The exclusive collections from Paris Fashion Week for men

From Jonathan Anderson’s magnificent Loewe show to Wells Bonner’s culturally rich Paris debut; these are the standout shows from Paris Fashion Week for Men Fall/Winter 2023

With references to James Baldwin, the Maharajah and Maharani of Indore and Josephine Baker, Grace Wells Bonner’s first physical show in Paris was culturally rich, as has long been the thread of the designer’s practice – making clothes that are not only visually pleasing but consciously intrigue. It takes place in the elegant rooms of the Hôtel d’Évreux and is produced under the title Twilight Reveriethe designer looked elsewhere to the First Congress of Black Artists and Writers, with the phrase “Sorbonne 56” emblazoned on sports jackets, while additional highlights included a stunning baby pink silk coat and matching bonnet, and a collaboration with British artist Lubaina Himid.

A moment, please, to consider how good a spy could look on the big screen under the direction of Anthony Vaccarello. There were little nods to such uniforms present in the designer’s first dedicated men’s offering for Saint Laurent – ​​black sunglasses, leather gloves, high-collared knits and fancy trench coats – and plenty of other pieces that, if you let your mind wander , could perform short with a beautiful twist. Here, Vaccarello borrows from the womenswear codes that emerged at Yves Saint Laurent in the 1970s, with a series of exaggerated bow-tie blouses and wide-leg trousers.

Taking to Instagram after her third outing in Paris, Bianca Saunders thanked Oliver Samuels, the comedian and actor behind Oliver on the loose – a 1990 Jamaican comedy series – whose audio clips accompanied her A/W23 runway show. “Being able to share stories surrounding my Jamaican culture in an artistic context is an honor,” she wrote. The show also provided aesthetic cues for the production’s domestic backdrop, which included armchairs, a record player and a bar. As for the clothes, Saunders largely stuck to a palette of blues, yellows and more neutral hues, with a stunning quasi-twin provided by looks 21 and 22 featuring full psychedelic stripes.

Matthew M Williams’ latest Givenchy show began as a two-piece before evolving to combine multiple contrasting elements. First came a four-piece line of black suits made in collaboration with the house’s couture atelier and styled with sleek black turtlenecks and leather gloves, before the looks began referencing musical genres – plaid shirts courtesy of grunge and oversized furs via hip hop. Eventually, the sharpness of the former fed into the latter, and layering became the key story.

“It’s a Victorian silhouette. There is one prudence. We remember that era so much about suppressing sensuality, but doing it in such a sophisticated way that you can’t help but think about it,” Rick Owens said of his latest show, referring to the Victorian era from which A/W23 took its silhouette . This season, Owens returned to a predominantly black palette, playing with volume and texture with capes, puffer jackets and simple, oversized coats that leaned toward practicality. The 19th-century influence is most evident in the collection’s modest sensibility, which manifests itself through layering and long (if not always slim) configurations.

Rosalia shows up in a vintage yellow car; models absorbed by a house designed by Michel and Olivier Gondry; The signature of KidSuper designer Colm Dillane – Louis Vuitton’s A/W23 youth show features a lot. Dillane’s cheerful sensibility built on the playful spirit that emerged during Virgil Abloh’s tenure at the house (most notably with S/S19 The Wizard of Oz-inspired collection), and the guest designer ended the show with two bold looks that cemented this kaleidoscope-based approach. Gondry’s set design, meanwhile, further encouraged this sentimentality, which was informed by their own childhood memories.

Rave subcultures have long been nurtured in the type of menswear that gets an official outlet on the Paris Fashion Week schedule, but rarely has the design approach been as subtle as at Dries Van Noten, where even the baggy pant and chunky patterned trouser combination felt calm. “The freedom and self-expression of ’90s rave culture combined with the rather surreal beauty of nature” was how the designer described his A/W23 collection, which best tapped into the era through his experiments with proportions. But the rave theme was also present in the soundtrack, which came via the extremely strong Belgian music duo Lander and Adrian.

Kim Jones likes to invest in specific themes, and this season it was the turn of TS Eliot’s seminal poem The Waste Land (the designer reportedly owns six copies of the work). As models walked past in rain hats, heavy shorts that read like skirts and seemingly classic knit styles, Robert Pattinson and Gwendoline Christie — their faces looming large on giant screens flooding the catwalk — read passages from the text Jones quoted as for “renewal and change.”

Innovative footwear design has been a core component of Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh’s brand for several years, with previous collaborators including Nike and Adidas; for A/W23 Botter teamed up with Reebok to deliver a 3D printed design. Inspired by the Venus’s crest shell – from which the wider collection takes its name – the trainer looked like a skeleton that could belong in a Natural History Museum. Elsewhere, the designers put an emphasis on procedures (their latest take on Caribbean fashion featured a strong palette of various bright tones), with toy cars worn as rings and pendants, and bicycle seats reimagined as bags.

Described as “couture of the avant-garde”, Rei Kawakubo presented her A/W23 show with a short series of jackets that offered something extreme, redirecting the silhouette of the models’ shoulders in a rough black fabric. What followed, however, seemed lighter: skirt-revealing blue and pink suits, glam rock metal and fluttering cut-outs attached with furry materials. There was also a nod to S/S97’s iconic ‘lumps and bumps’ collection, with padding and piping that forced the fabric to separate from the torso.

There was a particular type of clarity on display at Loewe this season, with balloon skins, clown toe laces and wingback bikinis all appearing on a white catwalk, save for a pair of XXL-sized paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Julien Nguyen. Depicting his muse, Nikos, in “an intimate documentation of a moment of rest” (as he told Jonathan Anderson in an Instagram chat), the images set the tone for a show that, while seemingly uncomplicated, unfolds with a rich vocabulary of textures.

Bode

Since its inception in 2016, Emily Adams label Bode Aujla has been informed by an Americana brand that celebrates craft and champions re-purposing. “For me, it’s not so much about being historical or contemporary as it is about being timeless,” she once said Another man. In Paris, for the first time this side of the pandemic, the designer paid attention to her maternal family and her mother’s sisters as she presented her first womenswear collection from the Cape Cod-like house on stage at the Théâtre du Châtelet. While that was the biggest story (women have been wearing her menswear for years at this point), the menswear was particularly strong; favorites included a brilliant pair of green velvet trousers and a heavily embroidered patchwork coat.

A lot of nostalgia and a nod to the late great Vivienne Westwood were announced in John Galliano’s latest offering for Maison Margiela, which calls itself the July Hell of a movie a compendium and the imaginary story of the fugitives Count and Hen. Mickey Mouse, elsewhere, became one of the main motifs running through the collaborative display, while there was a focus on texture and the chaotic approach to style that made the rubber and checker partners. The leaflet as an invitation as an accessory was also noted, while hats, mostly made of mesh and garbage bags, were adopted everywhere.

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