The Louis Vuitton men’s set.

Paris Men’s Fashion Week Round Up F/W 2020 Part 2

The blockbusters have shown and we noticed: The stakes in men’s get higher and higher with show production values equal to the women’s extravaganzas of nowadays

Givenchy

Clare Waight Keller is an experienced women’s designer who knows what women crave. Especially, women of means with a busy work schedule. At Givenchy, she is also a men’s designer and it seems that she has not made up her mind yet where to go with that task. She oscillates between Haute Couture tailoring and street wear as evidenced in the sartorial winter 2019 collection (which made the cover of our current Achtung Mode print issue) and Givenchy’s Italian outing at Pitti Uomo in June 2019 with a heavy Korean street style message. One of the best exhibitions in Paris museums recently was at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs on the life of Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar II, who became Maharaja of Indore in 1930 and inspired Waight Keller. The Maharaja lived the life of a debonair dandy and so Givenchy’s finale of richly embroidered coats, jackets or white tuxedo vest on high-waisted pants clearly underlined where the strengths of her men’s design chops lie. All the tailoring was exquisite and razor sharp.

Sharp tailoring and rich embroideries were the highlights of Clare Waight Keller’s Givenchy show.
Alpha Dia in Givenchy by Clare Waight Keller on the cover of Achtung Mode Nr. 38 photographed by Markus Pritzi in Paris.

Louis Vuitton

At Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh surprised with a powerful tailoring message. Yes, Abloh had declared in several interviews that he saw the end of street wear coming and so he really put his money where his mouth is with his line up of sharply cut suits which were announced by the show’s set which featured giant scissors around which the models paraded. There was sartorial excellence often paired with colt holsters which he introduced in his first show for Louis Vuitton and have been street wear photography fodder of late. Abloh stretched his design skills to new heights, for example by deconstructing a suit in carving it up into multi dozen separate pieces that were then stitched together again. Among the highlights was a shirt where cutouts in the shape of the Vuitton monogram were united. This was a designer switching gear at full speed and even the show’s section with coats and jackets adorned with exaggerated ribbons reminiscing designers like Christian Lacroix felt right.

Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton show predicted the end of street wear.

Rick Owens

Rick Owens is floating in a world created all by himself where it’s all about self empowerment, taking risks and looking in the mirror to accept one’s own flaws. Or better, turning these flaws into strength. His design universe of pumped up volumes in suiting with pagoda shoulders on five inch Perspex heels with metal fronts speaks nothing but short of the introduction of the super hero to fashion. The draping was guided by Kansai Yamamoto’s costumes for David Bowie with lots of cut outs around the thigh and shoulder area to expose flesh. And ever the Joseph Beuys admirer – the German artist who famously created the myth that he escaped a plane crash in WW II by being saved by nomadic Tartar tribesmen, who had wrapped his broken body in animal fat and felt which nursed him back to health – Owens anchored his a color palette in Beuys pale colors.

Rick Owens’ collection showed draping inspired by David Bowie and a Joseph Beuys color palette.

Dries Van Noten

We are proud to report that Dries Van Noten who is at the vanguard of men’s fashion looked to Swiss artist Karlheinz Weinberger for his latest collection. Weinberger was known for capturing Swiss youth culture in his photographs from the 60’s. Mostly unfiltered and focused on motorbike and Rock’n Roll gangs, Weinberger’s denim-clad subjects came back on the Van Noten runway at the Opéra Bastille where he showed his directional women’s collection with Christian Lacroix. Only here the rough denim from the overtly sexual photos was tampered with fake fur bombers and scarves layered over the eccentric but tailored looks.

Denim, fake fur and eccentric tailoring at the Dries Van Noten show.

Comme des Garçons

Comme des Garçons is always outstanding when the high concept meets wearability. The industry has given Rei Kawakubo an elevated position from where she can preach and it’s not always that her shows connect with the fashion public. But yesterday’s multi-layering of top coats and jackets in all different patterns and fabrics notably animal print or fine silk made for a whole new men’s design universe which can easily be imagined walking from the runway straight onto the street. This was about layering and miss matching at all cost and it worked.

Comme des Garçons showed layering and miss matching at its best.