Paris Fashion Week Men’s wasn’t always an exciting affair.
Until the latter half of the last decade, menswear shows in general were something of an afterthought, showcasing traditional tailoring and conventional staples. Even the men’s shows in Paris were meant to be a prelude to the haute couture presentations that followed — and often overshadowed — them.
Streetwear and star designers have since changed all that, of course. Now, menswear shows boast all the glitzy elements that its women’s counterpart has long enjoyed: supermodels, celebrity appearances and even scandals.
Paris Fashion Week Men’s certainly checked off all those boxes for the Fall/Winter 2020 season. Below, we round up some of the highlights of the week from Dior, Louis Vuitton and more.
Dior celebrates Judy Blame
For his latest Dior Men outing, Kim Jones staged a tribute to the late London stylist and punk icon, Judy Blame. Models stomped down the runway in berets, top coats, opera gloves and monogrammed chelsea boots, echoing Blame’s irreverent style. The collection also referenced Blame’s DIY aesthetic, heavily featuring metallic embellishments and accessories like safety pins, chains and metal zippers. The highlight? A shimmering car coat, which took took 940 hours of hand-embroidery to make.
Louis Vuitton goes to heaven
Virgil Abloh brought “Heaven on Earth” with his menswear show for Louis Vuitton. The set featured dreamy blue skies and clouds, complete with a surreal touch in the form of gigantic props of craft tools like scissors, a thread spindle and a pencil. Despite the playfulness of the setting, Abloh’s collection was a little more grown-up. Straying even further from his streetwear roots, the designer reinterpreted the classic suit with ruffles, cloud prints and laser cuts in the shape of the Louis Vuitton monogram.
FKA Twigs graces the Valentino show
Speaking of heavenly, FKA Twigs made a surprise appearance at the Valentino menswear show. The English musician blessed showgoers with an otherworldly performance of her songs while clad in an ethereal embroidered lace gown by the French haute couture brand. Models streamed past her in an array of loose, oversized shirts and coats, featuring romantic blown-up floral prints.
Fake supermodels at Vetements
Vetements continues to blur the lines between fashion label and social experiment with its latest stunt: supermodel doppelgängers. Its menswear show featured models that closely resembled Kate Moss and Naomi Campell, as well as celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Snoop Dogg and Mike Tyson. The reason for the lookalikes? The fashion brand couldn’t afford the real ones, according to Vetements co-founder Guram Gvasalia. The show was otherwise a standard Vetements affair, featuring belted coats, padded jackets, hoodies and tees — save the fact that there was hardly a slogan in sight. Perhaps the brand is taking itself more seriously after Demna Gvasalia’s departure?
And real ones at Jacquemus
Simon Porte Jacquemus brought out an all-star cast at his Paris presentation, which showcased both his Pre-Fall 2020 women’s collection and Fall/Winter 2020 men’s collection. The roster included models of the moment such as Vittoria Ceretti, Adut Akech, Bella and Gigi Hadid, as well as industry veterans Doutzen Kroes and Joan Smalls. The show also marked the return of ’90s French supermodel Laetitia Casta after 10 years’ of absence. The collection offered all of Jacquemus’ signatures, including slinky dresses, neutral-toned separates and the cult-favourite Le Chiquito bag — this time with micro Le Chiquito jewelry to match.
Cornrows controversy at Comme des Garcons
It may be 2020, but fashion has not yet purged itself of its cultural appropriating ways. The latest offender is Comme des Garçons, who sent white models down the runway in cornrow wigs. The show caused a storm on social media, with many criticizing the Japanese label for its tasteless decision to use braids, which are historically worn by black people. Others suggested it was a publicity stunt. The show’s hairstylist Julien d’Ys has taken to Instagram to apologize and clarify that the headpieces he designed were an homage to Egyptian princes instead. Homage or not, the wigs certainly drew attention away from Comme des Garçon’s colourful collection — which is more than we can say about the show’s casting.