Giant bows and chest-baring chiffon are in, says Saint Laurent
Timelessness reigned throughout every element of the YSL menswear collection in Paris, from the cyclical concrete structure of the building to the detailing in the boxy shoulder pads and perfectly draped chiffon hoods. The newly renovated Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection Museum was the stage for the show, and proved the winding concrete circles of the interior to be a symbol of the brand’s steadfast nature. The fluidity between menswear and womenswear proved to be at the heart of Anthony Vaccarello’s vision for the brand’s DNA. The models took to the runway dressed in (nearly) all black, bar the odd beige, white, and hint of silver. Amongst a number of standout moments from Vaccarello, including the statement cravat bows in silk, it was the attention to detail in his necklines and silhouettes that was the only differentiation between menswear and womenswear. Exaggerated turtle necks and chest-baring sheer drapes were seen throughout, and amongst the plethora of materials from wool and cashmere to mohair and leather, the separates were still completely unified. The frow remained as star-studded as ever, from Al Pacino to Wednesday star Jenna Ortega, who wore an all-black hooded ensemble from the brand’s FW23 collection.
Wales Bonner’s first steps in the French capital bring the “Black flaneur” to PFW
British designer Grace Wales Bonner’s Menswear collection at PFW was one of the most highly-anticipated shows, an excitement extended by whispers of the designer taking on the helm of Louis Vuitton. Her first-ever Paris show spread across the rooms of the Hotel D’Evreaux in Place Vendome, as she enlisted musician Kendrick Lamar, artist Lubaina Himid and the Jamaican football team for the new collection. Bonner said her collection was an homage to the “Black flaneur”, and with inspiration from her Jamaican heritage, referenced some of the black creatives who found their creative freedom in the French capital. Her inspirations spanned from writer James Baldwin to dancer, singer, and actor Josephine Baker. The hybridity of Wales Bonner as a brand is what makes the designer so special: flitting between silk Savile Row suits and footie kits; clothes designed to be shared; and bringing African and black diaspora to PFW. Jamaica’s football team saw their new home and away kits launched in the show, as the corduroy tuxedo trousers and tailored took on sporty counterparts from the long-time collaborator with adidas, and the odd tasselled skirt and tweed dress. The show, as well as her covetable items in collaboration with the sportswear brand, has detailed how the designer has hit the ground running in menswear, albeit in a tailored suit and some hot kit.
Paris-based Ètudes are giving a glimpse into the future on modern city life
The essentials brand Ètudes stepped away from the clean masculine looks they usually go for and straight into raw hems, unkempt tailoring, and tacky motifs to truly shake things up in the world of staple basics. FW23 at a concrete parking complex in Paris was everything Ètudes knows how to do best: the classic silhouette, the story of colour, and the branded essentials like their tailored jackets. This time, however, it all felt a bit different – a bit better – as the story of industrialist city life in Paris saw buildings plastered across outerwear and distressed denim showcased the designs as forward-thinking, almost post-apocalyptic wear. The muted colours swept through in rust, rose, grey, and beige, with injections of dark green garments and magenta necklaces, of which were embellished with an Eiffel tower keyring and a mismatched set of keys. In this new graphic venture, jumpers were finished with popping stitch embroidery of padlocks like on the Ponts des Arts, and emblems of modern city life layered and rolled on wool coats. Creative directors Aurélien Arbet, Jérémie Egry, and José Lamali did their Paris-based brand justice with what felt like the introduction to a new era, even picking up some sleazy elements in their skinny scarves and fuzzy jumpers paired with trenches and bombers.
This Kidill’s show is for all the skater boys that never grew up
Though Kidill may have only just started in 2014, the pure chaos and youthful punk they bring to their shows are just what this PFW needed. Elegance was trampled underneath the wheels of the skateboarding models, and teen spirit was plastered all over their layers of oversized garments and clashing prints. Titled ‘Enfant Terribles’, creative director Hiroaki Suisayu focuses on kids gone wild, as the skaters head out onto the runway in piles of Westwood-esque tartan, florals, stripes, tie-dye, graphics, and clashing textures – and it somehow worked. The show brought swarms of skaters buzzing with energy to the runway, all as a result of some serious craftsmanship as the immense silhouettes and attention to detailing rang the early 90s and 00s skater with a FW23/24 update. All the shoes were in collaboration with DC, the padded footwear classic for the big kids who could never escape the skate park. The mismatched patterns, graphic tees and jumpers, oversized coats, tunics, and skirts: this cooler-than-cool ode to skate culture proves Kidill is a PFW standout.