Paris Men’s Fashion Week ended in a sea of colors, embellishments, and concepts. From June 22nd-26th, the city of lights got a little brighter thanks to designers like Dior, Balmain, and Thom Browne. Unlike Milan Fashion Week: Men’s where collections centered around a few key concepts, the themes on the Paris Men’s runways were wide-ranging. From hippie crochet to amusement parks to literal bird-brains, here are The Untitled Magazine’s picks for the top six shows of the week.
On Wednesday, June 22nd, Demna Gvasalia got the week started with a milestone – his latest collection for Balenciaga marked the famed house’s inaugural men’s show. The presence of original founder, Cristóbal Balenciaga was deeply felt on the runway in the form of outlandish proportions and meticulously tailored garments. In fact the show opened with one of the founder’s own coats. Gvasalia found it unfinished in the archives and took on the task of giving it a new life on the runway.
Thursday, the 23rd brought several heavy-hitters including Rick Owens, Issey Miyake, and Yohji Yamamoto but our favorites of the day were Louis Vuitton and Dries Van Noten. Over at Vuitton, designer Kim Jones took the travel theme that we saw at Milan’s Mens Collections but put it in reverse: his collection was not about exotic vacations but saw the clothes referencing a return to familiar surroundings. Jones subtly mixed a neutral safari palette and animal prints of his African upbringing with Punk plaids that harkened back to his London schooling. Amongst it all, the traditional LV monogram print made appearances on button-ups, raincoats, and of course, travel bags.
For his SS ’17 men’s collection, Dries Van Noten stuck to an earthy palette with a few well-played pops of silver. Referencing textile artists of the 1960s and 70s, the designer piled on the prints and textures. The opening look had just the hint of macrame while sweaters seemed to come straight off the loom. Driving home the “arts and crafts” theme was a heavy dose of patchwork, done in several different forms, including zig-zags, digitally printed denim, and florals.
Dior hooked show attendees from the beginning with a captivating set – models walked amongst a rollicking metal sculpture that resembled a roller coaster, driving home designer, Kris Van Assche’s “fun fair theme.” Assche channeled New Wave influences into slim fitting suits and color blocked windbreakers. Another music subculture also edged its way into the collection. Parachute pants, mesh tanks, and bondage-style harnesses made for a very high-end industrial raver uniform.
Crowd favorite, Olivier Rousteing started off the evening on Saturday at Balmain. Although it was a week of Men’s fashion the Balmain runway was a mix of male and female models and looks. The show opened in a sea of light denim and khaki that gradually transformed into an explosion of bright tones. On the girls, the characteristic Balmain long-sleeved mini dress was back again but this time in a wash of rainbow color combinations accentuated with intricate beading and crochet. The bright palette continued with the guys’ garments. Male models walked in color-blocked knits and draped harem pants in bright oranges and greens.
Thom Browne, who recently won a major CFDA award, closed out Paris Men’s at 6pm on Sunday evening. His theatrics made for a spectacular finale. Models in full face masks and sunglasses walked in off-white suits accentuated with pops of pastels and the occasional cherry red. A few beachy birds made an appearance on the runway in the form of full parrot, pelican, and seagull regalia. At the end of the show, the models stripped off their garments to reveal old-school printed bathing suits with matching surfboards.
Images courtesy of Vogue