Shades of Blue
Spring/Summer 2018 Menswear Review
text | Ztephen Lee
edit | Henry Lau, Richard Kelley

Fashion is not only about trends, tailoring and use of fabrics, but also about colours. In light of that, each season the team over at the Pantone Color Institute evaluates the colours shown by fashion designers in their collections at New York Fashion Week (NYFW). This observation is then used to create The PANTONE Fashion Color Report where they highlight the top 10 men’s and women’s fashion colours for the upcoming season.

Although the Fashion Color Report for 2018 Spring/Summer will not be published until NYFW for womenswear until mid-September, some of the menswear collections presented during the recently concluded Paris Fashion Week gave us some insights into the colour trends for next year’s spring and summer season. Apparently, blue is still one of the fashion world’s favourite colours.

Louis Vuitton

The invitation for Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring/Summer 2018 show.


(Image: LOUIS VUITTON Men Collection Spring-Summer 2018/2019 © Louis Vuitton – All rights reserved)

Artistic director Kim Jones has enhanced Louis Vuitton’s travel theme in recent years.

For their latest Spring/Summer collection, entitled “Archipelago”, Jones was inspired by the book “Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will”; he realised that he had been to about all of the islands that the book mentioned. He then thought of particular islands, namely New Zealand, Easter Island, and especially Hawaii and Hong Kong, and became fascinated by the idea of islands and the different aspects of reaching them. As a result, his collection builds upon different elements from those places, as well as the luxurious pursuit of island-hopping and moving between disparate and distinct locations.

Before looking at the LV collection, a blue-themed invitation to the fashion presentation suggested the subject of the new collection. Further, it also represented the new cobalt-blue colorway for the iconic Monogram canvas – the Monogram Split, emphasised with a centre seam.

The collections design aspects reveal the classic Hawaii shirt transformed by blue-hued Hawaiian patterns and crafted in intarsia knits. Meanwhile, the extreme sports of the islands, such as windsurfing, climbing, trekking, and hiking have influenced the fitted and elastic silhouettes. Lightweight fabrics like technical silks, tonic mohairs and seersucker, were used throughout the collection, as well as using paper-thin ‘scuba’ lambskin leather bonded with neoprene to fulfil the needs of the modern island-hopper.


(Image courtesy of Vogue Runway)

Whether it’s menswear or womenswear, Sacai’s design always exudes grace and charm, just like its founder and designer Chitose Abe. If you take a closer look at Sacai’s design, you’ll find it is quite complicated, especially regarding construction and sewing techniques. Still, the silhouettes are always sleek and beautiful, proving Chitose Abe’s ability for striking just the right balance between proportion and creativity.

(Image courtesy of Vogue Runway)

The 2018 Spring/Summer collection is about the sense of self. “One should live the way they want to, one should create the way they want to. Whatever is happening in the world, you should just follow your path,” said Chitose Abe to WWD. In his collection, Chitose Abe transforms the quotes from America’s famous conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner “Stasis as to Vector all in due course” into an all-over print and run through on shirts, jackets, hoodies, shorts and pants. The use of premium fabrics such as tweed, wool, silk and mesh, presented in midnight blue and ocean hues throughout the collection, which again exudes a sense of gentleness and sophistication.

 White Mountaineering

(Image courtesy of White Mountaineering)
(Image courtesy of White Mountaineering)

For Spring/Summer 2018, Yosuke Aizawa of White Mountaineering takes inspiration from outdoor professionals such as carpenters, painters and builders, leading him to collaborate with American denim brand Wrangler for a denim workwear set including work coats, shirts and jeans. Meanwhile, the collection also has a bunch of outerwear and sportswear options crafted in technical fabrics and displayed in a colour palette that consists of earthy greens and browns and shades of blue.

Julien David

(Image courtesy of Vogue Runway)

Beside Yosuke Aizawa, French designer Julien David is another designer who emphasises the use of denim in his Spring/Summer collection. Having lived in Japan for a decade, it is not surprising that Julien David’s design and silhouette would recall Japanese fashion culture. His new offerings include 11oz lightweight washed denim for a pair of jeans that goes well with almost everything in the collection. This time round, shades of blue in denim shirts, workwear jacket, cardigan and chino deliver a sense of elegance and comfort.

(Image courtesy of Vogue Runway)


(Image courtesy of NOWFASHION)

For 22/4_Hommes’ Spring/Summer 2018 collection, designer Stéphanie Hahn recalled her childhood days and the time spent at the beach with friends. Rope drawstrings, safety buckles and chunky nautical trim remind you of summertime.

(Image courtesy of NOWFASHION)

Meanwhile, the collection features a variety of blue hues serving multiple purposes. For instance, a long shirt with shorts is styled with a slim blue belt to balance the entire proportion; Hahn’s ocean blue suit and green blazer with blue cuff are reminiscent of the sea, sky and grass, while blue flower embroidery on silk presents the idea of “East-meets-West” in a visual sense.

(Image courtesy of NOWFASHION)

Cerruti 1881

(Image courtesy of Cerruti 1881)

For Spring/Summer 2018, Jason Basmajian, the current creative director of Cerruti 1881, recreated the classic tropical look in a modern way. His inspiration for the tropical look came from the brand’s founder Nino Cerruti in 1984 who designed the look for the cult TV series “Miami Vice”. Basmajian’s resulting collection is full of oversized suits, striped jumpsuits and palm leaf patterned printed shirts. Basmajian also incorporated the colour palette of electric blue and ocean joining forces with clean, natural fabrics, including cool wool, cotton, silk, linen and ultralight nubuck, to create streamlined tailored pieces in a casual luxe and sporty mood, yet keeping the original 80’s vibe.

Left: Promotional image for “Miami Vice” in the 1980’s / Right: Nino Cerruti Spring/Summer Collection 1984
(Image courtesy of Cerruti 1881)
(Image courtesy of Cerruti 1881)

Overall, Basmajian successfully brings back the classic look that profoundly influenced the 80’s men’s fashion scene via his truly modern take on tailoring. The resulting collection looks refreshing, energetic and fun while reminiscing about the good old days.

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