he who-dares-wins, peacocky subtext involved in creating, or even just wearing, colours that take it to the edge without falling off. Chances are that your trusty navy crew-neck will see more service than your bold new pair of primary-coloured pantaloons this winter, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep flying the flag.