Blocks Of Style – Streets Ahead

So, right now we are in the dizzy heights of summer. Everywhere you look the stripe is out with a force greater than the sun.

A traditional pattern with a strong maritime connection and coastal heritage (both perennial trends in their own respect) stripes have sanctioned their place within the modern gent´s spring / summer wardrobe for decades. However, for the latest installation, this season the designers have taken a slightly different approach; they are bigger, they are brighter and now they are in block form.

This trend ignited the runways (from the spring/summer 2014 collections) where the designers applied them in a variety of ways, colours, styles and textures. From Valentino´s sober instalments in navy´s and monotones, these key elements were paired effortlessly with oversized jackets in striped denim, tailored trousers and flip flops.

As a softer contrast, military style khaki jackets with cream stripe detailing are at this moment allowing men to use stripes as an accent rather than a statement from the major style hubs of Barcelona and Paris.

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Onto the ateliers here, where Wooyoungmi is offering a more casual interpretation on this explosive trend by throwing vibrant hues of turquoise and indigo into the equation.

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Speaking of vibrant, Moschino´s block stripe spectrum once again showcased the adventurous end of Italian fashion. Utilising bright, bold shades like orange and purple, vivid prints in contrasting panel effects were married up with scenes from night skies, florals, red flames and desert dunes. Ambitious and vivid, this was not a collection for the faint of heart.

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From the high street to the pages of GQ´s style file the oversized checks and bold stripes are now adorning every corner of fashion land under the balmy mid-day sun. The prediction of stripes being a ´menswear staple where bold colours could be re interpreted to give a modern new look´ was given attention and action.

“Whether full-body colour-blocked or spread over the chest, bold stripes could be seen across the board at the runways and trade shows. Not only does a hefty stripe bring to mind athletic endeavours, it also visually broadens a guy’s frame, making him look like he’s been hitting the gym hard – whether or not that’s true.” – Jim Moore GQ Creative Director

As vertical stripes create an illusion of length, correspondingly horizontal stripes can broaden the upper body and form that classical inverted triangle shape many men desire. It’s important to remember that this effect is a widening one, so handle all stripes with care if you are already of a larger frame.

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With designers continually referencing the past for inspiration, we are seeing more and more classical pieces and patterns being brought right up to date for the current trends.

Block stripes offer an enhanced and dynamic take on this perennial spring/summer trend, helping breathe life into your mid-summer wardrobe. Just make sure you stand out as opposed to blending in, especially as the sun goes down.