Menswear month is almost over. And what a ride it has been. Gucci ripped up patriarchal dress codes. Giorgi Armani has a green new deal. We all drank far too much coffee and red wine. But we're back, fresh from Paris feeling doughy and in good spirits after what was an unexpectedly refreshing season.
Paris is home to some of the biggest names luxury fashion –Dior, Louis Vuitton, Dries Van Noten all show here and have done forever. The weight of those brands means Paris Fashion Week has a rep for being a serious affair with lots of serious ceremony surrounding it, but this season we saw a few surprises – and plenty of looks the Esquire style team want to take from the runway.
Here are our picks from Paris.
Catherine Hayward, Fashion Director
"A Rick Owens show is a startling affair. Impossibly tall models strut the runway in stack heeled boots and waist length hair kicking up clouds of dry ice – a menacing and uncompromising silhouette.
"This season, Owens was partly inspired by Bowie’s famous knitted Ziggy Stardust one-piece jumpsuit by Kansai Yamamoto from the early Seventies. Look 22 – my spirit animal with his long grey locks – stopped me in my tracks at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. A glimpse of flesh, a hint of leather and all thrown together with that razor sharp, pagoda-shouldered coat."
Finlay Renwick, Deputy Style Editor
"For his latest collection, Acne’s Jonny Johansson had a future-facing trick up his sweatshirt sleeve, collaborating with Robbie Barrat, a “generative artist”, who rose to internet fame by creating a “rapping AI” that uses Kanye West’s discography to write its own songs (terrifying and brilliant).
"The clothes that appeared in a big white room were led by Barrat’s algorithmic black magic. Thousands of former Acne looks were fed into his software, resulting in a sexy, surreal, tailoring runway. While I’m not quite ready (or lithe) enough for the leather suit, the oversized Klein blue mountain parka is a perfectly realised piece of outerwear. It also fits into one of my favourite proportion playing combinations: tailoring under proper outdoor jackets. Thank you Acne. Thank you new fashion robot overlords."
Murray Clark, Digital Style Editor
"There's little to compare to Casablanca: a streetwear-cum-tailoring-cum-terry towelling tribute from French-Moroccan designer Charaf Tajer. The latest collection, a military marchin Dalmatian prints and pastels, was no different. The surprise, though, came in the resort-wear focus.
"Yes, yet another murky phrase within the fashion lexicon. But Casablanca took resort-wear literally. There was skiwear for a lodge in a yet-to-be-made Wes Anderson film. There were silken suits for drinks on the balcony of Liberace's middle eastern holiday home. And also this: a boxy, double-breasted silver suit, that you might wear for a wedding in a Vegas casino in the Seventies. Or just every single event I've got planned in 2020."
Dan Choppen, Fashion Assistant
Following on from an Insta-friendly show in Provence (Jacquemus won 1.8 million new followers following last season's walk through a field of lavender), founder Simon Porte Jacquemus was keen to prove his brand wasn’t just a social media phenomenon. A fabric inspired by the first garment he ever made for his mum was the linen spine of he entire show.
"Overall, this wasn’t as energetic as his S/S '20, with an overarching palette of tan or sage. The men's looks were styled clean and uncomplicated: camp collar shirts, loose casual suiting and the odd double-trouser (open fly) layering. But it was wearable: a point Porte stressed before the collection's release. Look 19's Gallic flip-flop, camp collar party piece is very 'me going to the boulangerie before work'."
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