For the AW23 season, Just Around the Corner (JATC) returned to Manchester to continue in its efforts to bring the buying season closer to retailers of the north. The trade show’s menswear section, while relatively small compared to womenswear, brought a good mix of clothing categories, from sportswear to formal attire. FashionUnited has highlighted some of the definitive trends that stuck out throughout the collections, proving some items can defy categories.
Flannels are a staple item for autumn/winter collections, and this couldn’t be more true than it is for the ranges shown during JATC. From sportswear brands to formal menswear labels, flannels were present in almost every collection. While most stuck with the typical check patterns, some opted for full colour iterations, offering a slight variation on the shirt design. Popular shades that could be spotted included camo green, browns and light blue, each often paired with neutral tones that brought wearability to the lines. There were also variations on material thickness for each brand, some opting for thicker fabrics while others offered thinner materials that provided trans seasonal options.
For many of the sportswear and casual brands, gilets, also known as vests, were a defining piece, and were typically displayed in stands layered over hoodies and t-shirts to provide depth to an outfit. While some exhibitors offered up padded and quilted gilets, others drew inspiration from military-style attire and workwear, resulting in the presence of designs that were adorned with multiple pockets or netted sections. The gilet has cemented its place in fashion for the season already, appearing in designer collections, and with its prominent place at JATC it seems it will also be continuing to hold consumers’ attention for the year ahead.
Sportswear was elevated at JATC for the upcoming season by brands that took inspiration from decades of the past to create their collections. During the event, this saw the return of retro trainer jackets, collegiate bombers and graphic sweaters reminiscent of 70’s and 80’s sportswear. This rang particularly true for Sergio Tacchini, which presented almost an entire range of retro-like designs, including looks that were linked to archival pieces by the brand. This was also evident in its use of its heritage ‘66 logo, which could be seen embroidered onto various jackets.
Another garment that made its way into many sportswear collections was the printed fleece, a look that also drew inspiration from sports attire of the past. Prints used for various fleece styles consisted of monogram logos, abstract geometric patterns and camouflage shapes, for which khaki colourings were often utilised and contrasted others that used bolder tones for their own designs. Some iterations were notably on the thinner side, allowing options for layering in the colder months.
Heritage polo shirts
In keeping with the shift towards archival sportswear, many brands took on the staple polo shirt, albeit again drawing inspiration from the past yet in a modernised form. A handful of brands, including Lambretta, showed knitted iterations of the design, transforming it into an appropriate piece for the AW season. Meanwhile, brands like Fila stuck to a more traditional approach, also using archival logos and prints that brought forward their sports heritage.