As Paris Fashion Week for men now ‘fin’, marking the end of a season of menswear shows, we at SPICE run-down our favourite collections from the French runways.
Here’s our edit of 10 of the best Paris-showcased collections, including a look at Givenchy, Hermes and Paul Smith’s version of next season…
Walter Van Beirendonck
Walter Van Beirendonck’s collection, interestingly titled “Crossed Crocodiles Growl,” (which refers to the way some parts of Africa unite to tackle issues of diversity) was not just full of colour, but messages to the fashion community – “Stop Racism Now” being the obvious one, penned upon several of his model’s feather headdresses and walked down the catwalk. “It’s a problem everywhere, in Russia particularly,” the designer told Style.com. For his show in Paris, pin striped blazers mimicked bullet-proof vests and as well as fun prints, fur and crazy rainbow shades, there were helmets – an indication that Beirendonck’s statements for next season will not be going in a quiet fashion.
With couture being familiar ground at Valentino, the fashion house extends its territory to menswear, with their collection for Paris designed to showcase the possibilities that await its customers. Personalised details like monogrammed kicks, plus finer details that only the wearer would know or perhaps appreciate (a personal touch here, a tailored-to-your-body finish at every inch), speak of how A/W’14 could be to every man his own. Crafted for the show were patchwork cashmere coats – yours to keep if you want, or yours to adjust alongside Valentino’s designers. Couture “is the DNA of our brand,” said Pierpaolo Piccioli of he and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s work, and – if you’ve seen the coats for yourself – will surely be part of the DNA of your wardrobe, soon.
Loaded with “icons of consumption” and underlying references to “the indoctrination of the man”, Raf Simon’s collection in collaboration with friend and artist Sterling Ruby, lead Simons-esque silhouettes drenched in Ruby’s art down the runway. Bleach-washed wears pointed to the punk-era which has long inspired both creatives, and will now punctuate your fall wardrobe alongside brightly coloured coats and skinny, skinny jeans.
Yusuke Takahashi’s menswear collection for Issey Miyake, “a rainbow” inspired by nature, went from calm, neat suits, to galactic-fused prints in all colours of the spectrum. And there was everything from suits to sporty separates to enjoy for fall – in mirror-prints and metallic, too.
Shrouding model’s faces in nets (just as gents in the ‘20s slept to ‘preserve their look’, apparently) Riccardo Tisci presented his A/W’14 menswear collection for Givenchy – a sports-fused meets Bauhaus approach to dressing that we’re sure all will work hard to replicate, come fall. Basket ball court lines paved a pattern across shirts and trousers, working up to over-sized netted tops and wide leg pants; a perfect play on functionality and directional creativity.
At Kenzo, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim said goodbye to the tigers and evil eyes that are now synonymous with the brand – instead looking to the Pacific Northwest are of Berkeley, US for inspiration. Walking high waist trousers and crop jumpers alongside coats that bore landscapes, punched out in neon, a classic Americana feel ripped through their ideas for fall and should echo in your next season ensembles.
A distinctly urban collection came to the catwalk at Hermes, all drench-dyed in colour (greens, greys) to the point it looked black. “These are clothes for traveling in the city,” said Véronique Nichanian of her work, which would be an accurate description of these clear investment pieces, if you’re the type to purchase things of finery to amble about town in. If that’s the case, you’d be as overly rich of pocket as the pieces are of colour – and just as well off in style, too.
Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver were inspired by a word – ‘digital’ – to create their fall Lanvin collection. Made of linear prints and boldly hued narrow suits (for wearing with two-tone brogues or bright trainers, as you please), the line up also included a coat of every kind: biker, trench, bomber… You choose.
With a show that used black models exclusively, Umit Benen’s fall collection put wide leg baller suits with big ‘B’ motifs alongside boyish favourites like easy denim, check print and sneakers. Inspired by baseball and in autumnal shades of orange, brown and red, plus wintery creams and beige, there wasn’t a piece that would put you too far out of your comfort zone, with the type of wears most men like to walk around in subtly re-imagined for 2014, but put together in ways you’d perhaps not thought to try. Do give the white socks a go and don’t forget to “say no to racism”, as the designer implored at the end of his show – if not for humanity’s sake, then “for the love of the game”.
British, print-loving designer Paul Smith was thinking of rock icon Jim Morrison (of The Doors) when designing his latest collection, which includes flamingo and palm tree motifs on sweatshirts (hailing to Morrison’s ‘California years’) and loungey wide legs, relaxed coats and customised rug print, adapted to include musical markings. A particular favourite is the patterned red coat that makes a statement while looking a little like a slumber-ish house robe – a silhouette that’s become a real symbol of next season’s menswear.
Image source: Style.com