Mood board: Minimal and sharp, these clothes had a city slickness to them, with no frills or highfalutin proposals on gender. The look was direct and masculine. ‘I wanted to go beyond streetwear, to find a new form of sophistication, to place value on design and craftsmanship,’ artistic director Lucas Ossendrijver said. ‘I wanted to rediscover a more intimate form of luxury.’ He explored contrasts; daytime and evening, fullness and flatness. A strip of fabric sewn between the layers of a bomber jacket inflated the garment, giving it volume as it moved. A tattoo artist created a series of prehistoric animal drawings, mystical symbols, stars and insects printed on silk shirts.

Best in show: The clothes were dynamic. A real proposition for men with a metropolitan sensibility. S/S 2019 had none of the poetry or loucheness seen elsewhere this season; there wasn’t a bias cut drape, couture cuff or elaborate textile. There was no subverting of archetypes. Ossendrijver was more forthright. Summer suiting had sheer backs; a long shirt had a regular cotton crepe t-shirt back and could be worn either way. There were lots of different trousers too, some cropped with slight flare, skinny with cargo pockets and wide with straps at the cuffs. Arms were free, jumpers undone into tabards, padded parkas worn open and asymmetrically. Zip up sides on gilets were left open, giving movement and undoneness to the look. A technical jacket was worn on the shoulders of a tailored coat. A jacket collar was gathered to suggest a hood.

Scene setting: There have been some wow sets this season – a 200-metre-long rainbow runway at Louis Vuitton. A colossal BFF by KAWS made out of fresh roses at Dior. Galliano borrowed surrealist vanitas works by the American artist Tony Matelli and placed them into Margiela’s atelier. Ermenegildo Zegna’s show was held in the shadow of Oscar Niemeyer’s Mondadori building in Milan. Yet, there is real impact when a designer has the confidence to strip the set to the minimum.

Ossendrijver took us deep into the basement of the Palais de Tokyo. Its unfinished walls and concrete floors said nothing – the staging was bare but for the finale which saw the models race down the spiral staircase through a cloud of smoke into darkness. They walked in random directions as if rushing to catch trains or get to work. ‘That echoes the collection – opposites: day and night,’ Ossendrijver said backstage of the frenzied choreography. There was a fury – an aggression. The models walked with a sense of unknown purpose, striding – zig-zagging – between us. Just getting on with it.