oliver spencer ss15_bloghentsch man ss15_bloga sauvagepanama hat_blogIt’s news to no one the fashion industry can be a bit tiresome. Aside from the barrage of borderline-ridiculous stylings, recently I’ve gotten the feeling that somewhere, someplace, the fashion gods cackle at the cognitive dissonance I’m experiencing as stores begin to advertise for sweaters during swim season. Fortunately, I’m presently tasked with forecasting trends for SS15, and it’s a pretty appreciated distraction from the insanity of browsing pre-fall looks at the end of Virginia’s sultry summer. As I watch the shows and scout for next spring's common shapes and colors, I’m constantly finding inspiration for new outfits to wear while the weather remains hot. Even if none of the individual designs will hit stores for another six months, I’ve found a new enthusiasm for the end of the season and want to pass that along to you.

My favorite menswear trend thus far has been the influence of Latin American cultures. I’m not sure if I should credit Richmond’s prevalent Tex-Mex food obsession, the Spanish-written literature I’ve been reading since Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s death, or the fact that I’m just generally a woman of leisure whose main goal in life is to retire to the Caribbean; but I’m absolutely fascinated by the whole region and love that fashion designers seemingly are, too. At London Collections: Men, Hentsch Man, Katie Eary, Oliver Spencer, A. Sauvage and Topman Design all showed collections that tried to recreate the distinct casual elegance for which our neighbors in the Southern Hemisphere are so well-known. We saw flashy interpretations like cacti motifs, Cuban-inspired postage stamp prints, and suede jackets with fringe, as well as more subdued looks with the inclusion of fresh takes on traditional Latin American silhouettes.

It’s the latter that I’m most interested in, especially for the Ledbury man. Relaxed fitting tops can shake up things for the gentleman who generally takes a well-tailored cut, and while a Cuban collar isn’t a style you see every day, it's certainly one that would fit seamlessly into most wardrobes. For those wanting to keep it even more traditional, the Panama hat may be the way to get that dash of Latin American flair. They’re timelessly stylish and really quite practical for when the time comes again for relaxation by the water. Throughout September, I’ll spare you the nonsense and keep you updated with only the goodies from the New York, Paris and Milan fashion shows. Check back, too, for a reminder of what’s trending this fall and winter—though I wince to think of writing about coats and scarves in this heat! - Mia
September 10, 2014 — Mel Calabro