Paris Men’s Round-Up S/S 2020 Part 3
Friday was a beautiful, sunny day in Paris - but not too hot. The perfect temperatures were matched by strong shows.
Junya Watanabe is an ace at finding cool venues. This time he took us to a school in the Fifth Arrondissement with a spectacular courtyard, which was enhanced by clever lighting. Watanabe marches to the beat of his own drum so while men’s wear is returning to a more tailored and elegant universe, the Japanese designer sent out a radical norm core show. Inspired by destination places around the world he appreciates and focus on their graphic design appearance, he created two tone worker jackets and coats with wide cargo pants often placing their logos on the garments. For example, the St. John restaurant in London or the Amsterdam Tulip museum. His man does not belong anywhere in particular but travels the globe with stops at the bookshop or an artisanal beer brewery. Ever the collaborator, Watanabe enlisted Swabian shoemaker Heinrich Dinkelacker which is owned by former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking.
Juun J. from Seoul has been making a name for himself as a volume-inducing designer. His garments always look pumped up and with a focus on knee-length coats and military capes and jackets, he hit the perfect spot. We loved his jeans with attached waist pockets.
Kris Van Assche is putting a very personal stamp on Berluti. And that’s exactly what the brand needed. “This is a reinvention project. For Berluti, a classic luxury boot maker and for myself,” explained Van Assche backstage. His classic razor-sharp tailoring with cut off sleeves on jackets still dominates but the motorcycle pants and bombers over suit layering in bold colors like orange looked fresh and showed that he has his own ideas for the brand. If Hermès is a benchmark as a precious skin and fabrics collection, Berluti is following that mold with its own twist as Van Assche is keenly aware of street trends.
Lucie and Luke Meier at Jil Sander are nearly there. They have a clear vocabulary of clean shapes and manage to imbue a new earthiness to the house. This time they used a cleverly backlit runway which was full of potted plants behind milk glass walls to create a garden ambiance which also felt cutting edge. Boxy suits and coats and a focus on beautiful knits often with long open threads enveloping the walking cast gave their clothes a minimal and masculine edge. Only a few more shows like this and their Jil Sander will lead fashion.
Dior Men shows by Kim Jones are now events. Within only a year, Jones has made the house his very own by cleverly pilfering the archives and using Haute Couture scarve draping for his suiting. He often double-layers the jackets to contrast the lapels and shifts the buttons of double-breasted jackets to the extreme right. The neutral color palette with jolts of blue and orange on shirts and blousons plus the new army boot sneakers looked cool. And yes, this is probably the biggest production value in the men’s arena with a custom-mixed Malcolm McLaren “Deep in Vogue” soundtrack and a set by Daniel Arsham which referenced fictional archeology. Jones proved that there is nobody better than him out there to bring an archival brand forward.