The travelling press bid “ciao” to Milan and said “bonjour” to Paris — kicking off 50 fashion shows, endless parties, million-dollar business deals and the last leg of the menswear mania that will sweep the French capital for five days.
VALENTINO’S NEW BEGINNINGS
Powerhouse Valentino unveiled its couture-infused creations from the now-solo designer Pierpaolo Piccioli on Day 1 — and what a show it was.
It was all about new beginnings as designer Pierpaolo Piccioli flew solo at the Valentino menswear helm for the first time following the departure of co-designer Maria Grazia Chiuri to Dior.
Above all, the new beginnings were found in the house’s more focused styles — with Piccioli producing Valentino’s strongest menswear show yet.
The theme was subversive: the dapper gentleman mixed with flashes of punk — and garments featured slogans evoking Jamie Reid of Sex Pistols fame.
Slim bow ties came alongside multiple layering, while coats and caps seemed to channel a funky sneaker-wearing Sherlock Holmes.
But it was the stylish cut of the coats that made this collection stand out. Exaggerated lengths of sumptuous wool were used to produce long jackets — in monochrome and tartan — that added a weighty, dandy swagger to many of the looks.
FACETASM CHANNELS DIVERSITY, VOLUMES
The Tokyo-founded company Facetasm has won plaudits for its conceptual styles with hints of punk.
Its name was based on its founder Hiromichi Ochiai’s idea of the varying angular sides of a diamond — angles that seem contrasting that yet produce an inner harmony.
Wednesday’s colour-rich show was an example of this classic yet subversive theme.
Voluminous layering in contrasting patterns, hoods, headscarves and bubble jackets provided the contrasts. A silken slip with lace detailing jarred beautifully with a bright citrus yellow urban jacket, worn off one shoulder as if in a state of hurried (un)dress.
And a billowing tartan cape came in atypical vivid blue that cut a fine look because of the stylish generous lengths of fabric at the front.
Christophe Lamaire is a master of fusing minimalism and the classic.
The former-Hermes designer produced yet another deft, wearable collection with clean lines that riffed on the utilitarian.
It was also highly masculine. The on-trend elements were oversize shirt pockets, belts with multiple hoops, big black leather boots and a silver applique that hung from the waist, evoking a set of workman’s keys.
But the colours, and the coats, and high-waisted sartorial pants were the elements that provided the classical balance in this very thoughtful display.
Colours were used sparingly yet effectively — with black fusing into terracotta, olive and a muted flash of lapis lazuli. The coats were cut in rich, oversize proportions and exuded softness — floppy voluminous lapels and warm velvety knee-length coats.