Balmain: Straight From Olivier Rousteing’s Closet To Yours
For the Spring 2018 Balmain collection, Olivier Rousteing put forth his ideal wardrobe comprised of his signature staples and mixed it with the classic silhouettes from the Balmain archives, in essence, creating his version of a Balmain uniform for the everyday man. The collection featured the typical embellishments, ornate and Victorian era details, but with the modern day wardrobe essentials of an androgynous rockstar: skintight black jeans, Western-inspired silver-tipped ankle boots, and a signature trophy jacket. The offerings were all far more wearable than previous seasons and were carefully assembled with an everyday wardrobe in mind.
Off-White: A Message to Millennials
Virgil Abloh projected politically-charged poems regarding the Syrian and Palestinian crises in collaboration with artist Jenny Holzer. He opened the show with ghostly transparent silhouettes inspired by survival gear and uniforms of rescue workers. These were enhanced by the strategic placement of hardware that lent an athletic, modern edge with clever zippers that allow for unexpected glimpses of skin. Yet emerging alongside the more tactical looks came an updated take on men’s tailoring comprised of proportion play and hyper-technical athletic streetwear. There were micro short and extra wide cropped styles, loose trousers, and jackets featuring loops and more added zippers on the back. Shirts with binding straps, knitted tank tops, ripped up tops, and fanny packs with the show’s title “TEMPERATURE.” Also playing around with textures, he utilized fabrics ranging from nylon to knits to terrycloth.
Dior Homme: Guys Night Out
The first bit of the collection was meant to represent the DNA of Dior, most notably the signature black suit and white shirt. Tailored suiting was deconstructed and left open in the back, twisted into tailcoats, or shown with sleeves tied around the waist of trousers. Other pieces were assembled with fragments of various garments- like the sleeves of a suit jacket attached to the lower half of a polo shirt, or the waistband of suit trousers. Sleeveless jackets were paired with nothing but tiny shorts, and a punk hybrid-sneaker was shown with almost every look. Bomber jackets commanded the runway and were printed with portraits of men in hoodies or white orchids painted by French artist François Bard. The closing of the show carried a strong varsity influence, inspired by kids combining their school uniforms with adult clothes. Sweatshirts and accessories featured a traditional collegiate wreath emblazoned with the words “Paris” and the title of the show, “Latenight Summer”.
Saint Laurent: He’s a Poet, Don’t You Know It
In his latest collection for Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello paid tribute to the late Pierre Bergé- Yves Saint Laurent’s life and business partner. Vaccarello began by revisiting and reimagining Yves Saint Laurent’s body of work for Spring 2018 and didn’t stray too far away from the rock ’n’ roll aesthetic established by Hedi Slimane. The show was a rare glimpse of fashion in the extreme. It was bold, brilliant, and stunning, infused with a large dose of sexuality and the promise of sophisticated adventures for a new generation. He offered a more glammed-up, polished and softer sensibility, sending out embellished bomber jackets with decadent finishes over slim narrow trousers. In one look, he paired skinny black jeans with an Eiffel tower embellished bomber and leather trousers with a flowing romantic top.
Louis Vuitton: Neoprene, Tropical Shirts and Socks With Sandals
Take elements like the vegetation of Pacific islands and the unstructured tailoring from parts of Hong Kong and modernize it with athleisure and streetwear, and you get what Kim Jones has created for the Louis Vuitton Spring 2018 menswear collection. What really stood out were the vibrant tropical prints on short-sleeve shirts that were hard to miss on the runway. These along with strappy LV branded socks and sandal were also right on trend, and perhaps made more sense than the heavy soled creepers for an island getaway. Sporty neoprene scuba bottoms were layered under crisp dress shirts and tailored jackets, while relaxed trousers were paired with fitted neoprene tops. And just in case the tropical theme didn’t hit home, Jones also used a beachy color palette of ocean blues, green, coral, and red, mixed with neutrals such as black, gray, white, brown and olive.
Kenzo: Asian Army
With bold prints and ultra-vibrant colors, it’s hard not to feel the extraordinary energy that emanates from Kenzo’s designs. The use of contrasting patterns and color palettes worked in the typical zany kind of way the collection’s muse Sayoko Yamaguchi’s retina-searing color combinations. Playful fuzzy socks in primary colors were styled with matching fuzzy sweaters tucked into track pants, and worn with Mary Jane style shoes. The looks sporting cartoon graphics won out, resembling old school computer games and motor racing. There were album cover T-shirts and prints supplied by musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. Not only was the show one of the most exciting shows at Paris fashion week, but being Kenzo, everything that went into the collection was made noteworthy by the expression of the many over-the-top ideas.
Givenchy: Clare Waight Keller’s Debut Collection
Clare Waight Keller takes the lead as creative directer for Givenchy this season, and what a strong opening it was. Spring 18 debuted as her first ever menswear collection, bringing the designer’s innate taste of luxury together with a certain toughness of the clothes. Plenty of rich jewel tones were deepened with black elements and prints reminiscent of 60’s rock & roll types. The cuts were slimmed down in comparison to Ricardo Tisci’s former designs this season, perfectly tailored to the models with a sharp, modern appeal. Western elements are a major trend this year — throughout the show, Keller references the aesthetic through tough raw denim and luxe leather. A particularly standout look featured a sporty bomber jacket with suede and leather elements, furthering the western theme.
Rick Owens: Goth, Grunge and Glamour
Perhaps the perfect combination of artist and storyteller, cutting edge designer Rick Owens opens up about chaos in the world today through a show focusing on evolution. To begin with, models displayed plenty of skin and were fitted with abstract architectural inspired garments sculpted spaciously around their bodies, with transparent mesh pieces, adjustable drawstring ties, and survivalist paracord accouterments. As the show progresses, so do the looks, becoming more complex and in some ways, refined. Boxy blazers were pervasive, and to Owens, he views the suit jacket “…as respectful uniform, as a symbol of civilization…” — in a world as chaotic as ours, blazers provide polish. Other takeaways include short shorts for men, high waisted pants, and technical accessories.
Juun.J: Larger Than Life Silhouettes
South Korean designer Juun.J is all about massive silhouettes and for Spring 2018 the designer had volume and shirting on his mind. Pinstripes, double-breasted tailoring and crisp dress shirts all got the same treatment and were blown up to larger-than-life proportions. The crisp shirting notably derived from traditional office wear was imbued with a contemporary twist, literally. The fabric contortion and manipulation of each garment resulted in beautifully crisp white shirts and dresses, with elongated tailoring for men.