Paris Fashion Week is known for elegance and yet pushing the edge more and more each time, what was seen on this fourth day was precisely the case but with an incredible ease of wearability. One great example is Maison Martin Margiela, although the show was pretty reflective of Viktor & Rolf’s “Glamour Factory,” the label still delivered real pieces that real men wear. Classic coats with contrasting collars, splashes of color here and there, truthfully there wasn’t much newness but it was impeccably done and it was chic. Petar Petrov was another to prove that he understood the male consumer, but rather than using color his collection was pretty monotone. Again wearable clothes that men will actually buy, it would’ve very easily have been a boring showing but the absolute treats we saw were the raspberry colored shoes. Unimpressive were the shows at Miharayasuhiro and Bernhard Willhelm, at the Japanese house what we saw was school boy charm meets grunge with low crotched pants and leather jackets. It had the potential to have been so much more but rather than to push the edge and surprise us, what we saw were men wearing Pete Doherty’s wardrobe. At Willhelm what we saw was a mute collection of striped tanks and leather jackets with prints and tapered pants. Although young, it was eclectic to the point of chaos, not one outfit complimented another which resulted in a showing of a hodgepodge.
Now if what you want is elegance with incredible wearability, then Dior Homme is sure to delight. Although the inspiration was Sherlock Holmes, it was a bit Orthodox jew meets Parisian elegance, almost a bit Schindler’s List. The collection was completely done in black and grey, and alike the film with a pop of red at the finale. Leaving the inspiration aside, the collection was minimal with loose-fitting pants and cashmere reversible collar-less coats. It was very minimal but incredibly well done, and thus Dior delivered to the real man. At Damir Doma what we saw was also a monotone collection with a bit more edge. It was twenties’ style set to contemporary times with a hint of Amish. Relaxed fitting pants, kurta-like shirts, chain-mail inspired sweaters, and belted bigger than life coats all were present with grunge boots. The pieces almost looked like something a twenty year old Karl Lagerfeld would wear. It was rock but with a conservative style. Boris Bidjan Saberi attempted to do the same but played it too safe which resulted in too boring. The only innovation was the experimental collar lines, but take those away and you’re left with boring sown fabric.
One place where fabric was definitely put to well use was at Kenzo. It was classic thirties’ style tuned to the modern man. The tones ranged from neon green to mustard yellow, with a mix of plaid and argyle. Leather pants, skirts, and well-tailored suits, it was a mixed gamble that paid off. It resulted in a very wearable, very fun, and very elegant collection. Another gamble that paid off was Raf Simons, it was very minimal, with experimental cuts and skirt lines, but with the eccentric use of color, the overall result was young, fresh, and innovative. It was also a bit the same at Ann Demeulemeester where we saw feminine fitted shapes but with a tough rock and roll edged attitude which resulted in an androgynous yet masculine collection. Expect leather and suede mostly in black with eye-popping displays of color which truly make the collection young and a definite treat.
Ann Demeulemeester (Left) Hermes (Center) Raf Simons (Right)
Lastly, although we’ve seen more edge and have come to expect it from Hermes, they’ve proven that even when safe, Hermes is always a good bet. Their collection ranged from leather jumpsuits to leather coats with fitted cardigans and loose-fitting pants. It was casual, it was marvelously well done, it was a bit world traveler, what someone always on the go would wear. When classic elegance is impeccable, edge is not always needed.