Although lacking the extravagance of the live shows – the buzzy hordes, the grand locations, and some brand absentees – Paris Men’s Fashion Week’s first digital foray didn’t lose any of its imagination, with many creative directors taking the opportunity to innovate in this new medium.
Here are our best takes from the week,
Homme Plissé Issey Miyake
In an energetic film entitled Meet Your New Self, the Homme Plissé Issey Miyake collection showcased colour and movement. The saturated, solid colours brought brightness while the choreographed performance showed the effortless movement and structure within the designs. While ribbed garments and pops of colour dominated, the collection also heralded patterns such as bleached outings on denim and transferred to polyester.
Dior Men’s king of collaboration, Kim Jones, again looked to the art scene for inspiration. Titled ‘Portrait of an Artist’, Jones celebrated Ghanaian born artist Amoako Boafa’s paintings. One portrait was hand-cut and hand-painted onto a pale grey mink top, another, embroidered on knitwear – a testament to the house’s dedication to craft. The collection – edited at 30 pieces – ultimately saw pieces, coloured with Boafa’s signature, in the form of retro-style knitted shirts, ribbed turtlenecks and dressy cummerbund shorts.
Airy and elevated – Veronique Nichanian’s latest for venerable French maison saw a range of pastel hues and cool fabrics presented in an online film that pointed to the mounting excitement moments before a fashion show. The models were seen in ultra-light suit jackets in pale blues, with loose trousers, the odd pleat and gathered with drawstring waists paired with zip shirts and ultra-light jackets. Playing to its strengths, the house brought attention to its accessories – another favourite outing for the season ahead.
Lockdown’s been tough for Charaf Tajer – a nine-day research trip to Hawaii in March leaving the designer ‘stranded’ for more than a month. But the time-away has done wonders for Casablanca’s collection, which saw psychedelic prints and sunset hues inform typical, retro-inspired silhouettes. These were accompanied by the likes of a classic denim jacket, complete with shell motifs, while short sleeved sweaters and tennis shorts further the retro appeal. Oh, and a cream cashmere terry cloth safari jacket and pants proved an absolute guilty pleasure.
Not content with the current state of play – Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh upended its menswear schedule by going seasonless from Spring 21 – which will be shown with physical runway displays in Shanghai on Aug. 6. As part of Paris Fashion Week, the maison released an animated short film, Zoooom with Friends, that presented and enforced Abloh’s firm messages around diversity. While not a showcase of the pending collection, it still managed to place a focus on LV.
In a first for the acclaimed Italians, designer Kris Van Assche collaborated with American sculptor Brian Rochefort. Here, Assche uses Rochefort’s colourful ceramic patterns across an array of silk shirts, densely textured knits, with flecked patina motifs make a mark on the label’s signature footwear. The complete lookbook for the collection will be released in December.