Designers carried through the nostalgic '70s inspiration seen at the last few seasons of womenswear, binge-watched Westerns, introduced new, maximalist silhouettes and responded to a world in turmoil with varying themes of comfort, defense and protection. To ensure eternal style bliss (for this season, at least) follow A/W 2016's 10 Trend Commandments.
1. Thou shalt get in touch with thine feminine side
Because a real man knows how to pull off pearls
After seasons of increased gender fluidity, some designers decided to dismiss the binary code altogether. From more conservative interpretations (Marni's shirting buttoned-down on the left, as per womenswear, designed so that one couldn't button oneself) to a flamboyant display of blousons and floral suiting at Gucci - some iterations stopping just short of drag. Populating the centre of that spectrum were silky brocades at Dries Van Noten, sheer lace at Moschino and MGSM amongst blossoming floral prints, Lurex knits, embroidery, appliqué and beading and the almost unanimous inclusion of pink in every show, all to be finished with Gucci's pearl-embedded heels and crystal-encrusted sunglasses, of course.
2. Thou shalt roll deep
Join a street gang of 70s artists, rockers and bohemians
"The '70s is the most powerful image, for me," stated Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, the undoubted wunderkind of fashion. And, like his collections, he's right on the money (literally: his first two collections were so commercially successful, the house refused to reduce any remaining stock during sale time). See Coach's hip-hoppers in deep bucket hats and patchwork leather jackets à la Fab 5 Freddy, Carven's Rod Stewart-inspired striped knits, the sequined, retro tracksuits at Burberry, Roberto Cavalli's parade of Keith Richards and Jim Morrison clones, Gucci's pussybow-bloused bohemians and Prada's sailors in wide-collared shirts and coats. Each as intriguing as the next, anchored in nostalgia.
3. Thou shalt go west
'Bout time this town had a new sheriff.
Upon viewing the Antonio Marras show, anyone who has seen Tarantino's latest spaghetti Western, The Hateful Eight, will immediately identify protagonist Daisy Domergue's fur-hatted, 'black-eyed' look (recreated with make-up on an obliging female model, of course). The Marras menswear, however, was less literal but just as punchy: ponchos and bandanas punctuated a collection of corduroy dungarees, yoked shirts, flannels and cowboy boots. Givenchy's cowboys were outfitted in classic denim jackets decorated in rhinestones and crystals while Berluti's Marfa-inspired desert palette certainly fit the tone. Rogue cowboys were spotted elsewhere across Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Paul & Joe - with, no doubt, a handsome bounty on their heads.
4. Thou shalt drink of the finest liquor
Cognac is #trending
The rich, burnt, honey colour is an upgrade of winter's staple camel shade seen across all fashion capitals. Best realised in outerwear - a buttery soft leather jacket or a rich wool overcoat.
5. Thou shalt not shower
Or, just look like you haven't
Though the five o'clock shadow will always be in style, it seems the rugged look has graduated to IDGAF-levels. Catwalk model Elijah Van Brocklin divulged the industry secret to the look, "They told me not to shower before the McQueen show." And there you have it. Add the crumpled, un-ironed suiting at Yohji Yamamoto, Paul Smith and Julien David and, surprisingly, you're good to go.
6. Thou shalt protect thy neck
The necktie is a thing again
Whether preppy, bohemian or entirely dapper, particular attention was paid to the area just south of the chin. Though not entirely unexpected for winter collections, the sheer range of styles and their omnipresence on the runways suggests it might be the new season's statement piece. Burberry's classic collegiate wraps in signature house tartans, Missoni's knitted, fringed knots, Emporio Armani's puffa styles, Hermes' bundled neckerchiefs, Dior Homme's bolo ties and Roberto Cavalli's skinny, trailing scarves - the seemingly small addition lent an instant update to any look. Wear with flourish.
7. Thou shalt increase thine strike rate
...sartorially-speaking, with a 50s bowling shirt
The wide-bodied, half-sleeved, collared shirt has found it's way from the bowling alleys to the runways at Prada, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton and Dries Van Noten. Best worn buttoned-up and tucked into the season's new, voluminous trouser shape...
8. Thou shan't touch this
MC Hammer pants are back
Well, not entirely. But supersized, wide-leg trousers? Yes. Whether realised in pastel leather or as one half of a surprisingly sharp suit, the directive was clear: Bigger is better.
9. Thou shalt subscribe to playboy (style)
Hugh Hefner's silk pyjamas are a sleeper hit
Oversleepers, rejoice - hit that snooze button a few more times and forgo your morning dress ritual in favour of your pyjamas. As famously sported by Playboy magazine founder, Hugh Hefner, robes, silk pyjama sets and blanket coats all have the official fashion tick of approval to be worn outside the house. Casual Fridays are going to look a whole lot different from now on.
10. Thou shalt heed the call to arms
Army, Navy, Flying corps - designers enter fight mode
The notion of defense and protection were recurring themes of the men's A/W '16 shows, many of which were conceived of and produced in Paris during the spate of recent attacks. Designers were certainly affected and referenced their collective anxiety through their collections: the MA-1 flight jacket was seen at several shows, Sacai featured deconstructed, strapped-on life vests, Loewe's hugely oversized military knapsacks were directly influenced from soldier's uniforms in World War 1 and Rei Kawakubo's suits deconstructed into armour-like panels for Comme des Garcons evoked her notion of "The armour of peace."