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2016 sees Lace on Men

New year, new accoutrements.

01: The Soft Approach

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With gender-neutrality being a big buzzword among fashion designers these days, we’re seeing plenty of minimalist styles – from tops to trousers – that would look at home in either the men’s or women’s sections of a store. In what might be the next step in blurring these boundaries, some designers are proposing for the guys what we once thought was a resolutely feminine material: Lace.

The delicate woven fabric is no longer just for frou-frou frocks, slinky lingerie or doilies. For Burberry’s Spring/Summer collection, creative director Christopher Bailey incorporated lace separates into a plethora of looks that were otherwise typical of the brand: Playfully tailored ensembles in colours like brown and green, and smart-casual outfits anchored by jogger pants – occasionally topped off with a trench coat.

It was the designer’s unexpected way of paying homage to British craftsmanship. Woven by small artisanal firms, the intricate cotton lace was used to craft traditional menswear items such as shirts, ties and even the collar of a trench coat. Will these delicate pieces catch on here? It’s hard to say but, at the very least, lace has one thing going for it: It’s perfect for tropical weather.

02: ALL SAINT’S

Brick-and-mortar stores will always have one advantage over e-commerce: The ability to immerse shoppers in a beautifully designed space embodying the style and spirit of the brand. One of the most recent examples – the newly revamped Saint Laurent store at Ion Orchard, done up according to a concept introduced by Hedi Slimane after he helmed the house in 2012. The largely monochromatic design of the 3,300-sq-ft store is a 21st-century take on Art Deco. Against the space’s backdrop of contrasting materials – marble and concrete, silver or gold against brass, dark leather upholstery set against glass accents – display cases form dramatic repeating horizontal and vertical lines. It all brings to life the glamorous rock ’n’ roll style that Slimane introduced to Saint Laurent three years ago. #01-27 Ion Orchard.

03: MOTOR HEAD

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In the late 19th century, Alfred Dunhill created a line of accessories called Dunhill’s Motorities, supplying accessories, ranging from leather coats to car lamps, to automobile-inclined gentlemen. Paying homage to both this motoring heritage and the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, the British brand has launched a pop-up store at Paragon that will run until March. From totes to smart separates, the space stocks a stylish collection of items that will take you through your next road trip – or just any regular day, really. #01-10 Paragon.

04:MIXED INFLUENCES

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Creative dressers who appreciate avant-garde fashion with a streetwear twist have a new one-stop shop. A 1,200-sq-ft store at the Raffles Hotel retail wing, L’armoire is the latest newcomer to the local multi-label store scene, and is differentiating itself with its mix of edgy premium brands – some of whom would be familiar only to the most dedicated fashion fans. Among names like Leopold Bossert (design pictured) and 11 by BBS, the most well-known would probably be American designer Rick Owens, who not infrequently makes headlines with his risque runway shows. Several lines, including German footwear brand A1923 and Chinese designer Ziggy Chen’s eponymous label, will also be making their Singapore debut at the store. #02-25 Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade.