The menswear shows wrapped up in Paris last Saturday, with designers continuing to play with traditional concepts of masculinity and femininity. A wide range of trends showed up on the runways including leather, heavy layering, and some new takes on silhouette and texture.
One of the biggest leather proponents was Phillip Lim, whose biker themed collection had a lot of interesting striped jackets and pants:
The collection had some of my favorite looks of the season, but at one point it took a strange turn into hipster territory that felt overly affected and not very new.
Comme de Garcons is no stranger to slouchy silhouettes and heavy layering, and these elements were ever present in this collection that felt unfortunately like a parody of itself with it's easter egg pastel color palette, and bunny/mouse eared hats:
Also, I don't know if it's because I spent most of last week sick in bed, but I felt like a lot of the collection looked like clothes to wear to the store when you have the flu.
And would designers please stop trying to turn bathrobes into fashion!?
Balenciaga is in sort of an awkward stage now that Nicholas Ghesquiere is gone and Alexander Wang is yet to start, and it showed. This collection consisted of a somewhat incoherent mishmash of themes ranging from military to gothic monastery.
There were some nicely tailored suits and coats, but none of it had the compelling, directional quality you'd expect from Balenciaga.
I think my absolute favorite collection of the season was Jonathan Saunders. Using a color palette consisting mostly of harvest tones with some shocks of bright color, Saunders matched simple, pared down pants and T-shirts with coats and sweaters in textured wools and felts. The earthy feel of the natural fibers was contrasted with shiny leathers and synthetics.
What made this collection so successful was that Saunders didn't try to reinvent the wheel. He put out classic silhouettes and used color, texture and contrast to make it feel cool and innovative. That is, in my opinion, the key to great menswear.