Cue the harmonicas, Americana’s back and it means business, y’all. For autumn/winter 14, men’s designers are getting their cowboy cool on and have gone all out in the land of opportunity. Whether referencing the Wild West or the Midwest, tongue-in-cheek and more intellectual tributes to the U, S of A were aplenty on the European catwalks at the men’s shows, confirming that old prairie saying, ‘A cowboy’s work is never done’. This autumn, the men of the world – Yankees or not – will be saddling up for something of a jamboree through the trademarks of the pioneers, gold-rushers, freedom fighters and eternal dreamers of God’s chosen nation where men are men (even in chaps and fancy hats) and clothes – like anything in America – are just a little bit bigger and better. Howdy pard’, and welcome to the return of Americana.
What could be more American than the oversized grey tracksuit? The preferred uniform of American ghetto kids and multi-billionaire weekend shoppers alike, it’s perhaps the most worn casual sportswear item of a nation that really loves its comfortable cool. Astrid Andersen isn’t at all American, but somehow the Dane manages to capture the essence of the country across the Atlantic to a T. Any collection Andersen does has its roots in American sports and streetwear, so when i-D talked her to her after the show, it was more about attitude than influence. “I wanted the colours and the fabrics to feel quite sensitive and have that kind of feminine feel, but I wanted the guys to be more aggressive,” she said of her collection, which drew on what she called the “brutal elegance” of Only God Forgives, which, coincidentally, is directed by a Dane who lives in America. All comes full circle.