The fifth and final day of Paris Fashion Week featured some of the biggest international and French-grown talent in the men’s fashion business.
And interestingly enough, this season saw them betray signature looks and some key aesthetics, messing with the way things have always been.
From Paul Smith’s ramping-up of the rock, to Saint Laurent’s shifting to surfer grunge dude, Day 5 of Paris fashion week proved even the best can take it that one step better.
Calling his Spring collection ‘Surf Sound’, Saint Laurent’s Hedi Slimane mellowed out his usual razor-sharp silhouettes, instead reestablishing the French maison as one of skater boys, Nirvana-groupies and soft punks.
Palm-trees-at-sunset embedded on bomber jackets in satin and hairy-look cardigans, undercut by Slimane’s ferociously skinny jeans in black and white sneakers. Kurt Cobain was reimagined via tartan shirting slouched under tassel-lapel-ed dinner jackets and pom-pom beanies, with hippy tie-dye silk versions in ombré hues layered longline under a suede mac coat.
Signature leopard prints purred over bombers and summer silk scarves and Saint Laurent’s blazers retain their cut throat leanness, not to be shone by the maison’s killer leather bikers and bird-embroidered souvenir jacket – one of the biggest trend’s of fashion week.
The theatrics synonymous with Thom Browne returned with a Geisha-referenced collection for Spring. Retaining the masculinity of his structured grey suits, the tailoring – in various shades of grey – carried beautifully-crafted embroideries, which from a distance formed snow-covered landscapes in Japan, cherry blossoms branches and blooms, and white cranes whirling and twirling in full flight.
The jackets were longer (almost like mac coats) atop cropped narrower trousers will utilitarian-look hems. The pitch black, rounded shades created a masked quality to the looks with black lips, rendering the models anonymous, so the detailed suits looked more like an Oriental art piece – especially over wooden geta sandals.
In quest to bring the sports and formal into the everyday, Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas’ Y-3 label portrayed the importance of movement and action in men’s clothing. Harem jogger pants teamed by light cotton tees or longline singlets, the fluidity enhanced by the largely monochromatic colouring, which was superseded by macro-graphic electric swirls.
Thick Breton stripes signalled summer but failed to feel at all French, stacking thick and horizontal on cuffed trousers or oversized shirts. Outerwear – parkas, raincoats and cropped bombers – weren’t as sheeny as usual either, Yamamoto opting for more natural fibres such as cotton and rayon. Meanwhile, Y-3’s sneaker of the season is the Kyujo, a technical knit shoe with panels of leather wrapped around the foot.
Sir Paul Smith sent an elegant collection of rocked up suits in Seventies hues down the runway for summer. Double-breasted jackets were the ‘thing’ for the Briton, in a variety of silhouettes; be it boxy and cropped or loose, slouchier forms. Elsewhere, single-breasted tailoring had a metallic contrast, whose bronzed shimmer shifted in colour like that of oil-rainbow formed on water.
Trousers ranged from Saint Laurent-slim and cut short, to flared and wider-legged; the texture of the sometimes tweedy pants offset by the sleekness of a sheeny blazer up top. Otherwise, candy-colour blocking was the trend, leaving nothing off limits with neon mint jackets over canary yellow trousers. But wait, who could forget the giant ants, crawling in black, up stark white jeans.
Garment proportion play mixed with retro and end-of-the-world references spilled onto the runway at the Lanvin spring show. From the opening look – an elongated, washed-out polo shirt, to the high-sat, scrunched waist trousers with pencil leather belts – designer Alber Elbaz was intent on reworking traditional men’s pieces into something more.
The colour palette – dark reds, blues, greens and apricots – felt a touch apocalyptic, heightened with the trims of leather on trench coats over futuristic hi-tops or gladiator sandals. Adding to the dystopia were the silk linings of jackets and their elegantly frayed edges.
Elsewhere, Fifties shirts in nude hues and trousers with pleats looked to the past, mixed with Eighties rock tunes in refined leather vests and jackets or cropped blazers in soft navy fabric. Other suits cut a longer jacket with short lapels and contrast stitching in white and leather messenger bags featured, adding to the practical-makes-perfect undertones of the collection.
Click through the slideshow for runway highlights, Day 5 of Paris Fashion Week.