Paris Men’s standout collections – the hits, the misses and the highlights

by Anjori Grover Vasesi

06-July-2019  |  10 mins read

Last week we wrapped up the third leg of the international men’s Spring Summer 2020 fashion calendar post London and Milan – Paris Fashion Week.

As trends become increasingly transitional and the world becomes increasingly digitised, fashion has started evolving ever so quickly as compared to the speed at which it changed in the past. Sure, you still do have standout directions per season, but they are more of themes now, than specific trends that you can possibly lay your finger on – more like shifts in fashion that signal a change in culture and where society and its ideology is headed as a whole.

But each fashion week calls for a repertoire of what ensued and what would one be taking away from it. And each fashion week, progressively has certain standout elements hidden beneath critical moments that serve as an inspiration board for the future of fashion that needs to be addressed.

Yes, streetwear is still lit, suits are still a classic indispensable part of the men’s collections, and utility reigns – but certain designers and high fashion labels took the risk of tip-toeing on the edge of what sells and what is too zany to uncover a hybrid of wearable fashion pieces that promise to be commercially viable come Summer 2020.

Walter Van Beirendonck

Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck ushered a hybridisation of fantasy sportswear and extra-terrestrial street by presenting his take on a collection that he rightly titled – ‘Witblitz’. Waterproof, frill trimmed attires paired over skin-tight leggings, satin shirts paired with patent-leather trousers, voluminous puff sleeved bombers appeared in a palette dominant of acid pops and vibrant neons. A kinky but kitsch collection, the underlying message signaled towards graver worldwide crises, such as refugees’ rejection.

Fendi’s Jungle Safari

A set up evocative of a trek through botanical woods, @Fendi’s latest collection felt like a fresh breeze on a hot summer day.

Natural fabrics in a colour palette of mostly shades of green, khaki, black and mustards, lent a cool, light and fluid feel to the collection. Breathable materials and techniques – such as openwork braiding, laser cut jackets and holes on knits were seen.

Modern looks fused with urban details such as detachable pickets over cargo pants and jackets, trainers made out of canvas and rubber in collaboration with Moonstar, and tailored workwear emphasised on functionality.

A wake up call – for many of us to abandon our screens and look into the natural beauties of nature, in an effort to really reconnect with ourselves and those around us.

Giorgio Armani

It’s a print party at Giorgio Armani Men’s Spring Summer 2020.

We see a lot of natural fabrics and techniques, coupled with soft prints come to the fore signalling an ode to freedom.

Waistcoats worn sans underclothing, ultra wide and free flowing shirts in soft fabrics that love the skin, slouchy pants and fluid jackets were mainstays in the collection.

Abstract graphics find their way onto shirting, in summer-ready tones of blues, reds and pastels.

Balmain  The future is NOW

For Balmain’s Spring Summer 2020 collection, Olivier Rousteing turned the set into a festival/concert of sorts complete with Darren Criss taking the lead on the stage.

What ensured was Balmain’s intriguing army, fiercely walking down the ramp in glittering mirror-work bombers, reflective details, louche dressing, quilting techniques and clear, see-through pialletes interlinked together to create mesh blazers.

According to Rousteing, the show was dedicated to Balmain men (and women) 50 or 60 years hence, catered to by immaculate tailoring, mohair, fusion of denim with PVC – fierce, expressive and unafraid: all that the brand has come to be known as under Rousteing’s helm was witnessed at the iconic brand’s Spring Summer 2020 showcase in Paris last week.

A benefit performance, all profits of which went to Bono’s RED HIV-tackling charity.

Louis Vuitton

An easy breezy collection of soft and fluid silhouettes accentuated with drawstring and utilitarian details, super slouchy trousers, anoraks in sorbet pastels.

Wild flowers played a major role in the collection, representing diversity – coupled with a relaxed charm – signalling vacation days.

“I decided I’m not shifting gears every season – I saw that as a potential trap before I started. I stand for diversity and the idea that luxury can be something wider in this era. So I’m going to continue down that line, and continue this feeling of the whole freedom of being a child, still learning. I’m changing my pace drastically,” Virgil Abloh, Creative Director of Louis Vuitton, said.

Floral print patterns over khaki cargo pants, flower embroideries over tulle coats, and fresh flowers sprouting out of straw hats lent a vibe of wilderness and freedom to the entire collection whilst techniques such as tie and dye effects and minutely pleated chiffon, lent craftsmanship.

Standout pieces include colours such as hotter than hot pinks, signalling the power of pink in fashion – a trend kicked off by millennial pink 3 years ago – that is still going strong.

Dior Homme

A year after acquiring the helm at the iconic fashion houses, Kim Jones has yet again floored us all with another collaboration. This time around with American artist Daniel Arsham for the set.

The collection provides a perfect amalgamation for the bygone and the future by blending house signatures and trompe-l’oeil effects, apart from incorporating a certain curvaceous cut similar to the curve followed in the Dior Saddle Bag.

Also making a comeback were satin sashes introduced by Jones’ in last year’s collection, a key detail that has proved to be a commercial success for the brands. Summer-proof fabrics coupled with Dior’s unbeatable tailoring techniques were a mainstay throughout the collection with details such as watercolour prints, satin shirts, sheer, transparent fabrics, saturated pastels, lettering and phrase prints making an appearance.

Berluti

Held inside the Luxembourg Gardens in the shadow of the L’Orangerie glasshouse, designer, the show marks Kris Van Assche’s second runway show.

Sporty hoodies, track jackets and belts were key accessories on the runway. Accents and eyewear uplifted the looks of shirts worn under sleeveless blazers and matching trousers, while like scripting appeared on garments and accessories.

Some of the key pieces were adorned by strong and bold tailoring, lean jackets and pencil pants the ankles of which were cut open and finished with Berluti fabric logo.

Details included graphics, split hems on slacks and matching coat linings. We saw the brand’s motocross pants and graphic leather pants from Fall/Winter 2019’s show make a comeback whilst sleek silhouettes and, strong shouldered jackets, leather craftsmanship, oversized layers, and vests, skirts and pants with ostrich feather applique work were the variations on the runway.

Lanvin

Lanvin’s new menswear collection is all shades of polychrome and ultra-modern designs of suits, jackets and coats. The collection channels in a summery and vacation mood with extravagant collared suits, Bermuda sets, long and flared tunic sweaters in a colour palette ranging from bright blue to warm mustard.

Enforcing a very experimental theme blended with pastel colours, the collection features gender neutral designs comprising loosely fitted blazers paired with printed flared pants, block printed scarfs worn over white chic trousers and trench coats worn with baggy pants and textured blazers worn over length tunics.

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