Exaggerated proportions and roomy silhouettes made a powerful statement at Paris Men’s Fashion Week this season, as seen at Y/Project, Juun.J, Issey Miyake and Hed Mayner. A highlight of the season saw Thom Browne present a completely gender fluid collection, expertly executed with his signature dapper tailoring. Walter Van Beirendonck and Sankuanz stepped out of the box with a plethora of textures, artistic prints and boldly whimsical elements. All in all it was an eventful and explorative week for the French capital, with each label holding their own in originality, quality and individuality.
Exaggerated proportions have become a Y/Project signature, with Glenn Martens taking it to new heights with a complete reinvention of shapes. The collection saw disproportional tailoring, extreme layering and draping, angular and oversized jackets, loosely fitted tracksuit bottoms and swathes of excess fabric hanging at the waist. Ribbed V-neck sweaters seemed to cascade down the body while recurring chevron denim stiletto boots were heavily gathered around the leg, from ankle to thigh. The aim was to allow the garments to be draped and worn in multiple ways, according to the wearer’s preference, creating truly bespoke pieces. The earthy colour palette and muted tones made way for unusual detailing and bold undulating shapes to steal the spotlight.
There was a sense of delicate masculinity at Haider Ackermann this season, with a main focus on pattern; fine polka dots, pinstripes, darts, grids and appliques - all presented in smooth silky satins. Signature Ackermann looks of low-rise tapered pants and longline jackets had a soft boyish twist to them, and although prints were simple in nature they were given an original update, sometimes appearing as though sections had been peeled back to reveal other concentrations of pattern beneath. XXL shirting and loose proportions gave the monochrome collection a laidback edge, at times with extra fabric twisting around the body and over the shoulder in a toga-esque manner. Pops of colour appeared in the form of rusty orange or lilac in matching jacket-trouser combos.
Juun.J approached extreme silhouettes from a sophisticated perspective, presenting a line of avant-garde business casual pieces. There were extra-big double-breasted jackets, billowing pants, unstructured pinstripe suits, elongated sleeves, expert layering and draping that enveloped the body with a relaxed elegance. Offered in traditional business-attire shades of black, white and office blue, there was an injection of fire-engine red appearing in the form of plissé red shirt dresses, adding a little something extra to the muted collection.
This season saw Sacai take inspiration from the work of American artist Lawrence Weiner - a central figure in the 1960s conceptual art movement. Influenced by Weiner’s use of typographic texts, repetitive graphic words and phrases appeared as a strong patterned motif throughout the collection, both with thought-provoking messages and as abstract forms. The collection also presented staples such as bright blue workwear jackets, fringed around the front and back yoke and shoulders - Wild West-style, mixed in with easy-going sports-chic shirts and women’s knife-pleat dresses, fashioned from billowy golden and teal green outdoor fabrics, complete with harness, rivets and drawstring implements.
One of the most promising Chinese labels showing in Europe, Sankuanz presented a collection with an arty, youthful appeal, including camo print outfit combos, battered garments, loosely fitted jackets fashioned from fabrics that resembled painters canvas, and roomy drawstring trousers. Most notable however, were the ridiculously large tote bags accompanying many of the looks, as well as a myriad of shorts, shirts and tailored jackets splattered with red or blue paint, executed with a nonchalant artist’s sensibility.
There was a bold duality to Facetasm’s SS18 show, presenting a multitude of juxtapositions between hard and soft, slim and oversized silhouettes, excess ruffles and sleek minimal cuts, and conflicting patterns and unified colours. The collection didn’t shy away from exploring textures and a myriad of influences, speaking a language of diversity and striking individuality, which is signature to the boisterous youth-centric label.
Playing into the label’s minimal and relaxed philosophy, this season saw earth-tones and comfortable cocooning silhouettes at Issey Miyake Men’s, featuring shirts that wrapped around the body unconventionally, as well as airy midi trousers and jackets with billowing sleeves. With a theme entitled ‘Through the desert’, there were a plethora of patterns appearing in different colours, shapes and sizes, from black and white abstract geometric shapes, resembling giraffe spots, to gradations of geologic stratum in blues and browns. These were mixed between crisp white and casual black pieces, all fashioned from thin, cooling fabrics fit for a scorching desert escape.
WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK
Walter Van Beirendonck brought whimsy and eccentricity to the runways of Paris, presenting models rocking pastel mullets and wearing rainbow coloured techno glasses. Fusing dystopian and militaristic aesthetics with futuristic metallic fabrics, Beirendonck reminded the fashion sphere how he plays by his own rules, offering a collection bordering on the surreal. Tailored miss-matched tartan suits were reimagined to look like deconstructed Picasso-style faces, sleek cut jackets and trousers featured cartoon style motifs and patterns, and t-shirts were printed with block-coloured graphic face illustrations.
Grounded in expert technical skill, Hed Mayner presented a collection rife with flowing voluminous silhouettes, with an air of East meets West luxury. Rooted in simplicity and cut from muted-tone fabrics including washed wool, denim, Japanese cotton, nylon mesh, and twill, there were kimono-style jackets wrapping louchely around the body, comfy martial art inspired two piece outfits neatly bundled at the waist, double breasted long gowns and delicate draping in all the right places, alluding to ease, comfort and a sense of feathery weightlessness.
Never straying from his signature tailoring and deft precision at suiting, Thom Browne presented a standout SS'18 collection that brought a clear message of gender duality with each look. Sending out a full set of male models in suit jackets combined with matron-esque pencil and pleated skirts, and long dress-like shirts that skimmed the floor instead of trousers, Browne made a bold statement by setting a new benchmark for gender-neutral clothing, and even finished the show with a hybrid tuxedo wedding dress. Model’s further donned 5-inch high heeled brogue boots, for an extra injection of femininity, though the masculine debonair of crisp male suiting remained sturdy throughout.
Julien David brought back the beauty of basic realness this season, sending his models down the runway in the simplicity of jeans and t-shirt combos. Though much of the collection seemed to be steeped in the ordinary, pieces were transformed into the extraordinary through innovative quality textiles. Well-cut chinos, shirts and loose jackets were fashioned from unique translucent chiffon, coated to achieve a platinum finish, and lightweight fabrics in a stunning array of textures gave each of the looks a chic and unique wearability.