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A Wonderful Paris Fashion Week Men’s Autumn/Winter 18/19

If you missed out on Paris Fashion Week Men’s, let’s face it: you missed out on a lot. But our roving Fashion Editor was on the scene at the shows and he is here to break down the five key moments that defined the autumn/winter 2018/19 collections.

Kenzo tribute to Dolores O’Riordan

The Kenzo show was a monumental feat for a number of reasons, not least because of how it innovatively combined theatre, film and fashion. A live theatre production was projected onto big screens across the cavernous venue. But what was the stand-out moment of the show, and probably the whole Fashion Week, was where towards the end of the live movie the starring character starts reciting “oh my life, is changing every day, in every possible way…”, from the Cranberries’ song Dreams, in a tribute to its lead singer Dolores O’Riordan who passed away recently.

It was an emotional and epic finale to a massive show that rightly closed Paris Fashion Week Men’s.

Designer changes at major Houses

The week started with the announcement that Kim Jones, creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton for the past 7 years, would leave the House with no replacement named. For his final show, Mr Jones pulled out all the stops, sending Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss down the catwalk to close the show. Meanwhile at Cèline: the much-loved Phoebe Philo announced that she would step down (rumoured for Burberry to replace Christopher Bailey, but unconfirmed – stay tuned). And on the last day of the week, it was announced that Phoebe Philo would be replaced by HediSlimane, ushering the return of Modern Fashion’s villain, genius and most controversial designer. So dramatic…

Finally: some model diversity

It’s a battle at every fashion week, every year: where are the black, Asian models on the catwalks. But we are pleased to say that Paris this season did better than most and showed a diverse range of models, not just in terms of race, but also in terms of age and body shape. Bravo!

The Grand Dames still got it

From 85 year old Designer YumiKatsura who showed the most breathtakingly beautiful couture dresses inspired by scenes of her native Japan, to 77 year old Agnes B who presented a collection that opened with break-dancers wearing items from the collection (including a suit), head-sliding down the catwalk, there was a clear message that fashion is not just for “klub kids”. YumiKatsura’s couture collection, in particular, was the stuff of dreams – the image of those kimono dresses opening up as the models walked away from the catwalk will live long in our minds.

 

Younger Masters went back to their roots

Also exploring Japan was HenrikVibskov with one of his better collections to date. There was the maximalism we have grown to love (loose flowy cuts, bright reds and yellows), always with the quirk and sense of humor that are Vibskov hallmarks. The commentary on our obsession with numbers was a timely critiqueof a world where the seemingly trivial number of your Instagram followers is a determinant of so many factors.

And after a number of seasons exploring some otherworldly form of shapes, it was back to the signature Rick Owens aesthetic for autumn/winter 18/19, merging oversized bottom and laser-cut tailoring on the shoulders and arms, loose on the torso at the top. We are so pleased we won’t have to wear clothes that look like extra body parts have formed on us. Welcome back, Rick.

If there was ever any doubt which of the Fashion Weeks is the best at the moment, this men’s fashion week certainly put the issue to bed: Paris rules.

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