What’s so good about being young, anyway? Everything, according to designers who showed Day 2 of Paris Fashion Week.
With the luxury consumer becoming increasingly ‘young’ – that is, those childless gents aged 25 to 35 with high disposable incomes and a drivenness to impress – more traditional fashion maisons are answering the call for more youthful clothes.
Louis Vuitton looked to travel – something young men love to do – for its Oriental active collection, while Dries Van Noten spoke to the Tinder-burned heart of a man in love using Marilyn Monroe as his muse. Yohji Yamatoto took the adult serious out the structured suit, while Rick Owens told men to chill out, and strive less, launching a non-conformist collection of stretched silhouettes.
But it was Alexander Wang who struck a harmonious balance, encouraging the young man to hold down a job with structured utility pieces, meshed with softer, casual pieces – leisure appropriate for an active social life.
Catching the same flight as Valentino’s global adventurer yesterday, Louis Vuitton paraded a man well-travelled. Cultural immersion is a passion for designer Kim Jones, who charts foreign territories himself to put memories back into his clothes.
Ivy league bombers lost all preppy-ness in lustrous red silks and cobalt blue front panels, with embroidered cranes in white flocking over onto the proceeding mandarin collared bombers and shirt jackets; modern day versions of the mid-century souvenir jacket. And they were reversible.
Eighties bright, squared stripes in blue, white and red came across slick Harrington jackets and parkas, followed by raw denim-look cropped jackets with contrast white stitching and rake-thin leather jackets, continuing the vibrant blue of the collection. LV’s signature bags featured totes in monogram canvas and mini-backpacks – making for casual and easy carry-on luggage.
Dries Van Noten
The Belgian designer pick an unlikely muse for a men’s wear collection. All hail, Marilyn Monroe. The Fifties sex symbol featured as a black-and-white photo print over the first several looks; be it suits, shirts, trousers, sweaters and even boxer shorts – a smack of red coming from the mole-crested pout of the starlet.
Monroe motifs swiftly changed to sequined lobsters over knits, before embellished palm trees in deep red studded up the front of Elvis-inspired button shirts with short sleeves. Elasticated waist bands on silk trousers offered a sporty accent, next to a maroon and white pinstriped match robe, which served as functional loungewear.
Tailoring was looser, pairing slouchy double-breasted jackets over relaxed pants, or slim fit sweaters tucked in pleated trousers in billowy shape. Elsewhere, top coats retained the most streamline cuts in Van Noten’s signature wallpaper florals and a more traditional earth-coloured plaid.
The Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto offered a more curated collection of edgy suiting in lightweight, monochrome fabrics for summer. Opening with several navy or black suits in linen and silk look fabrics, Yohji kept his jackets slim-ish and unstructured over wide-leg pants that cut short above the ankle with a loose cuff or hem.
Known for his work on Y-3 with Adidas, stripes as a blended textural feature, developed into toxic, bright hues, creating a do-not-cross feeling in yellow and red on blazers and double-breast jacket shirts. The artist played with giant brush-stroke prints on tailoring, before a more Forties New York gent emerged – briefly, in a more slim fit wool suits, with silk neckerchiefs and a trilby hat.
The sartorial mood lightened with shades of bone and taupe lightening the summer cloth of suits, before fabric went crinkled on jackets and pants. Finally, skeleton motifs – walking dogs and playing the guitar, came printed on button-up shirts – longlined, met with cobalt culottes and Yamamoto’s adoration for alien, retro sneakers.
Dubbed ‘Cyclops’ – referencing the one-eyed beast – Rick Owens’ spring 2016 collection set out to counteract the striving of the male persona to succeed and conform expressed in the uniformed clothes he wears. Slightly militant, M-65 jackets in leather opened the show.
The war coats had been totally ripped apart and re-assembled to the liking of Owens: longline, faded, frayed, crinkled, bleached-out – the sleeveless coats varying as the models walked, accompanied by the designer’s signature black shorts and heavy duty boots. Stretched sleeveless tees on monochrome blacks and whites came plain or with a solar eclipse black dot and Egyptian-look eyes.
Inspired by Steven Parrino paintings, Owen folded and draped tunics, mimicking modern Grecian robes in mint and light orange. A new leather was worked into open shirts and low slung tops, while some structure was found in the front-zipping black jackets in with uniformed leather breast-panels; the coats elongated – just how Owens likes them.
The New York designer took a more serious route to his signature sportsluxe aesthetic working an earthen colour palette across civil uniform pieces crossed with fashion-y pieces. Militant green factory coats were de-badged, paired with satiny, boxer shorts in black – as were funnel neck varieties, while sports shorts were replaced by cotton, tailored varieties with snap-button front pockets, under utility blousons in Wang’s signature sponge-y fabrics.
Trousers emerged in the same municipal structures with sheeny, leather racer jackets, followed by pitstop overalls and onesies, in tonal black. Cryptic bar-code look badges emerged on more cropped jackets in cotton, before a luxe suede version was only upstaged by a vibrant satin bomber in molten black – throwing in a textured accent to the precise collection.
Wang’s black sneakers looked more like Derby boots, with strap-y laces wrapped around the ankles, while bags retained a chic-ness in smooth, black leather, some stud-age added for a toolbox affect.
Click through the slideshow for collection highlights, Day 2 of Paris Fashion Week.