Lanvin and Paul Smith capped a masculine and utilitarian menswear season in Paris as Kenzo paid tribute to Irish singer-songwriter Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries, who died last week. Meanwhile, design veteran Hedi Slimane was named the new creative chief at Céline.
Here are some highlights from Sunday’s final autumn-winter men’s shows and the run-up to Paris Fashion Week for couture collections:
Lanvin’s utilitarian chic
A constellation of bright lights that were fixed on stands around the runway gave Lanvin’s display a dream-like air.
The clothes at the Sunday morning show were more fixed on reality – with sneakers, hoods, hats, toggles and straps appearing on urban-looking and masculine winter looks.
The notable creative feature was the crossover styles. Sometimes asymmetrical, they worked well alongside designer Lucas Ossendrijver’s signature use of layering.
A long coat with square pockets featured a flat crossover lapel, alongside a partly-unzipped and oversized sleeveless coat in beige – that hung wonkily and possessed a carefree quality.
At times, styles that fused a Japanese and workmen’s look showed Ossendrijver’s penchant for mixing vestimentary references.
Lanvin owner and enigmatic Taiwanese media magnate Wang Shaw-lan – who has reportedly been behind the tumultuous creative changes at the house – clapped vigorously.
Kenzo channels a colourful equality
Kenzo, one of the biggest houses to go full on with the merger of men’s and women’s designs, went retro with the 40-piece Technicolor collection it presented on Sunday.
The 1960s preppy received a shot of colour in crisp, high-waisted check pants worn with a woolly V-neck tank top and contrasting turtleneck. The leopard print that appeared on flat-fronted jackets added a quirk.
The looks were defined by some serious colour-blocking – which spawned beautiful statement shoes in leather and snake and a navy blue hooded sweater with a bateau neck and floral motifs.
The flower – a common theme in the Kenzo universe – cross-pollinated into the 46 women’s styles. The strongest designs were a series of vibrant, multicoloured floral gowns.
The figure-hugging fabric was ruched down the body along a horizontal hem to make it look like the wearer was ready to burst out.
For the confetti-fuelled finale, The Cranberries’ anthem Dreams blasted out in homage to Dolores O’Riordan, whose lyrics and vocals defined the band. The singer-songwriter died in London last week.
Paul Smith’s ’80s
It was the dramatic styles of the 1980s that were in vogue at Paul Smith’s autumn show.
The British designer stuck closely to suit- and coat-heavy looks for his smart collection that referenced the broad and angular shoulders ubiquitous during that dressy era.
Asymmetrical panelling on outerwear – such as a half-tartan, half-plain tailored coat – was a recurrent style and mirrored the days of the New Romantics.
Large architectural lapels or turned-up collars on long oversized coats also had the exuberant flourish of that decade’s heady fashions.
The sober and beautiful colour palette of myriad blues – navy, Cetacean, Cerulean, blueberry, turquoise – as well as purple and vermilion ensured the collection stayed tasteful.
Agnes B. is saleable, risk-free
Agnes B.’s perfectly saleable designs were dapper, but the collection ultimately played it safe.
For autumn/winter, the French designer’s best styles riffed on the retro suits of the 1960s.
Fitted grey and grey-blue woollen suits flared slightly at the jacket hem and were accessorised with a trilby hat.
They wouldn’t have looked out of place in the James Bond of the Sean Connery era.
Jazzy shirts and ties in contrasting patterns added the contemporary lift that was also seen in a vivid royal blue hat and chic three-button jacket.
At times, the commercial garments looked out of place on a platform of high fashion.
Patrick Gibson talks ‘Tolkien’
French notables including Lulu Gainsbourg, the musician son of the late Serge Gainsbourg, and DJ Martin Solveig attended Lanvin’s brightly lit show in the Palais de Tokyo. Actor Patrick Gibson of The OA and The Tudors fame was among the speckling of international faces.
Gibson posed for the cameras in sunglasses and a low-key, coffee-coloured Lanvin coat that matched the coffee being served around him.
The 22-year-old Irish actor has wrapped filming for the upcoming biopic Tolkien. It tells the true story of author J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote The Lord of the Rings after returning from the horrors of the first world war.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of interest. [Main actor] Nick Hoult did an amazing job portraying Tolkien,” Gibson said.
“It shows the really human side. It doesn’t feel like a biopic. It feels like a story about a regular person out of the framework of history. And that makes it real, [showing] his flaws, too.”