Male and female styles fused at Paris Fashion Week on Sunday for the final installment of fall-winter menswear shows as the fashion media prepare to notch up a gear for star-filled couture. Here are the highlights:
LANVIN STAYS EDGY
Actor Jesse Williams led the front row pack at Lanvin — the storied, yet edgy house, that hoped for renewed direction since last year’s 10-year anniversary of designer Lucas Ossendrijver.
Oversized, slouchy and elongated silhouettes defined the aesthetic — towing a fashion-forward line between shabby and chic.
Double-breasted jackets came alongside baggy pants and student-like check sweaters with scruffily long sleeves.
And there was more than a hint of irony in the air as models with blank expressions sported tight scarves with the ironic word “NOTHING” written on.
Yet the fall-winter collection packed no huge surprises.
If Lanvin was looking for a creative overhaul, this was not it. As ever, the looks were among the most perfectly executed on the Paris Fashion Week calendar.
A golden brown coat sported delicate androgynous curved shoulders, and the merging of eclectic pieces in the same look was further proof of Ossendrijver’s fashion mastery.
MEN’S AND WOMEN’S STYLES MERGE
Paul Smith’s fashion show entitled “WO MAN” set the tone for his gender-fusing designs at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris’ chic Left Bank.
The British fashion icon’s decision to show both men’s and women’s styles together forms part of a much bigger trend at Paris Fashion Week.
Top houses like Givenchy have increasingly taken to merging men’s and women’s designs on the catwalk — celebrating androgyny and shunning sexual difference.
It’s as political a statement as fashion can get.
PAUL SMITH’S GENDER-FUSED CHECKS
Check, patterns and lashings of androgyny were the ingredients of the day from Smith.
The classical tailored gray jacket was worn by a female model, and men sported soft velvet suits in warm vivid shades of violet and blue.
Quirkiness peppered proceedings via eccentric contrasts — the bread-and-butter sartorial styles and trench coats mixed with quirky pointed snake skin boots, sneakers and loose sweaters with ethnic motifs.
Smith is one menswear designer totally unafraid of color.
Cerulean blue, vermillion, olive mixed with blacks and beiges — with gray, monochrome or check, also a key touchstone.
Stripes, checks and graffiti prints defined Agnes B.’s classical fall-winter show.
But the element that made the French designer’s display stand out was its virility (barring the inclusion of the odd female model in menswear) in a Fashion Week more and more defined by the androgynous aesthetic.
Men of different ages, ethnicities and body shapes sported varying facial hair — in a clear anti-fashion statement in which the designer seemed to scream “being normal is ok.”
Luxuriant marl gray overcoats mixed with masculine pattered foulards — while graffiti and pixelated prints on tops gave the collection a hint of aggression.
But no Agnes B. fashion display would be complete without the necessary fashion contradictions — seen here in the street versus the classical — sweatpants, caps, hoodies contrasted with chic black thick leather coats and suits in warm autumnal hues.
— Thomas Adamson