As the shows came to a close in Paris, the last days of shows also brought a concluding sequence of events to the menswear calendar. Whether it be with the desert tones of the Kenzo show, a lunar landscape at Wooyoungmi or the Cuban leitmotif at Umit Benan, Schön! guides you through the tumultuously enthralling voyage of the last days of Paris Men’s Fashion Week.
The set design at Kenzo trumped everything else we’d seen. With a oneiric desert-cum-mars scene, guests navigated their way through boulder pillars and sand dunes. Models twisted and turned their way through the revolving stones, unveiling a sandy, olive and delicately blue collection. With sleek one pieces, worker-esque functionality and accessories fit for explorers, the Kenzo man was as utilitarian as he was geometrically sound.
In a whirring, circular sound bath, the sacai models emerged draped and wrapped in succulent prints and delectable textures. Checkered pieces, lines, frills, florals were confounded and blurred in minutely layered outfits. The concentrated effort and attention to detail of the compositions was poetic – something very delicate ran throughout the colour motifs – and yet the single pieces remained perfectly wearable. Nothing short of success, in fact.
Wooyoungmi flew us to the moon for an out-of-this-world show, with models donning futuristic textures and textiles in deconstructed, tailored looks. Wide-legged trousers and space-suit like silver metallics had us enthralled, while the one-piece brought a wonderfully imaginative dose of astronaut-chic to the collection.
For Parisians with impeccable taste, a refined appreciation of excellence and a unparalleled sense of sartorial style, Alexandre Matiussi represents an unequivocally brilliant mastermind. His spring/summer 2016 AMI collection was a dapper street conscious one, with silky sleek cuts light cotton suits and polka dot shirts. He certainly had us convinced that high-waists were the best thing to come out of this season of shows.
As the Tao Dance Theatre troupe emerged on the runway at Y-3, it was clear Yohji had a performance conscious collection to show us. Sure enough, the models appeared clad in tech-fabrics, sinewy shapes and signature adidas triple lines. The volumes of textiles brought sportswear into a different dimension entirely – in true Yohji form – and were infallibly svelte.
The boundary-breaking, gender-busting Hood By Air show was held in the newly finished Philharmonie de Paris. Shayne Oliver built a delightfully fetishistic collection – one that was saccharine sweet all the while, with a sugary palette of purples, off-whites and greys. Oliver literally cut up conventions, strapping pieces together, mocking conventional patterns and giving two fingers up to gender conformity. Zippers opened up the pieces to thighs, ribs and navels, while models mouths were held open with ever so slightly kinky bejewelled cheek retractors.
Sandro took us into a ‘70s trance, with cool, wide and airy cuts – Chelsea boots and tantalisingly smart trenches sent us into a Parisian dream. Tailored denim pieces and jackets tucked into high-waists were brilliantly sharp testaments to the fact that Ilan Chetrite was on-point for spring/summer 2016.
It was a ‘70s Cuba that Umit Benan resurrected for his charmingly nostalgic collection – not only soothing his guests into a cool slumber with Mojitos, the sonorous Latin tones of the soundtrack complimented a very Latin cast of models. In military pieces, Benan crafted an elegant tribute to Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, with tightly cut cotton apparel. It was a whirling time-capsule – one that sent the onlooker into a dreamy haze as models emerged through the green foliage of La Rotonde. The cinched waists and pinstripe denim looks were particularly sharp.