Although it might be considered a warm winter by European standards, the gray outfits on the streets, the unsightly dark puffer jackets and Beanie ensembles worn with drab scarves, make the color revolution sweeping through men’s fashion on show here this week, all the more delightful.
Consider Lanvin’s beautiful fall/winter 2014 collection, presented Sunday inside the refined interiors of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where color and busy patterns gave the luxurious, smart-casual looks some cheeky in-your-face definition.
Consider a red leather bomber jacket worn over a deep pink shirt, busied with a dizzy pattern enhanced by a skinny zig zagging tie and loud pink shoes.
The sporty-looking footwear – the collection combined sporty and smart with a well proportioned sense of style – came in seemingly every shade of the rainbow, and were matched with smart outfits that juxtaposed gray looks with dashes of color coming from a cumber-band-like belt to a hand printed on a sweater.
In one look orange shoes were worn with a gray suit, and a wine colored sweater with a blue band across the trousers in the place of a belt. A pink print of a hand appeared on the sweater, peering out from beneath a black jacket. A black bomber jacket was turned slightly open to reveal a busy pink and blue lining which matched the tie.
Lanvin weren’t the only ones.
“Paris men’s week is very fresh and forward. It’s full of a dreamy, wintery pastels like pale orchid or buttery limoncello on casual jackets from Kenzo and Dries Van Noten,” noted Andrew Luecke, menswear editor from the trends forecaster Stylesight.
At Kenzo, inspiration drawn from America’s Northwest and steelworkers was interpreted in worker-meets-sportswear looks in shades of browns and grays broken up with orchid and wild lime in layered outfits with sweaters and casual jackets worn over suits peaking out below.
The yellow could be seen on clunky almost Dr. Martin like shoes or on a pretty three-quarter length coat with cozy gray lapels or on a cute sporty jacket that cropped at the waist.
Yohji Yamamoto abandoned his beloved black for flowing outfits that looked inspired by baggy clown-like trousers and the luxury of a hand-painted kimono. Think what looked like works of art painted on silk presented in eye-catching proportions in unusual but beautiful color combinations, like orange-red flowers adorning a sweeping purple coat worn over a myriad of other patterns including a khaki army shirt.
At Y-3, sunny yellow sweatpants and sports trousers peeked out from beneath Samurai-like black cloaks with yellow borders. Or sportswear- meets-sharp-suit ensembles for men and women came in black with bold orange stripes brightening a black shirt and appearing the sides of the pants, like a soccer kit.
Issey Miyake also went in for a subtle color explosion from the turn up on trousers in a different shade to the pants, to suits that looked like the patterns that swirl before your eyes down the tube of a child’s kaleidoscope – pinks, greens and blues connecting like a web of soft strings making it hard to define one dominant color.
Bomber jackets and roomy coats were another key look and one could find small innovations upon closer inspection like the Japanese brand Sacai which created ensembles with knee-length shorts worn over turned up trousers.
“The theme of flight is paramount, with Junya Watanabe and Henrik Vibskov updating the bomber jacket by adding hoods or riffing on the longer N3B flight parka. Designers are also playing with volume in overcoats, showing them in ‘80s power suit styles that have ultra-textural tweed hands and checked or blanket prints. Loose, artistic tailoring is crucial, as designers like Philip Lim and Damir Doma are showing overly long suit jackets cut almost like overcoats,” said Luecke.
Closing out the week in the lavish interiors of the Hotel des Invalides were guests were welcomed like royalty by a myriad of welcome staff, Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent presented a funky closing show.
The collection embraced both glitz for evening jackets and a modern edgy take on more conservative-looking day suits and coats worn by rockers with an attitude. Think skinny leather trousers worn with gold shoes and a serious-looking gray suit jacket, or a shimmering black jacket adorned in a silver star-like pattern for the day-meets-evening, or something as straight as a beautiful roomy conservative black three-quarter-length coat. Looks included checked red and black jacket that looked a little punk and a little bit PJs, and a saucy ensemble of red rocker-billy like shoes with couture-ish black narrow pants and a cute little bomber jacket with a leopard pattern across the front just for fun and because you can.