ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW: With sixty fashion shows and presentations in all, Paris mens fashion week drew the worlds industry to the City Of Lights for seven days of ideas, parties and insight into the sartorial trends of the future, click through for our full round-up…
Image: Mugler look 1 worn by Jordan Stenmark, photographed by Shoji Fuji
On the first day everything truly kicked off with the Mugler show where creative director Nicola Formichetti and head menswear designer Romain Kremer opened with two models that had cameras strapped to their bodies; the show was being aired live on UStream. The soundtrack, a specially commissioned piece of music by Azealia Banks woke up the crowd, some of which had travelled directly from Milan mens fashion week late the night before.
Following on from Jil Sander by Raf Simons in Milan (who presented a collection of professional attire made nearly entirely made of black, buffed leather), as the shows in Paris unfurled so did the key trend for next winter: suits, suits and more suits with the core message being make it work for you. Tough and streamlined at Mugler, accessorised at Louis Vuitton and Lanvin, dark edged at Rick Owens and Anne Demeulemeester, deft at Dries Van Noten, paired with trainers at Kenzo and high-tops at Lanvin or lined with puffa heating systems at Korean menswear label Wooyoungmi….
The attention to professional attire was obviously inspired by world events in 2011 where global news was eclipsed by financial meltdown. The mood was extreme at Thom Brown, when isn’t it though this season things were especially extreme as models wore suits with spiked, plaid gimp masks on the runway. Vibes were dark and metaphoric at Agnés B where, while she presented one of her most tightest collections in recent years, a model wearing a dark batwing cape ran and jumped down the runway symbolising vampiric forces at play in the world.
At Hermés designer Véronique Nichanian continued her admiration for shiny mohair suits in dark, wintry colours such as granite and plum. Meanwhile, Galliano menswear, now directed by Bill Gaytten who was John Galliano’s right-hand man, was all about American gangsters from the 1930s with Al Capone and hoodlums as inspiration.
At Yves Saint Laurent the show was entitled ‘A Soldier On His Own’ and the clothes were the colour of faded olive and army fatigues. Far from being aggressive however, designer Kris Van Assche placed doves on capes over suits symbolising peace. The entire show was accompanied by a remix of Woodkid’s Iron (more of this to follow on www.theswitch.fr). At Lanvin and Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci maxi stripes of rich orange and red (mini trend alert! And for flashes of orange see Dries Van Noten images below..) crossed the body on sweatshirts while at Junye Watanabe and Kris Van Assche the discussion between blue collar and white collar workers was sartorially explored. At Lanvin invited guests who’d travelled to a far corner of Paris on a cold morning were treated to cups of hot cider and slices of Galette Des Rois, a traditional, French, post-new years sweet pie - thanks Abert Elbaz, you’re a gent!
A hugely awaited menswear debut came from New Yorkers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon who are the new designers at Kenzo. The pair definitely wooed new audiences with their opening gambit which concentrated on men on the move and played with technical details for guys who dig gadgets, pockets for iPhones being an example. The show setting was the old RATP rail terminus and models walked through multi-coloured neon hoops and rail docks; bravo.
At Louis Vuitton disco legend Giorgio Moroder received rapturous applause when he personally introduced the show. Next forty-one looks, ranging from country attire to travel, dinner and the office was presented. This collection was a rousing success for British designer Kim Jones who blended international travel with accessibility for the Louis Vuitton man. In amongst all the suits was Bernhard Willhelm whose models showed extreme professionality as they walked wearing loud sportwear hybrids in zany colours all ripped and customised for maximum impact. Willhelm’s continuing collaboration with Camper trainers were amongst the design highlights of the week; long live barmy Berny.
Finally, for casual wear young, French newcomer Alexandre Mattiussi gave an impressive presentation with his effortless blend of unpretentious, easygoing menswear that goes under the name of AMI while another equally impressive presentation was given for the resurrection of Berluti, headed by Antoine Arnault of LVMH whose new project is a luxurious line that sits at the high end of the price point scale - Sarah Hay
Dries Van Noten