Paris spring-summer 2017 menswear highlights
Androgeny, punk, deconstructed looks and travel were the themes on the catwalks this season
With the spring-summer 2017 menswear shows now over, we can say that season had it all: deconstructed tailoring, punk inspired styles, travel infused collections, gender fluid designs, and last but certainly not least, the bad boy effect. Here are the top five trends from Paris.
Deconstructed tailoring is nothing new. In fact, designers reinvent tailoring every now and then. This season, the phenomenon succeeded at Margiela, focusing on the vision of the post-modern man and revisiting tailored garments – highlights included two-piece suits and casual wear with exposed decorative elements, such as basting stitches and apparent pins and pressure buttons. This season’s offering was both a look into the future and a melancholic gaze back at the past through re-assembled tailoring influences from Margiela’s archives. A somewhat nostalgic atmosphere that was emphasised by the show’s soundtrack, Last Year’s Man by Leonard Cohen.
Fashion’s new darling, the talented and much hyped Demna Gvasalia revealed his first menswear line for Balenciaga and left his audience smitten. Exploring his style further – think former Soviet Union aesthetics, street and sportswear influences, as well as real-life luxury – Gvasalia focused on an ’80s flavoured tailoring with boxy shoulders, oversized fits and plenty of contrasting proportions, that twisted classic menswear tailoring and turned it into something strong and subversive.
In a party mood? The clubbing culture of the West and the East Coast were Carol Lim and Humberto Leon’s inspiration at Kenzo this season and the designer-duo’s party protagonists included sassy gangs of girls and boys all dressed up in both ’80s and ’90s-inspired fashion that came in bright colours with a streetwear twist.
Berluti set the party mood by inviting its guest to take part in an interactive cocktail party/collection presentation, which included a soccer tournament, a pétanque competition and lessons in synchronised swimming. Berluti’s atelier stuck to a successful formula that was established by Alessandro Sartori before he left to take over Ermenegildo Zegna’s creative direction: sharp staples, effortlessly chic statement pieces and featherlight and informal tailoring.
Hood by Air’s Shayne Oliver threw a spontaneous party. But when you’re a rebel at heart like Shayne, you invite your guests to discover your collection in a hammam-sauna sex club on a sunny Friday afternoon. Oliver excels at disrupting the fashion industry’s status quo. His party boys sport slouchy sweaters with oversized sleeves that come with the HBA logo, or harness-adorned shirt dresses.
Facetasm, the brand by Hiromichi Ochiai is already big in Japan and is currently establishing itself in Paris as a new name on the official menswear schedule. Facetasm perfectly epitomises the gender-bending trend that has been taking its toll on fashion for the past three seasons. Ochiai showcased bold print and fabric associations on urban-chic looks.
In the same vein, Y/Project’s Glenn Martens played gender-bending styles and an eclectic mix of ’90s influences, flower elements and all sorts of denim creations, in a collection that was both rough and romantic.
Rick Owens however moved away from his usually oddball runway performances and focused on subtle essentials with the right dose of outlandishness. This season the designer’s eccentric yet wearable style was expressed through black, saffron and terracotta-hued slouchy silhouettes that featured figure-hugging draping, wrapping and knotting techniques, which made for new, unisex proportions in sculpted, artistic looks.
Travel in style
Louis Vuitton’s Kim Jones had Africa on his mind this season. In fact, Jones was reviving his childhood memories of Kenya and Botswana by revisiting the maison’s travel spirit – a Louis Vuitton essential – and his penchant for safari influences with utilitarian elements. With a colour palette dominated by earthy hues and occasional hints of midnight and petroleum blue, Jones excelled at surface design, animal prints and intricate textile treatments, turning exotic skins into desirable statement accessories. Highlights included a blue silk shirt with a giraffe print that was worn with navy twill trousers and accessorised with a woven leather tartan tote and safety pin earrings.
Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing and Paul Smith took us to warmer shores. While Rousteing travelled to Venice Beach, Los Angeles, with some surfer inspired denim creations, Paul Smith made a stopover in Kingston.
Christophe Lemaire and his partner-in-crime Sarah-Linh Tran added a North African flavour to their chic inventory of utilitarian, classic menswear. There’s some ’50s Grease styling amongst the sleek djellabas crafted from crisp cottons and denims in light earthy hues and the baboosh inspired leather slippers.
Bad boy alert
Faith Connexion, Haider Ackermann, Kris Van Assche at Dior Homme, Virgil Abloh for Off-White and many more ... this season, designers dissected London punk style in various looks, shapes and hues. Faith Connexion, the Paris-based designer and artist collective, hit the nail right on the head by mixing and matching various plaids and prints with shredded denim and highlighting edgy accessories, DIY elements and a hand-sprayed Union Jack.
Riccardo Tisci proved once again that he was the king of the bad boy casting. His ultra-virile looking, multiracial model line-up radiated high testosterone. Givenchy’s macho man was on a mission. All dressed up in military inspired garments that were adorned with the brand’s custom made money print camouflage. Mixing tailoring to military and ’90s inspirations, Tisci presented a collection that oscillated between his fascination with mysticism (eye of providence prints) and his usual dose of roughness and urban energy.