The Eight Best Collections From the Paris Menswear Shows
As much as I love fashion (and I do!), I am exhausted. It’s been a whirlwind these past three weeks: I’ve visited four fashion capitals and viewed upwards of 200 collections among the runway shows, the Pitti Uomo trade show, and designers’ showroom appointments. And once I get back to New York (if I do; damn you, Winter Storm Juno), the real reflections on the whole experience begin, including piecing together what I ultimately want to share with you through our coverage.
Expect a full recap shortly, but until then, here are a few of my favorite collections and looks from the Paris fall/winter 2015 collections. Those wrapped last night with the Saint Laurent runway show. (One-sentence recap: It was shiny, and Salma Hayek was there.)
Watanabe showed off a lot of his personality—and the precise tailoring for which he’s become known—in this collection. It featured 47 looks of pumped-up formalwear, including patchwork dinner jackets and slim-shouldered topcoats draped over shawl-collar double-breasted suit jackets. (Say that three times fast. Now try wearing it.) It was very dressy, dandy even, but also calmly self-assured. The models, a couple of whom sported facial tattoos and fake beards, filled the Palais de Tokyo with an atmosphere of masculine confidence.
This collection featured country checks, some busy, bright patterns, and a lot of aggressive color-blocked outerwear. By the time this gets recalibrated for stores, I expect you’ll be surprised by how much of it you’ll want to try on.
Dries Van Noten
Van Noten might not be for everyone, but his collections are always cutting-edge while still not seeming insane. At first you may think his toggle coats look like something a fireman might wear, but on second and third glance you’ll realize that a slightly toned-down version would be quite handsome and wearable. It would help you stand out—without inspiring people to ask you for help getting their cat out of a tree.
Alexandre Mattiussi is another top name in the edgy-but-approachable genre. His stuff can be intimidating, but it’s more often appealing. His show had a lot of things I could see a guy wearing on the street today: classic elements like pinstripes used in suiting with a modern, roomier fit, and layering was kept simple. I don’t recommend the normcore-inspired stonewashed jeans, but the trim coats and graphic sweaters might belong on your shopping list this fall.
Thought this was worth a side note: As a general rule, I don’t like menswear on a lady. To me, it’s gimmicky and dilutes the impact of a piece or look. (If you don’t think a man is going to look best in your clothes, don’t show it during menswear week.) That said, I liked the way the model, Audrey Marnay, wore this outfit, which I think was fitted for a woman. The baggy, belted, pleated cream pants (yes, I know!) and the tucked-in V-neck blouse under the long wooly coat—it’s my new autumnal uniform. Just add a neon beanie, and that’s what I will be rocking on repeat come September.
Who else but Hermès could convince me that a man has the right to wear both leather and mink pants? (Yes, mink pants.) The subtle detailing in the inseam and an insouciant bagginess made the trousers in this collection feel more approachable than many of the similar looks I saw this month.
I’m not sure what was more impressive: the 30-plus-person orchestra that performed in the middle of the runway for the entirety of the Dior Homme show, or the sharp, black tie-centric collection that designer Kris Van Assche previewed while the strings and wind instruments played on. It’s a tie, but the “techno sartorial” clothes that trotted down the runway on a collection barely legal boy models definitely made a lasting impression.
This collection was decidedly aimed at rakish, 1970s-loving urbanites. My favorite look was one with a fur-trimmed hood, which you may think is an advanced style but is actually becoming really common on urban men. (Those Canada Goose jackets you all have? Many come with fur lining on top.) Look closely at the discreet details here: The shoulder has some nice piping, the blue suede shoes are actually hiking boots, and the nipped-but-floppy proportions are unusual but well thought out.
Type “luxurious + men’s + clothing” into your search bar. If this collection doesn’t come up, it’s because the Google algorithm hasn’t caught up yet. And the best part is, as good as the clothes look, they feel even better. The materials include four weights of soft cashmere, and that’s just for the base layer.