As with any fashion week, Day Two is always packed full of hard-hitters, but Paris knocks the others out every season. Louis Vuitton is perhaps the most notable with their big budgets and LVMH backing, followed closely by the ever-influential Rick Owens. We’re experiencing a rare fashion moment in menswear with the trend towards colour, embellishment and detailed fabrication—call it a renaissance even. And it’s a welcome sign of things to come.
Dries Van Noten
Dries Van Noten is one of the labels championing the push towards a more romantic and elegant revolution. Starting with simple tailoring and street-friendly outerwear, a serpentine striped red ribbon adorned the breast and sleeve of a wool trench coat, hinting at things to come.
Khakis kept is commercial and friendly, but as the show progressed details reappeared and then took over as a coyote fur collared jewel-toned peacock brocade coat screamed for more. And it didn’t stop there: Double-breasted brown-and-navy suits with the right amount of slouch, printed and embroidered military wear, and enough garnet crushed velvet to coax out the most timid of goths. Overall it was elegant, loud, but most of all, masculine.
Kim Jones has turned around Vuitton menswear with his British street-style flair since joining the French house. Under Marc Jacobs the Vuitton man was felt staid, even perfunctory, but Jones’ skill has made him walk in concord with the equally celebrated Ghesquière women’s line. This was possibly the most monochrome collection Jones has presented at Vuitton, but it showed a design maturity worthy of one of the world’s largest brands.
This season Jones continued the themes initiated in the Spring-Summer show and resolved them in a Winter context, such as satin shirts and trousers emblazoned with the “Volez Voguez Voyagez” slogan that dominated last season. Wool flannel trench coats were fastened with beaver-fur belts, while the luxe version was made entirely from the pelts.
Vintage advertising screamed from a leather jacket, a bomber, tank tops and neckwear to corner the logo-obsessed consumer, while Karakoram zigzags and Swiss crosses add a graphic detail. Imbued with the spirit of adventure models carried jet black monogrammed travel cases for which the brand is known. One such was a silver cocktail case replete with shakers, tumblers and all the trimmings; shared on social media in the lead-up to the show, it was definitely a lust-have for the international party set.
As volume is a key trend this season, Rick Owens gave his interpretation of dressing fuller with his Autumn-Winter presentation. The collection had a retrospective feel about it, but still looked forward in the way Owens does: always edgy and thought-provoking, and according to specific tastes.
The first three looks were classic Owens, with multi-pocketed sleeveless long sleeveless tops and wide-leg raver trousers playing it safe, before time-honoured menswear was spliced and diced into entirely new garments. One such example was a cowl necked felted mohair hoody in pearl grey, eviscerated and splayed to form a floor-length version of the original piece.
Models were interspersed with those in Marilyn Manson-meets-shogun makeup, which was as jarring as the shock of mission brown and orange towards the end of the show. But perhaps the final look—a sleeveless hooded puffer jacket that hung from the torso worn by a skinhead—made the message clear: Form needn’t follow function, for after all, isn’t that what fashion subversion is all about?
Click through the slideshow for highlights of Day 2 of Paris Fashion Week AW16 Collection