Comme des Garçons Hommes Plus S/S 2019 at Paris Fashion Week Men’s
Mood board: Our lives are shaped by people wearing jeans and sneakers in coffee shops in Silicone Valley. They aren’t decked out in suits and ties in giant city boardrooms; the dress codes of menswear have changed to reflect a looser, more liberal multiplicity ushered in by the digital age. In their heyday, tailored suits endured as icons of style and greed, perhaps best exemplified in the 1980 film ’American Gigolo’. Julian played by Richard Gere is devilishly suited and driven by money. The immaculate protagonist of Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 book ’American Psycho’ is high on power as an investment banker during the Wall Street boom. Both characters have a seedy sprezzatura. Politicians, bankers – to a generation, suits are now a symbol of what is wrong with the world. Leave it to Rei Kawakubo to choose this moment to re-introduce suiting. She is a designer who lets the clothes speak. The theme for her S/S 2019 show was simply ‘crazy suits’. And boy did she deliver on those.
Best in show: Models wore rubber wigs set in the manner of classic 1950s gentleman’s hair styles; suits were brash and wild. Opening looks included a two piece shorts suit. Small strips of silk in tonal shades of green had been cut with pinked edges and applied like a frothy camouflage. Polyester mix double breasted jackets and trousers were harshly ruched. Madras check and multicolour striped versions looked like glitched photocopies. A lilac suit had gaffa tape applied under the arm; a warm pink three button jacket had sides cut away and replaced with ruched elastic straps. Athletic zip up hoodies and fluro aertex t-shirts were shrunken and pulled tight over the top of blazers.
Finishing touches: Behind the footwear for S/S 2019 were two carry over collaborations. A deconstructed space-age boot made with Swedish brand Spalwart lent the surreal suiting a futuristic bravado. The non-lacing cages on Nike’s Presto model had the uppers cut away to form a hybrid sandal trainer.