Turning fashion into viral content is every luxury brand’s dream. Louis Vuitton’s men’s collection show for next fall, presented last Thursday in Paris, has patented a new way to achieve this. For fifteen minutes, the models paraded through a stage created by Michel and Olivier Gondry and inspired by a teenage bedroom – and in which it wasn’t hard to see a tribute to Virgil Abloh, the brand’s creative director until his sudden death in the Year 2021 – they’ve done it around a presence capable of taming any stage. Rosalía, chosen as the show’s musical curator, narrated several Motomami songs and even had time to get emotional with Camarón in a presentation whose boundaries go beyond those of the traditional show and which aims to transform fashion into entertainment.
The result – of hypnotic precision, like all the Catalan initials – was also the consecration of the obsessions that have characterized this phase of Vuitton: extreme craftsmanship – with hand-painted and embroidered bags – and the spirit of collaboration. Designer Colm Dillane, founder of Kidsuper, coordinated the collection as a guest designer. Some of the most impressive garments, such as those based on an extremely intricate patchwork of fabrics, colors and patterns, refer to their language. Abloh’s legacy, in turn, is embodied in concepts such as community and culture that defend this fashion, even if it is only accessible to a minority at prohibitive prices, must speak of its time and look beyond its borders to attract new audiences.
Rosalía, at the Louis Vuitton show at Paris Men’s Fashion Week, on January 19, 2023. EMMANUEL DUNAND (AFP) More information
In comparison, the other shows adopted more conventional formats, which needn’t be a problem. They demanded attention, for example, the Dior Men models, which appeared twice: on the catwalk and on huge screens. The collection signed by Kim Jones is more melancholy and brutal than the previous ones, with a muted color palette but that emphasizes the preciousness of the materials.
The double parade of Dior Men in Paris, with one in person and the other on screens.GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT (AFP)
At Hermès, Véronique Nichanian mixes fabrics and fibers: braided leather, overlays of different knits, leather appliqués on tailoring and visible stitching. Its collections dialogue in reassuring continuity season after season, but it escapes no one that it was one of the first companies to bring tailoring up to date through technology.
A model presents a knit sweater at the Hermès show January 21 in Paris.Christophe Ena (AP)
The renewal of the formal goes through this hybrid formula. On the one hand, there are more and more tailored suits, jackets and coats on the catwalks. On the other hand, the print of sportswear – technical fabrics, practical details, pockets, zippers and hoods – coexists with the techniques and fabrics of the most luxurious women’s fashion. The same duality is present at Givenchy, where Matthew M. Williams proposes razor-sharp leather jackets and zip-up shorts that become winter-ready when paired with tall boots.
The jackets from the Givenchy show in Paris EMMANUEL DUNAND (AFP)
Looking at the floor is a common practice at women’s fashion shows, where footwear has always had a special relevance, but also in men’s collections, especially since athletic shoes have appeared as objects of desire. The ballerinas and ankle boots designed by Jonathan Anderson for Loewe speak of a certain aesthetic calm that, as is usual with the Northern Irish, excludes boredom. Anderson, who on this occasion was inspired by classical painting – and that of the artist Julian Nguyen – in the choice of his materials (parchment shirts, leather clothing and even a copper jacket), has presented an impressive collection with few bright colors and different coups: huge bell-shaped down coats, angel wing harnesses and suede garments that have been brushed to give it a vintage texture. “Men’s fashion is a challenge and a platform to address other issues,” the designer commented after the show, where there was no shortage of a new twist on his puzzle bag, this time in the form of a large leather bag with geometric cuts.
A moment of the Dries Van Noten show in Paris Michel Euler (AP)
Paris Fashion Week is associated with the veterans of the avant-garde. Belgian Dries Van Noten draws inspiration from electronic music without renouncing the proverbial delicacy of his fabrics – silk, embossed knit, velvet – and his prints, this time of botanical stitches. Issey Miyake’s Homme Plissé show paid homage to the choreographic fluidity and sophistication of the brand’s founder, who passed away last summer. Yohji Yamamoto, the patriarch of deconstruction, cultivates his own classicism: layering, muted and close tones and a fluid silhouette, between monastic and sporty.
Darkness and layered tones at Yohji Yamamoto’s presentation at Paris Fashion Week in January 2023. GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT (AFP)
Rick Owens, on the other hand, shows with his passion for the color black, gothic textures, skin (including fish), seventies references and cuts that show the body, why more and more young designers are using it as a reference. One such self-confessed fan is Ludovic de Saint Sernin, who, while waiting to present his first collection as Ann Demeulemeester’s artistic director – he will be doing so at Paris Women’s Fashion Week in March – returned to a mixed show with roots in the fashion world in his fascination with early 2000s fashion: sheer, relaxed knitwear and re-imaginings of hits like lederhosen with bodice details.
Rick Owens’ gothic universe on the Paris Men’s Fashion Week catwalk GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT (AFP)
De Saint Sernin found an interest in fashion through his childhood television shows and magazines. For Emily Bode, the founder of the Bode company, the seeds were planted from family memories and the wardrobes of her mother’s and grandmother’s generation. So he transformed the stage of the Théâtre du Chatelet into a recreation of a garden, showcasing classical costumes with handcrafted nods to American folklore. It wasn’t the only reinterpretation of tailoring from the roots: Bianca Saunders alluded to her Jamaican heritage, and Wales Bonner did the same with icons of mid-20th-century black culture. Marine Serre, who closed the day on Saturday, asserted the saving power of clothes between large cages of used clothes, alluding to the ecological catastrophe and the responsibility of the textile industry.
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