PARIS, Jan 23, (Agencies): Male and female styles mixed with US television and music stars at Paris Fashion Week on Sunday for the final installment of fall-winter menswear shows as the City of Light prepares to notch up a gear for Monday’s couture week. Here are the highlights:
Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams in a woolen coat and stylish calfskin shoes led the front row at the Palais de Tokyo morning show alongside “The OA” actor Patrick Gibson in a suede print Lanvin bomber jacket.
The storied, yet edgy house, has hoped for renewed direction since last year’s 10-year anniversary of men’s designer Lucas Ossendrijver and the new creative director Bouchra Jarrar.
Oversized, slouchy and elongated silhouettes defined the aesthetic — towing a fashion-forward line between shabby and chic.
Double-breasted jackets came alongside baggy pants and student-like check sweaters with scruffily long sleeves.
And there was more than a hint of irony in the air as models with blank expressions sported tight scarves with the word “NOTHING” written on.
Yet the fall-winter collection packed no huge surprises.
As if apologizing to the fashion press for forcing it to trek to a far-flung warehouse on the outskirts of Paris on a freezing Sunday night, Kenzo served up mulled cider.
Thawing fashionistas clutched their Kenzo paper cups and marveled at the fascinating atelier decor, as did US singer and front-row attendee Kelela.
In the center of the in-the-round runway, the backstage of the show was exposed in full view — seamstresses, models getting dressed, rails of coat hangers and make-up artists buzzing around.
The theme was clear — rawness and exposure.
The creative collection merged men’s and women’s designs and channeled clothes that would be worn in harsh environments and raw conditions.
Two-piece hybrid skiing outfits — in raincoat yellow and winter blue — with hardy rubber boots opened the dizzying collection that comprised nearly 90 looks. Despite the long length, there were plenty of reasons to not get bored.
Check, patterns and lashings of androgyny were the ingredients of the day from Smith.
The classical tailored gray jacket was worn by a female model, and men sported soft velvet suits in warm vivid shades of violet and blue.
Quirkiness peppered proceedings via eccentric contrasts — the bread-and-butter sartorial styles and trench coats mixed with quirky pointed snake skin boots, sneakers and loose sweaters with ethnic motifs.
Smith is one menswear designer totally unafraid of color.
Stripes, checks and graffiti prints defined Agnes B.’s classical fall-winter show.
But the element that made the French designer’s display stand out was its virility (barring the inclusion of the odd female model in menswear) in a Fashion Week more and more defined by the androgynous aesthetic.
Men of different ages, ethnicities and body shapes sported varying facial hair — in a clear anti-fashion statement in which the designer seemed to scream “being normal is ok”.
Luxuriant marl gray overcoats mixed with masculine pattered foulards — while graffiti and pixelated prints on tops gave the collection a hint of aggression.
Geopolitics made a rare foray on the Paris catwalks Sunday when the upstart Chinese brand Sankuanz said the world must wake up to the “reversal” of the old order.
Rising star Shangguan Zhe’s collection “Destroy” included clothes, often made from bio-chemical protection suits, emblazoned with charged slogans such as “Immigrant”, “Natural Selection” and most controversially of all, “Communism Never Happened”.
The designer, whose rebel spirit has won him a growing following, said in a week when Donald Trump has become US president he was asking people to take their “goggles off and look outside of political correctness and politics at the reversal of an established system”.
“I am not a fighter … I am just telling the world as it is right now,” he told AFP.