Can you think of anything better then Paris Fashion Week? Paris Men’s Fashion Week, of course, and as always, the Fall 2018 collections were stellar, marked by major comings and goings. Kim Jones went out with a bang during his last collection for Louis Vuitton with supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss closing the show. At Off-White, Virgil Abloh elevated “Casual Fridays” to extremes, pairing sweatshirts and anoraks with dress trousers. Abloh’s oversized, cropped teddy coat is one of the most coveted pieces of the season. Alexander McQueen was all about super-long topcoats. While Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain Army went to war in the chicest military-inspired pieces in various shades of army green.
John Galliano at Maison Margiela made a bold statement in vibrant primary colored rain coats and rain gear in stark white and PVC. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Valentino went ultra-edgy with head-to-toe, all black and navy ensembles accented by dramatic smudged eyeliner. Rick Owens and Thom Browne did what they do best, they told a story through the runway. Thom Browne was inspired by his school days, sending out men in thermals, pigtails and eye catching outerwear. Keep scrolling to see the top 10 shows from Paris Fashion Week Men’s Fall 2018. At Dior Homme, 90s tribal tattoos were reimagined into a print, in addition to being shaved onto models’ heads.
Marking the end of an era, Kim Jones celebrated his last menswear collection designing for Louis Vuitton. In just the last year, Jones has established himself as a cult figure in luxury streetwear, namely through the label’s iconic collaboration with skate brand Supreme last year. In another appeal to the growing millennial client who values “doing over owning”, or experiences over possessions, Jones took his own aerial photographs during a trip to Kenya in 2017 and translated them into sophisticated prints evoking rough earthy textures. Hiking boots, backpacks, and anorak jackets clearly evoke a vibrant athletic energy along with the designer’s inspiration to get outdoors and explore the world. Metallics and mineral tones lend a modern, technical vibe to the clothing — more glamorous than “off the grid”. Leggings were paired with sweat-shorts and emblazoned with the LV logo print for a sleek layered look. “I thought this was a nice way to leave”, Jones states while referencing a cozy cashmere sweater with “peace and love” printed below the logo. One thing’s for sure, Kim Jones bittersweet departure will leave a lasting legacy and set the stage for the next chapter.
Titled “Business Casual”, architect-turned-designer Virgil Abloh explored a world all too familiar to the majority of us and translated mundane office dress codes into something you’ll actually want to wear. Taking heavy quest from the 80’s and early 90’s, the show opens with a boxy grey pinstriped blazer and baggy pants combo, updated with Off-White’s embroidered logo and and cool suede boots. Another look took “casual Friday” at the office to the streets by topping a standard shirt and tie with a vintage inspired cobalt blue windbreaker. The collection covers all the basics— from t-shirts to hoodies, jeans, and sweatpants, Abloh incorporates his own (literal) twist on separates by twisting seams around the body for added style points to basics you probably already own; yours just aren’t this cool.
Designer Pierpaolo Piccioli challenges masculinity in his Fall men’s collection for Valentino. Individual expression was celebrated and men are encouraged to think for themselves with his subtle rebellion of the traditional business suit. Deep blacks and navy are tempered with pops of bright yellow, green, pink, and fuchsia in effort to celebrate differences. Inspiration was derived from Italian Renaissance painter Lorenzo Lotto, who’s work lends a romantic drama to the collection. Zip up parkas and fluid track pants paired with turtlenecks and double-breasted overcoats evoke the laid-back ease of dressing that fashion continues to crave. Smudged eyeliner and sharp spikes sprinkled along the hem of jackets keep the collection edgy.
“It was taking this very classic British wardrobe and subverting it, turning it on its head,” explains Sarah Burton. Maintaining the late Alexander McQueen’s signature sense of tailoring and fantastical drama, the current designer curated looks referencing the fashion house’s early menswear collections while managing to bring history into the modern era. Done in a romantic blood red and black color palette, pieces are done in luxurious Savile Row fabrics and the cinched hourglass waists and bold “exploded” shoulders bring a subversion to typical men’s codes. Oversized shirts hang out of sweater vests, sophisticated shearling coats are paired with side strip track pants, and long flowing trench coats are tied around the waist of classic pinstriped or “Prince of Wales” checked suits for a moody, deconstructed take on modern menswear.
Known for over the top opulence, Balmain brings it all to the table this fall. Designer Olivier Rousteing stayed true to his super slim, buttoned-up yet glam military-inspired aesthetic with rich olive and gold tones, sharp squared shoulders, and plenty of tough chainmail. Black vinyl and PVC is a key trend for the season, which upped the sex appeal along with body hugging silhouettes, style lines, and cutouts. Gilded metallics are balanced with raw hems, asking baring cutouts, and masculine details resulting in the unmatched glamour Rousteing is praised for.
Back to the basics— Maison Margiela’s fall collection is grounded on vibrant primary colors. Playful, childlike hues and oversized geometric cuts ruled the runway with a streetwear-meets-Savile Row type of appeal. Though head to toe monochrome is a central theme for the collection, few looks were cleverly color blocked and some even incorporate a refined pinstripe pattern for variation. Textures keep monochrome looks interesting with heavy knits juxtaposed against slick vinyl fabrics and transparent elements. Maison Margiela revisited the puffer jacket in an attention grabbing neon yellow, which stood out in the midst of the other trenches and motorcycle jackets in the show. Known for the trademark Tabi shoe, Margiela unveiled a brand new sneaker for this season’s streetwear obsession: the SMS (Security Margiela Sneaker). The sneaker is made of suede and mesh and comes equipped with a steel toe and thick chunky sole.
Remaining true to tradition — his own tradition — Rick Owens’ fall menswear is all about heavy deconstruction and reworked shapes. Classic pieces like shirts, pants, even jumpsuits and duster coats were dissected into geometric shapes and fragments with zippered panels, pockets, and chains. Owens reflected on the “cyclical nature of life” in designing the looks, along with Greek figure Sisyphus, who was forced do push a boulder up a hill again and again as punishment. The clothes are a direct reflection of duality, rage, and restraint. Denim shorts are chopped into an uneven skirt, tops are slashed and gaping to reveal industrial chain structures and plenty of skin, while cloak-like outerwear is kept minimal yet threatening. Raw, primal clothing was met with modern, norm core sneakers and hightop lace-up boots with bulging transparent outsoles.
Set in a fairy-tale worthy wintertime forest, Thom Browne revisits his childhood schooldays to tell his story of how it all started; the beginning of Browne’s story was always tailoring. Models wore slouchy beanies with long braided pigtails finished with identifying red and blue striped ribbons and flushed rosy cheeks. Grey, navy, and white suiting with mismatched pinstripe detailing and thick knitted wool pieces filled the show, each piece tailored to perfection with Browne’s typical cropped, shrunken proportions. Massive puffer coats and “bin-bag” style leg warmers served as statement pieces against the classic schoolboy inspired pieces. As the show came to an end, models returned dressed in long johns and “Wee Willie Winkie” hats to unroll personal sleeping bags (printed with Thom Browne suits, no less) and climb into bed, donning grey sleeping masks as the lights dimmed.
Leading the trend in super sharp men’s tailoring this fall is Dior Homme, recalling an innate masculinity while rejecting the rise in trend of gender fluidity. Designer Kris Van Assche returned to Mr. Dior’s legacy in perfecting the black suit jacket, with inspirations derived from military and patrol officer’s uniforms. Just like a woman’s “Little Black Dress”, it’s Van Assche’s details that make a statement — rows of precisely placed buttons on double breasted lapels, hints of white lining, high crisp collars, and polished metal embellishments. The tidy, buttoned up look is a breath of fresh hair in a sea of streetwear, setting Dior apart on their own standard.
Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh Men’s Gradient Checked Cotton-Blend Shirt Jacket • Off-White • $579
Valentino Leather Sneakers • Valentino • $645
Bamboo Tiger Jacquard Knit Sweater • Kenzo • $276
Double Breasted Pvc Trench Coat • Maison Margiela • $3,960
Thom Browne Cashmere 4 Bar Stripe Crewneck Sweatshirt • Thom Browne • $696
Rick Owens Tubeway Coat • Rick Owens • $648
Balmain 6 Button Jacket • Balmain • $817
Plaid Mohair & Wool V-Neck Sweater • Alexander McQueen • $1,345
Louis Vuitton Python High-Top Sneakers • Louis Vuitton • $1,195
Dior Homme Blazer • Christian Dior • $1,561