A decade or so ago, when the words blog, street and fashion had yet to be seen within the fabric of culture and catapulted into the vocabulary of everyone who took a passing interest in trendsetting if you wanted sartorial inspiration, it was to the world-famous fashion houses you turned. From Yves Saint Laurent turning Mick Jagger into a style icon, Armani’s oversized suits and as recently as the emergence of Hedi Slimane’s rock’n’roll / waif-like appearance, men walking down the street took their style advice from the men sending models down the catwalk.
Fast forward to 2013 and much like the technological advances that have been thrust upon us at a speed we can barely keep abreast with, fashion designers – while not turning full circle just yet – take a great deal of their inspiration from the street and the plethora of dandy’s, hipsters and street style kids who, thanks to the internet, are able to source new ideas and cutting-edge creations at the click of a button.
The advent of these super cool-cats and avant-garde fashion gurus has seen fashion houses focus their attention on what the kids on the street are doing; fashion houses suddenly went from the leader of the gang to simply be a part of it. They are now sourcing blogs, scouring style websites, listening to those who mingle with the masses and exploring every avenue possible to ensure next season, and the season beyond that, they are still relevant to a fashion world that gallops along at a now almost incomprehensible rate.
One such trend that has found its way onto the catwalk this season, thanks to street smart kids from cities including London, New York, Stockholm and Tokyo, are trainers, sneaks, pumps or whatever other terminology you wish to use for this booming fashion trend.
The Labels – tour-de-force In The Footwear Department
From Raf Simons to Yohji Yamamoto (a true pioneer of the fusion between fashion and sportswear thanks to his Y-3 collaboration with Adidas which celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year), to the wonderful Valentino Camo trainers and hip Swedish brand Our Legacy, the trainer has become a tour-de-force in the footwear department of any self discerning gent.
The great thing about trainers is their perpetual diversity with everything, and I mean everything, in your wardrobe: wear them with skinny or tapered jeans and the now must-have roll-up, team them up with a pair of chinos (may I be so bold to suggest some dusty pink or a washed blue number from the Levi’s Made & Crafted S/S ’13 collection), or with a pair of shorts – be it patterned swimmers or tailored shorts it’s neither-here-nor-there, the choice is yours.
Trainers With Suits
Trainers even look great with a suit. I wouldn’t suggest wearing them to an interview (unless you work in the creative industry) or to your best mates wedding (unless you both work in the creative industry) but with a slimline suit, trainers really do look the business. They also look great in the summer months when you don’t have to wear them with socks.
Most of the trainers you will see being adorned on the feet of the suave and savvy this summer will be bold in colour with a kaleidoscope of patterns – ranging from camo to leopard print – so make sure your outfit is appropriate; only the brave or the down-right foolish will try to match too many colours within the one outfit so keep the rest of your clothing quite neutral – if you do decide to wear some colour I’d suggest pastels or softer tones – and let your trainers walk the walk and talk the talk.