Menswear fashion week drew to a conclusion for another season yesterday in Paris. Read on to discover our reviews of the Valentino, Lanvin and Paul Smith shows.
Upon reading the phrase ‘silent sedition’ and noting the reference to Picasso, Cocteau and Kerouac in the show notes, it was clear in what direction Valentino were taking their menswear: Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli were set on breaking the usual rules of fashion.
This theory was enforced once the models began to parade down the catwalk, adorned in the haute couture that we would expect from the luxurious Parisian brand – but not as we know it. Silhouettes were loose and languid; shirts billowing over silk trousers. Whilst masculine tartan and camouflage prints featured briefly, the predominant print of the collection was abstract petals, dotted amongst embroidered butterflies and owls. These are all elements that we are used to seeing from the brand’s womenswear collection, not the norm for menswear.
Valentino has always been a creative brand, driven by the artistic side of fashion. This latest collection focused on reinventing everyday staples (the trousers, the polo shirt, the jumper) with great attention paid to impeccably cut silhouettes, sumptuous fabrics and detailed prints. In summary, attempting to turn menswear on its head and encouraging men to break away from the norm and pay more attention to the details.
‘Laidback’ seems to be the word of the season for menswear. Paul Smith enforced a casual aesthetic inspired by the early ‘90s for his Spring/Summer 2015 collection; modernising his designs with a focus on fabric, colour and print.
The spectacular Bouse de Commerce was transformed into an English garden for the occasion, with the potted plants that lined the runway also appearing as the focal print that decorated the clothing. Bold flowers and ferns adorned loose-fitting pyjama trousers and trophy T-shirts whilst vivid ombre stripes featured on languid knits.
The colour palette of purple, blue, orange and green flashed between vividly hued bursts and softer pastel shades; emulating the terracotta plant pots, luscious green leaves and colourful blooms that one may find in a typical garden. Akin to the Valentino show, silhouettes were loose and flowing. Voluminous trousers appeared in silk, tartan, printed and plain cotton varieties – offering options suitable for both work and play. Unstructured blazers, lightweight knits and fine cotton T-shirts provided the building blocks of an effortless summer wardrobe.
Providing the direct contrast to the nonchalant demeanour seen at Valentino and Paul Smith, Lanvin showcased their interpretation of the modern man.
Trousers and suits were cut slim and sleek, paired with skinny shirts or T-shirts and statement shoes; fusing the elegance and luxury renowned from the Lanvin design house with a contemporary active aesthetic. Stitched was artfully unravelled on the hems of trousers and seams of leather jackets, depicting clothes that could be lived in and weren’t just for show. Flashes of ruby red and a scattering of damson and navy punctuated the predominantly monochromatic colour palette, preventing the collection from appearing too harshly.
Ultimately, menswear designer Lucas Ossendrijver provided a middle ground for style-conscious males; offering luxury garments that fuse the quality and glamour associated with Lanvin yet are highly wearable and relevant to contemporary life.