Designers at Paris Fashion Week decode new menswear sartorial rules
Would you wear a midi-length skirt with your grey jacket to work? One look at Thom Browne’s models and they seemed perfectly at ease sporting skirts in all possible variations. While man skirts are nothing new — Riccardo Tisci and Jean Paul Gaultier have reimagined them in the past, Mr Browne’s take on the man skirt was rather charming. On one hand, there was gender fluidity seen in terms of silhouette at Thom Browne, Comme des Garçons Homme Plus presented head-to-toe electrifying shine-on sequins — teaming waistcoats with sequinned bermudas in neon tones. On the other hand, logo mania raged at Dior Homme with models sporting logo-kissed skinny scarves — a nod to what Maria Grazia Chiuri is doing for the label’s womenswear. Dries Van Noten sprinkled his line with Hawaiian prints — a major runway story. So all in all what’s SS18 looking like? The knee-length waistcoats seem to be trending and leather seems to be the go-to element for most designers. The overall focus has been on mixing proper with perverse, sublime with ridiculous and banal with avant-garde. It all depends on how comfortable you are taking these risks...
Inspiration: A pair of baby shoes
Trust the maverick Thom Browne to reinterpret men's suiting in a palate-cleansing manner. The designer who's often almost seen in a grey jacket (the label's insignia) worn with a pair of tailored shorts, sent out his army of butch men sporting a panoply of skirts - from pencil and midi style to maxi and pleated versions.
Crafted from traditional menswear fabrics like seersucker, wool and poplin, the designer also flirted with the wedding style by fusing a tuxedo with a full-skirted dress. The Thom Browne clan clearly likes midi-length double-breasted suits, top coats and tunics.
Vibe: A love letter to France
The marinière Breton stripes were the leitmotif throughout this monochromatic offering - extrapolated with excess and exactitude of Balmain. Olivier's take no prisoners approach to beading, fringing and piping came to the forefront yet again. Think tuxedo beaded jackets, embellished bombers and jumpers - all teamed with skinny denims. Some pieces had a sliver of Americana while others looked like a tribute to Chanel's menswear runway pieces and there was a strong Mugler and Yves Saint Laurent undercurrent too. The womenswear punctuating the line had all the va va voom of the Balmain glamazon - body-con beaded minis worn with lace tights.
The line was majorly influenced by Haider Ackermann’s own personal style — from the drape of the neck scarf to the popping of the collars to the sashes wrapped around the waist. A buttery palette of cream, off-white, ochre, lilac, cognac and buttercup yellow accented the grey ensembles. There was a push on artful layering — a neon zipper jacket was layered with a knee-length top coat, a souvenir bomber was thrown under a trench. The trouser hems were either cuffed and cut above the knee showing a hint of the ankle or grazed the shoes. A jewel-toned double breasted suit stood out and so did a bottle neck v-neck jumper.
Inspiration: Sarah Burton's trip to Iceland
This leather-heavy line-up was an extension of Sarah’s last pagan-inspired womenswear offering. The label’s characteristic broderie anglaise techniques gave it a soul-searing edge. From the double-breasted knee-length top coats to leather waistcoats to the camel and trench coats — this was perhaps the most ‘non-summer’ line-up yet gorgeous in details and execution. From the vibrant knits, biker jackets presented with shearling collars to the puffer jackets — there was a push on construction and tailoring.