Paris Fashion Week Men’s S/S 2018 editor’s picks
Julien David: Three models dressed in an everyday uniform of jeans and t-shirts sat in the middle of the catwalk as guests arrived at Julien David’s S/S 2018 show. These looks set the tone and David’s interest in re-examining notions of the ordinary. Regular fit jeans, shirts and workwear jackets were all given an ingenious update through their materials and construction. Seams were bonded instead of being stitched, a cheap synthetic chiffon was upgraded to become water and wind proof through a specially developed treatment, and a super light Japanese denim was custom washed at David’s Tokyo base. Sneakers in vegetable-tanned cowhide competed the collection. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Acne Studios: Guest unconventionally entered the presentation via the back entrance. After being escorted through the backstage area, attendees were put in the position of model as the show caller gave a queue to exit the catwalk. Out front, models seated on deck chairs and dressed in the collection watched as press took to the catwalk in a role reversal. Fashion-wise, highlights included longer length trenchcoats cut in linen the same colour of traditional Swedish summer houses. Overblown plaid checks reminiscent of tea towels covered voluminous high-waisted trousers. Tank tops and shrunken sweaters came crocheted, some with embroidered flowers. Slippers and elasticated sandals in an airy basket weave heighten the summer mood. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Wooyoungmi: The notorious LA skater clan Z-Boys and their nonchalant approach to dressing inspired mother-and-daughter designers Mme Woo and Katie Chung this season. Relaxed tailoring dominated, with oversized suit jackets in virgin wool and soft cotton twills. These were often teamed with slouchy cargo pants and sneakers to heighten the laid back attitude. Japanese denim was bleached and worn head-to-toe. Elsewhere it was embroidered upon with a paisley bandana print. Other nods to skater style include a voluminous hoodie, while a plaid shirt came in gauzy double layers of acid yellow. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
AMI: Designer Alexandre Mattiussi paid tribute to the famous Paris-Plages by creating his own magenta sand cityscape as a backdrop to his S/S 2018 show. The designer continued to build on his unique perspective on clothing for the real guy on the street, but this time focusing on the clothing worn by tourists that visit the city. A classic beige mac came with bright green contrast cuffs and was teamed with an Hawaiian shirt, black trousers, topped off with socks and sandals. Other standouts included colour blocked western shirts, trousers and jeans with deep 6in turn ups, and loosely cut bermudas that came in denim, thick stripes and full on florals. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Pierre Hardy: This season Pierre Hardy looked to the work of Ellsworth Kelly for inspiration. Knitted sock boots with moulded rubber soles and basketball high-tops came with graphic block colour sections reminiscent of the artist’s paintings and sculptures. Elsewhere, slippers and elasticated sneakers appeared in decadent silk, printed with abstract shapes. The designer also continued to explore shoe hybrids with striking results: two different styles of brogue where seamlessly spliced together, while a classic loafer last merged with a Birkenstock-style sandal shape.
Mackintosh: For his second season working with Mackintosh, designer Kiko Kostadinov continued to rework the archetypal wardrobe by playing with proportions, minimal construction and unisex fit. Suits resembled uniforms with piping aligning the boxy jackets and wide-leg trousers, while weather-proof outwear came in a feather-light translucent nylon that challenged the perceptions of the classic mac overcoat. Elsewhere knitted jumpers had linear silk details that cut through the body, and jackets with double-layered panels were tied at the hips. A new line of bags crafted from rubberised cotton collection completed the collection.
Haider Ackermann: The designer had a preoccupation with spots and pinstripes for S/S 2018, in his idiosyncratic shapes – tapered trousers, loose tracksuit trousers, vests and expertly skinny cut suits imagined in a variation of patterns. Thin sweaters were insouciantly tied around the neck, jackets around the waist, and swishing coats and shirts were also layered, remaining unbuttoned to reveal a sliver of torso. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Helbers: Paul Helbers continued to reimagine menswear staples for S/S 2018 by taking familiar items and updating them for contemporary life. The infamously pragmatic field jacket was deconstructed piece by piece – the collar height, placement of pockets and buttons, and material have all been reconsidered. As always fabrics are key, this season sees them over-dyed, waxed, embroidered, washed and quilted. Special attention was paid to the weight of coats and blazers, many appeared unlined or in super light materials making them perfect for the summer months. An expanded shoe collection that included a pair of sponge leather crossover slip-ons drove home overall mood of unpolished elegance.
Y/Project: Designer Glenn Martens literally took it to the street this season. Models casually walked straight off the pavement outside of the show venue onto the catwalk. The majority of the models were street cast and the shoes they wore came from secondhand shops around the city that had then been customised by the designer. The collection consisted of familiar sartorial items that had been distorted through layering and a play on proportion. A suede blouson came doubled up as if two of them had been worn upon one another, this also occurred on shirts and trouser waistbands. Elsewhere, jackets and sweaters grew extra arms that could be tied scarf-like or left to hang effortlessly. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
APC: This season, founder Jean Touitou decided to show his S/S 2018 collection in one of his stores and use the staff that work for him as models. What he showed was a wearable collection of desirable wardrobe essentials. A windowpane check jacket in navy looked slick, while a double denim shirt and jeans combo in dark indigo ushered in a utilitarian elegance. Short sleeve shirts were layered over their long sleeve counterpart, and a pair of jeans covered in hand painted splashes by Touitou himself added a personal touch. The brand collaborated with jewellery designer Bunney for the first time on signet rings, a necklace and charms.
Études: The creative collective headed by Jérémie Égry, Aurélien Arbet and José Lamali, payed tribute to their beloved city of Paris for S/S 2018. Out first came a relaxed linen short suit with thick green vertical stripes running through it reminiscent of the colour used by Paris public transport. This was followed by white denim dungarees with a tab the size and style of a Metro ticket attached to its bib. Other garments where adorned with illustrations of landmarks from the cities arrondissements. After seasons of putting women in their menswear, the designers decided to give the girls what they wanted with a fully committed womenswear collection. Standouts included a body con denim jacket worn with matching jeans like as a new city suit, and overall dresses with utility details.
Birkenstock: For its fashion week debut, the German brand erected a verdant greenhouse inside a tent within the Tuileries Gardens. A gang of 40 male and 40 female models weaved around a meandering runway within the space, which was lined with lush and tropical greenery. Its signature sandals- imagined for S/S 2018 with rubberized leather, all over rivets and new metallics- were worn with utilitarian silhouettes in glossy and neutral fabrics, tailor made for the collection. The runway show also marked the brand’s expansion into beds, which were intermingled within the Tuileries Gardens as the perfect perches for weary fashion editors.
Ludovic de Saint Sernin: Designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s debut collection was presented in a brightly lit, plant filled gallery space. Male models dressed in slinky separates that could also be worn by women lounged amongst the greenery. A belted cropped trench with frayed edges in Japanese twill was teamed with trousers in the same fabric, while a pair of elongated flared leather trousers fastened from front to back with eyelets. Elsewhere ceramic glazed discs were linked together to make a vest, and an oversized jacket in butter soft leather hinted at something borrowed from a boyfriend. A deep red patent pochette inspired by Japanese drawstring bags hinted at an underlying eroticism.
G-Star Raw: Executive Creative Director Aitor Throup’s third capsule collection for G-Star Raw saw the designer focusing on denim construction and treatments. 10 pieces were presented in natural calico denim, then replicated in hand dyed indigo to highlight the process. This season also saw the debut of a womenswear collection designed by Throup, which was shown in the same manner. ‘We are coming out of an age when technical and functional design is considered inherently masculine’, said Throup. ‘We believe that our obsession with product design principles is as relevant for women as it is for men’.
Ann Demeulemeester: The label’s creative director Sébastien Meunier immersed himself in the life of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and his time living at the Chelsea Hotel in 70s New York. In a collection presented almost entirely in Demeulemeester black, darkly textured jackets in broderie anglaise were teamed with fluid, wide leg trousers that hit the floor in puddles. Underneath, shirts were long and worn unbuttoned, an overblown flower tied with ribbon around the neck hinted at Mapplethorpe’s famous floral photographs. Elsewhere a velvet dressing gown was worn with short shorts and heavy duty boots, and a web-like vest in fine silver chain which added a touch of toughness. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Pigalle: Designer Stéphane Ashpool staged his S/S 2018 collection at the Musée d’Art Moderne. Continuing his collaboration with Nike, models walked slowly in a serene gallery space stopping to look at marble figures and paintings in a collection with a strong sportswear attitude. Tracksuits came with graphic sections of colour dissecting them a different points, while basketball shorts appeared in terry towelling subtly branded with the Nike logo. A fully pleated hoodie with origami folds, and bomber with its arms constructed from hexagonal metal mesh had an architectural edge. Special edition Air Shake Ndestrukts in pastel shades completed the look.
Officine Generale: Designer Pierre Maheo began the season with doubt, questioning the relevance of the quiet elegance of his label Officine Generale. A breath of fresh air amidst the whirlwind of hard and fast trends, his S/S 2018 offering was strong, stable and sublime. An all-while ensemble opened the show and ushered in an elegant and easy mood. Softly tailored blazers and neat bombers were teamed with double pleated trousers and slim cut jeans with frayed hems. Lightweight jackets and shirts were often tied around the waist in a nonchalant fashion. T-shirts flocked with ’Emotional Rescue’ across their front echoed the Rolling Stones soundtrack.
OAMC: Luke Meier along with his wife Lucie are the newly appointment creative directors of Jil Sander but we will have to wait until September to see what their vision is for the brand. In the meantime Luke Meier continues to forge forward with his own brand OAMC. Construction was key: loosely cut lightweight jackets and parkas floated effortlessly around the body, while a sloppy fit jumper was hand knitted from strips of fabric. The artisanal theme continued with a hand-painted camouflage that swirled in every direction on bombers and shirts. Meier employed design firm Diplomates to create the wooden backdrop that featured a speaker at its heart to literally create a wall of sound.
John Lobb: Artistic director Paula Gerbase presented her S/S 2018 collection- one which marked a evolution of its women’s ready-to-wear- on graphic metal plinths created by the set designer Robert Storey. The plinths were originally displayed against the winding footpaths and blossoming undergrowth of the Penwith Heritage Coast in Cornwall, as part of the brand’s annual Spring Walk. Images of the trek were projected against walls of the presentation space, one which is organised to educate its walkers on the Cornish heritage of the brand’s founder. This was evoked by Gerbase for S/S 2018 in her elevation of organic shades, the use of a textured Morland grain leather and a notched welt inspired by walking boots.
CMMN SWDN: Creative directors, Saif and Emma Bakir looked to the work of the industrial designer Leonard Horowitz for S/S 2018. Horowitz helped to preserve and regenerate Miami Beach’s Art Deco District, populating the area with pastel hued buildings, from the blue hued Park Central to the lemon yellow, sky blue and green Barbizon on Ocean Drive. Horowitz even devised a palette of choice pastel colours, and these tones were emphasised throughout the collection, in striped bowling shirts and silk zipped-sweatshirts, styled with suede jackets, high-waisted shorts and a soupçon of seventies flair.
Both: The white sneaker is officially the dressiest shoe option for gen Z. It was seen on the feet of almost all of the guests attending the S/S 2018 shows in London, Milan and Paris. Both – founded by chemist George Zhu – launched its first collection last year and is dedicated to exploring the possibilities of vulcanized rubber. The line plays with its natural plasticity forming an esoteric spin on lace-up and slip on classics. For S/S 2018 Zhu offers the style in blue, red and orange in homage to German artist Hans Arp.