Saint Laurent It seems like many designers this season and playing around with the notion of genders, and Saint Laurent is no exception. Hedi Slimane does not create rigid definitions of masculinity or femininity, and it seems as though the youth he’s designing for borrow from one another. “I just issued a project called Paris Sessions, which is about a young generation of musicians in Paris, and the show is about them, really. It is an homage”, said Slimane. we love the blazers, coats, and striped top. Dior Homme: Designer Kris Van Assche has a very particular vision for the Dior Homme man, and it’s one that we absolutely love. The designer is exercising his own incredible talents while playing around with the Dior codes. For this collection, Van Assche treaded softly on the fine line between evening wear and casual wear, mixing suits with sneakers and leather with denim. The floral pins was a beautiful way of reintroducing the feminine motif. Don’t you just love how the orchestra played live music in identical suits and ultra-modern white sneakers? Bravo Van Assche. No wonder Karl Lagerfeld is a fan of this young designer. Acne: When describing this eclectic collection, designer Jonny Johansson used the words football, Harris tweed, and jogging. It’s about things that men like. Johansson might be addressing his male consumers but he surely had women in mind when designing, as he presented scarves with words like “Gender Equality” and “Radical Feminist” printed on them. It seems like most designers are eager to make explicit statements through their garments this season and Johansson jumped on the bandwagon. The designer also played around with English staples and surprising lengths. We suspect the bulky shoes are going to be a hit. Kenzo: Designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have managed to turn Kenzo into an iconic, era-defining, youth-wearing, street style staple brand, so, really, they can do no wrong. It’s always about combining fashion and function without sacrificing the former for the latter. Leon commented on how the functions of clothes are changing from year to year, as we reach technological advances, and deal with climate issues such as global warming. They intentionally offered a collection, Presented in Jean Nouvel’s just-opened Philharmonie de Paris, that can work all year round. Needless to say, we love the sweaters, a staple that the duo have skillfully mastered. Comme des Garçons: While everyone is walking on one path, Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo is walking on another. There was something eerily dark about the clothes this collection, and we’re not just talking about the color palette, which mostly consisted of black. There was a ceremonial feel to it all. For contrast, Kawakubo collaborated with tattoo artist Joseph Ari Aloi (AKA JK5), who created completing tattoo-like pieces with scribbles on them consisting of messages like “Born to Die” and “Fight of Your Demons”. Now that we think of it, it’s not like Kawakubo to ignore what’s been happening the real world and not reinterpret it through fashion. Loewe: It’s amazing how Jonathan Anderson has rebuild Loewe from the ground up. He has turned a forgotten label into a brand with strong youth-appeal. Just look at his Loewe campaigns that he created using some of Steven Miesel’s most iconic images. Let’s not forget that the prodigy is doing wonders at his own namesake label. For this collection, Anderson was interested in the clothes that lay at the back of your wardrobe.”The clothes in your closet that make you wonder why you bought them”, he said. Anderson’s clothes, although beautiful, are never straight-forward. “It sparks a personal question and a cultural question,” he says, adding, “It’s giving people something more…provocation, excitement.” You certainly checked that box Anderson.
Ricardo Tisci openly discussed the sinister appeal of this dark collection, even though the clothes spoke for themselves. The collection was inspired by spirituality, spooky souvenirs one collected (displayed around the venue), and the devil. The details of the garment were immaculate, and sometimes the womenswear overshadowed the menswear. The Native-American prints will definitely be big next year. This collection would have been incomplete with makeup artist’s Pat McGarth’s talented touch. She created looks that were in-between the horrifying and the beautiful. Everyone was talking about that shell face-mask.
Kris Van Assche:
Thank God Kris Van Assche is designing for his own namesake label, as well as Dior Homme, so he can creatively exercise everything and anything his heart desires. This season’s theme? The modern-day warrior. It’s about “taking camouflage out of a military context and putting him into the city. It’s a guy on a bike, not a guy with a gun”, Van Assche explained. We love how he reinterpreted collage prints by blowing them up and placing them strategically on the gorgeous garments. However, there’s nothing about this collection that says discreet invisibility.
The collection might seem safe, but the inspiration behind it was anything but. Designer Jean Touitou mentioned the song “N****s in Paris” when explaining where the collection stemmed from. Think chains, Timberlands, and an array of jackets and coats. When designing, he had artists like Kanye West and Jay Z in mind, but the collection still conveyed demure elegance somehow.
Cerruti 1881 Paris
Aldo Maria Camillo was thinking about artist Joseph Beuys for this collection, proving that fashion and art always go hand in hand, and that you can never go wrong by combining the two. He did not translate it in the most obvious way, rather depicting the artist’s essence, saying, “I didn’t want to show a remake of what Beuys was, but to show him in a way that was understandable, and in new shapes and fabrications.”
Undercover’s designer Jun Takahashi looked at both the past and the future for this collection while staying put in the present. Sounds paradoxical? Look through the collection and you’ll understand. Takahashi used William Blake illustrations and appropriated them into his blazers, while outerwear pieces had iPhone 6-sized pockets. We love how the collection was held together with a stunning shade of electric blue. Indeed this collection had No (B)orders.
Véronique Nichanian’s latest collection for Hermès is an evolution of what she became a master at achieving: understated casual-wear in the most luxurious of fabrics. It’s this kind of juxtaposition that makes Hermès such a desirable yet unattainable brand. However, there was something a little more youthfully urban about these clothes.
Although most of the clothes were oversized, they seems to fit the models perfectly if that makes sense. There were a lot of pinstripes and suits but the general vibe was young and edgy, a balance that is easier said than achieved, but Alexandre Mattiussi has. Even the female models, who wore menswear looks, just had the clothes tweaked a little bit here and there to maintain the casual look. Well done Mattiussi!
Paul & Jo
If some of the shows this season have left you feeling a little overwhelmed, leave it to Paul & Jo’s Sophie Mechaly to bring you back down to earth, as the designer has always prioritized accessible fashion. This collection however, had a lot of references, including Mangolian nomads, cartoon strips and folklore. The staples, like the wool pants and cardigans were still there, as well as the signature Paul & Jo animal print garments. The best pieces in the collection? It has to be the reversible sheepskin coats.
The name itself is synonymous with ageless, iconic elegance, so you can expect no less from the label’s AW15 show. What is so wonderful about Sir Paul Smith himself is his vast collection of archives to borrow references from. “The skill of being a designer is to have a very childlike outlook on life. Like Picasso said, even as he got older he tried to have the eyes of a child and to paint with freedom”, said the designer.
It seems like death is a popular theme in menswear shows this season, as shown in this somber Thom Browne collection. The designer was inspired by the exhibition Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire in New York’s Metropolitan Museum, without even going to see it. The title was stimulating enough. The concept might sound moody, but Browne took it towards a romantic direction, and was thinking about the respect given to those who have passed. The beautiful tailoring was complemented by over-the-top but equally beautiful headgear.
This label is definitely one to watch. The creative forces behind it are the mother and daughter duo, Woo Young Mi and Katie Chung, whose contrasting aesthetics make the clothes as interesting as they are beautiful. This collection was inspired by the way people looked like after work; disheveled, carefree, and nonchalantly elegant.