Blue: David Bowie sang about it in 1979, Yves Klein invented a shade and Picasso spent a whole period dabbling in it. And now the primary colour is the most prominent wash of London's S/S15 menswear collections, crossing from illustrated sweatshirts by Christopher Shannon and soft knitwear by Margaret Howell to Alfred Dunhill's crisp navy suiting. “It is quintessentialy a man's colour,” says Massimo Nicosia, head designer for Pringle. “For a man, blue is as neutral and easy as black and white. It is no surprise that it is the most common colour used for uniform, blue collar and for formal tailoring. It is the safest and most modest colour, but also the colour that men of power use the most.”
"For a man, blue is as neutral and easy as black and white" — Massimo Nicosia
From Superman and Austin Powers to Club Tropicana and Don Draper, blue is charted throughout history. It even has a musical genre named in its honour, while scientifically the colour is suggested to have a calming effect. Standout pieces for S/S15 include Burberry’s soft brimmed hats, Craig Green's structural headpieces and James Long's slashed denim. Jonathan Saunders showcased blue striped suiting worn with high-shine cobalt boots, while JW Anderson’s sapphire jersey had a retro sportswear feel. “I always use some kind of navy most seasons,” explains Christopher Shannon. “I love that cobalt blue, it looked so good in the print pieces I decided we needed more of it. It was so nice in a full look. It has quite a utility mood to it."
Our Fashion Director Katie Shillingford even dyed her hair blue this week: “Going blue wasn’t a conscious decision at all,” Shillingford says. “I was planning on going brown but chickened out at the last moment. I can’t help myself, I always act intuitively and compulsively and as soon as I saw that little tuft of blue hair on the colour chart, that was it.”
Text by Mhairi Graham