Men’s Paris Fashion Week Report SS20
Welcome to the FROW…Part Three.
Last, and by no means least, there’s Paris. The shows may be coming to an end but the endless rotation of killer looks keeps coming from menswear buyers Dean Cook, Lee Goldup, Thom Scherdel, Joseph Brunner, and Browns CEO Holli Rogers. Adam Katz Sinding (@aks) has shot them all so you can see. PFW SS20 highlights are coming in hot!
Introducing Heron Preston’s ‘Concrete Jungle’. SS20 was the designer’s ode to New York, fusing two decades’ worth of big-city life experiences into a collection which represented his idealised version of the place he calls home. The iconic workwear-inspired aesthetic and use of high-vis remained, but mixed with his own reinterpretation of tailoring; more feminine pieces imbued with his signature edge and casual graphic-heavy pieces…all styled with his recent Nike By You Air Max 720/95 sneakers of course. It’s Heron Preston’s world, we’re just living in it.
Eco-warriors, listen up! Virgil Abloh’s latest Off-White collection, ‘PLASTIC’, is one to watch. Surrounded by endless rows of flowers, oversized tailoring, standout painterly prints, 90s style layered tees, padded jackets and graffiti-strewn white denim all made an appearance on the runway. Presented “in conversation” with artist Lenny McGurr (aka Futura), SS20 brings the phrase “Reduce, reuse, recycle” to mind, with some of the artist’s older paintings reworked as fabric in reference to Off-White’s past. The stars of the show were the Nike Dunk Lows created in collaboration with Futura - to ensure you’re always putting your best foot forward.
Raf Simons transported his audience to his very own sci-fi summer camp. His focus remained on youth culture, while looking back to his own adolescence during the late 80s by paying tribute to his home country Belgium and Ghent-based record label R&S. Prim coats, tiny shorts and slouchy knitwear showcased monochrome patches with slogans like “Stone(d) America,” “How To Text Your Teen” and “My Own Private Antwerp”; lab coats showcased the distinct logo of R&S Records and it was no surprise that drug motifs were seen throughout. A healthy addiction to this Belgian designer’s latest collection is imminent.
In Palais De Tokyo’s grounds, Rick Owens created a space which felt under construction. Fitting when his SS20 focus was the wall which separates Mexico and the US, resulting in a poignant collection inspired by his Mexican roots. References to his family were seen throughout; his cousins wore Champion growing up, so he collaborated with the sportswear mogul to create togas, loincloths, and briefs. The collection was named ‘Tecuatl’ after his grandmother’s maiden name, and the Aztec eagle logo of the United Farm Workers Association featured across T-shirts and oversized shirts. These represented the struggles of his childhood, and all proceeds from the sales of these pieces went directly towards supporting the cause.
Husband and wife duo Luke and Lucie Meier presented an evolution of their point of view for SS20, while successfully honouring the tailored and elevated sensibility of Jil Sander. Proving that opposites do attract, the SS20 collection focussed on opposing aesthetics, playing with contrasting silhouettes and colours. Tailoring was equal parts sharp and relaxed; printed stripes sat alongside botanical designs, neutral palettes were undercut by rich hues and elongated tops were paired with cropped bottoms.
Sander Lak has lots to say; he addressed toxic stereotypes on masculinity for his menswear debut at Sies Marjan and we heard him loud and clear. Prescribing a healthy dose of introspection for SS20, he encouraged us to start feeling comfortable in our own skin, with an impactful collection aimed at the emotionally-intelligent, self-aware man who dresses for himself. Showcasing elevated minimalism alongside colourful maximalism, the easy-to-wear, versatile pieces included unstructured trench coats in rich hues, oversized zebra-print cardigans and tied waists that could be undone with a single pull (cheeky - we love it).
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have sat at Kenzo’s helm for eight years, but with SS20 came their swansong. The native Californians returned to their greatest inspiration for their final show, with marine references throughout. Underwater hues, diving gear reimagined as outwear, suiting realised in neoprene, jackets with sailor collars, shrimp prints, mermaid jacquards and fishnet dotted with pearls. Solange Knowles’ half time performance was a continuation of this theme, echoing the melancholic tones of mermaids. One thing’s for sure - you’ll definitely be making a splash in this collection.
“For the second season in a row I was incredibly impressed with 1017 ALYX 9SM and what Matthew is doing there,” menswear buyer Lee said of the brand. “His take on modern tech tailoring and elevated streetwear is where it’s at right now. I also loved seeing his wife Jennifer walk the show, as she’s such an important part of their team.” If you’re showing the world you mean big business then this high-tech, environmentally-friendly collection is an obvious choice. Think trim suiting, tapered trousers, military vests, a series of adjustable layered cowls and sleek belted macs.
Merci beaucoup Paris. La fin!