With the Hadids, Megan Rapinoe and an uncanny Kate Moss impersonator, PFWM was more about the celeb factor than it was about the clothes.
Traditionally, fashion week has always been about PR — no matter how many starry-eyed fashion students believe in its artistry. In 2020, this still rings true and probably accounts for the heavy reliance on celebrities (both real and fake) to generate buzz around the AW20 collections at Paris Men’s Fashion Week.
No fashion house exemplified this better than Jacquemus. Here, designs were displayed on a roster of supermodels including Joan Smalls and the show’s most tweetable moment came in the form of an iconic hairlip from Gigi Hadid. Another brand cashing in on the spectacle of celebrity was Vetements, where a cast a celebrity lookalikes in the image of Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie and Snoop Dog provoked excitement and, later, bemusement in show-goers. Making headlines (but not in the good way) was Comme des Garçons, where white models were sent down the runway in cornrow wigs and we were once again reminded that way too many people in fashion don’t know what cultural appropriation means.
Trying to look past the bad taste that Comme des Garçons left in our mouths, below we give you the lowdown from the PFWM shows that reminded us that sometimes the fashion industry does have some good things to offer.
Taking place in the Jardin des Tuileries, Virgil Abloh’s AW20 offering at Louis Vuitton was one of the major talking points of PFWM; as much for the collection itself as the surrealist set design. Walking against an azure backdrop models dodged an assault course of gigantic, Dalí-esque props. The insta-worthy dreamscape, lapped up by the Instagram-happy attendees, gives us the distinct impression that Abloh cracked through The Interpretation of Dreams in his three month sabbatical.
Pivoting our attention to the collection (the main event, after all), the showcased garments represented a step away from the street wear-heavy aesthetic we’ve come to associate with Abloh. Providing some context for the stylistic shift, the show notes stated; “Today, streetwear characterises the clothes we actually wear and the way we wear them,” before announcing that Abloh’s designs would explore “the evolving anthropology of the suit and the reprogramming of traditional dress codes.” Setting out to deconstruct the suit, the most traditional of menswear staples, Abloh debuted a delectable selection of reworked tailoring and unconventional silhouettes; infusing his version of office wear with an avant-garde sensibility.
There was something in the air when Laetita Casta, actress and French it girl of the 90s, opened for Jacquemes this Saturday. Combining menswear and womenswear collections, the French designer enlisted an army of super models headed up by the Hadids, Joan Smalls and Nara Attal to give his show an electric energy that elevated his understated offerings.
A contemporary take on minimalism, the show was filled with crisp cuts, an array of taupe tones and linen galore but was also, paradoxically, infused with a simmering sex appeal. As Business of Fashion notes, men’s trousers were left half-unbuttoned and womenswear offerings featured unexpected flashes of flesh, particularly at the navel, as well as thigh-high boots. Who would’ve thought that beige could be so sexy?
In a move that the fashion world hasn’t seen for a while, Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson tapped women’s footballer Megan Rapinoe as the face of the fashion house’s Steven Meisel-lensed AW20 campaign. Openly gay, thriving in a male-dominated field and a vocal advocate for racial equality, Rapinoe felt like a fitting face as the brand establishes its identity for the new decade. Previewing the campaign on Instagram two days before the PFWM collection dropped, the move dialled up excitement for the show and vindicated the queer womxn everywhere who remember when “dressing like a lesbian” was an insult (look at us now!).
When the show finally rolled around, it felt slightly overshadowed by the Rapinoe announcement but Anderson still delivered a stellar offering. Continuing the good work of chipping away at the gender binary, one collection at a time, models walked down the catwalk in a fantasy wardrobe that included shirts with appliqué embellishment and cocktail dresses sewn onto traditional tailoring.
20 January 2020