Each fashion capital comes with its own anticipations, but Paris, for both men’s and women’s collections, is the one that I get more excited about. The Paris Men’s Fashion Week shows offered many wearing staples, and two of the major running themes throughout were a new take on suiting and proportions. Many designers looked to the 80’s and 90’s for inspiration for their Fall 2017 collections. It will be interesting to see how their ideas trickle down to the everyday man, but for those who grew up during those decades it won’t be too overwhelming.
Here is our round up of five collections that stood out during Paris Men’s Fashion Week.
Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino man might not run in the same circle as the women he designs for, but I was highly impressed by his first solo collection for men. For Fall 2017, the designer brought in a bit of a punk attitude by teaming up with Sex Pistol’s graphic designer, Jamie Reid, and placing two different slogans on coats, sweaters, and baseball caps.
The collection offers men wearable staples, and I am sure the design teams at Zara and H&M are already figuring out how to knock them off.
Dries van Noten
Any fashion recap I write has to include Dries van Noten. I have been a huge fan of the Belgian for sometime now as he is one of few designers I would wear completely head-to-toe if my bank account permitted.
For fall, van Noten played with proportions — boxy blazers à la David Byrne and oversized sweaters paired with narrow trousers. This look was first seen at Balenciaga, but Dries offered more wearable options and his felt less costume-y.
Designer Heider Ackermann showed that he can scale back while remaining true to his design aesthetic for his debut as Berluti’s new creative director. The collection offered pieces that will satisfy customers of the brand and die-hard fans of the designer.
Kris Van Assche has long proved that he was a worthy successor to Hedi Silmane at Dior Homme. I am not one for wanting to wear a suit but Van Assche showed many options that I could see myself in, and that many guys could wear. The Tron-esque sunglasses are definitely a covetable item for next season.
A Thom Browne show does not always include wearable clothes but the ideas are there. After all, the designer started his career creating cropped trousers and shrunken suit jackets that are all the rage now, but at the time seemed a bit too fashion forward especially from an American designer.
For Fall 2017, the designer continued to play with the idea of suiting proportions and, though there were no 50 shades of grey in the collection, grey was the main color for the collection. Often, what is seen on the runway won’t make it to the stores, but bravo to Thom Browne for continually putting on interesting shows.
Fashion has always been a melting pot for art. Painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, music, etc. Have all been mixed together by designers at one point or another. This mix of art, along with culture and everyday life, produces winning moments that go down in fashion history. Now these days, fashion’s biggest wow moments aren’t usually caused by who put on the biggest show, or who made the biggest gown rather, fashion wows are now made with simple gestures that entice the viewer to look deeper into the collection and the inspiration. Instead of just the superficial. Here are some of fashion month’s biggest winners.
1. Whoopi Goldberg
With brands like Marc Jacobs, Jeremy Scott, and The Blonds all showing their collections in the city every season, New York fashion week has always been the home of eccentric and border pushing fashion. This “anything goes” atmosphere results in front rows being packed with the most fashion forward (and eccentric) celebrities in the business. This season, in a surprising turn, It was actress and TV host Whoopi Goldberg who took the NYFW spotlight. Having been spotted at major shows around New York throughout the week. Whoopi became the talk of the fashion community when she was seen attending shows like J.Crew and Hood By Air, among others. However, the real magic happened when Whoopi stormed down the runway at this season’s Opening Ceremony show. The show, which featured a politically charged theme, saw Goldberg closing the runway show in a black ruffled dress and all the confidence in the world. The real shining moment is the message this sends. Whoopi walked the runway for one of the most high-profile shows during fashion week, all at the wonderful age of 60. If she can do it, so can anyone.
2. Christopher Bailey
Fashion has been changing quite rapidly in the past few years. At one point, customers had to wait months for their favourite pieces from a collection to hit stores. Now, certain brands are allowing their customers to purchase pieces as soon as they hit the runway. The “see now, buy now” trend has quickly been picking up steam within the last few seasons, with brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Tom Ford spearheading the trend. This season, Burberry’s CEO and creative director, Christopher Bailey, set out to showcase a stunning collection of ready-to-wear garments that would be put up for sale as soon as they were shown on the runway. And stunning it was. Burberry fw16 has not only been regarded as one of the best shows at London fashion week this season, it’s also being regarded as one of Bailey’s greatest achievements as of yet. The collection, which features pieces inspired by Virginia Woolf’s novel “Orlando,” has since become a success. With analysts at Burberry and The Business of fashion stating that certain pieces from the show have sold out, causing well-deserved spikes in sales
3. Kenzo’s Runway
Kenzo has been a fashion power player since it’s birth in 1970, and it seems the progressive brand is refusing to slow down in terms of innovation and fresh design. Surprisingly, this season at Kenzo wasn’t remarkable for only the clothes, but for the runway presentation as well. For their spring-summer 2017 collection, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim created a beautifully intriguing space that showcased the brand’s knack for always adding the unexpected to its designs. The runway space, which invoked a feeling of the renaissance, was littered with “human statues.” But these human statues weren’t your typical models. Some of the models seen on the runway were plus size and even had amputated limbs, this just further added to the surrealism of the entire show. Apart from having models in every shape and size, the use of a human museum set alongside a predominantly disco themed collection actually fed into the theme. In the eyes of the designers, what could be more excessive than disco? A museum with living artifacts, that’s what.
4. Pierpaolo Piccioli
2016 has been a year of major changes within the fashion industry. Houses like Lanvin and Dior were all put into situations where their futures as fashion powerhouses were placed into question. Valentino was one of the major design house whose future was called into question. Since 2008, the house of Valentino had been headed by design duo Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri. The two have since led the brand into new found success, propelling Valentino Garvani’s iconic brand into the 21st century. However, when Valentino announced that Maria Grazia would be leaving the house to become the creative director at Dior, many believed that the split would leave Valentino in a fashion grey area. Alas, this was the stepping stone for Pierpaolo needed to truly showcase his vision. For his ss17 collection, Piccioli was able to break free from the constraints set by designing as a pair and created a collection completely inspired by his singular vision. The collection, which is bathed in hues of pink, green, and black, was deeply inspired by the renaissance and beyond. The collection has ultimately allowed Valentino to open a new chapter within the house’s already historic book.
5. Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Statement Shirt
Big changes came to the house of Dior this year. The wheels were set in motion at the historic house when Raf Simon’s departed late last year. Since then, the house of Dior spent half a year trying to find a designer with enough skill to take the reigns for future collections. Following a brief period spent in fashion limbo, where the house asked it’s ateliers to spearhead its collections, Maria Grazia Chiuri was finally given the daunting task of designing for the massive brand. With her signature sense of femininity and movement that she honed at Valentino, Maria was able to create a decent enough collection for the brand. The stylistic change left many either in love, or wanting more from the designer. But this isn’t to say that Dior didn’t wow this season. During her predominately soft and demure collection, Maria decided to throw in a curve ball. A t-shirt which had the words “We should all be feminists” boldly printed on its fabric. Now to some, this may just be a way of garnering attention for the brand, but in reality, this simple gesture poses a big question. Has fashion finally come to a place where it can make social and political statements? Of course fashion has always made artistic statements, but fashion has never really been blatant when making statements on social justice issues. The beauty of what Maria Grazia did wasn’t in the article of clothing itself, but rather, in the seed she’s embedded. Will this moment mark a change where designers begin creating socially aware fashion? We’ll have to wait and see.