By the time it gets round to Paris Men's Fashion Week, the third leg of the international, seasonal showcase, it's all about the big designer names and heritage houses. This is where the real future of fashion gets decided: where trends are born and the fate of your closet is sealed. London and Milan are all well and good (we were in attendance at both and love the creativity of the former and the tradition of the latter), but in a sense they're like fashion appetizers.
Paris is the entree. And, this year, it was particularly delicious.
Here, in no particular order, we take a look at the best of what Paris had to offer this spring/summer 2017 season—look for it on the streets next year!
Who: Dior Homme
Designed By: Kris Van Assche. The Belgian designer has been responsible for the seasonal collections since 2007.
The Look: Punk with an athletic overtone. This wasn't punk as we've seen it before, this had an athleisure twist so that studs, rivets, mesh vests, and chains sat alongside sporty windbreakers, bomber jackets and boxing booties all in one look. It was a fresh and clever way to bring new life to two old favorite fashion inspirations. Get the look now and team your tie with a chunky chain around the neck.
Who: Louis Vuitton
Designed By: Kim Jones. The British designer is a Central Saint Martins alum and joined the luxury label in 2011 to head up the menswear collections.
The Look: Punk (again) by way of Africa. The designer looked to his London design roots for some rebellious spirit, combined it with the rich textile treatments, savannah shades and animal prints of Africa, and took inspiration from Frank Marshall's "Renegades" portrait series of biker gangs in Botswana. The result was a super cool and tight collection that blended all the luxe of Vuitton with utilitarian detailing and ample attitude. A collaboration with British artist Dinos Chapman on prints also gets Sweet's thumbs up. Top of your shopping list next season should be a breezy giraffe-printed shirt.
Who: Junya Watanabe
Designed By: The man himself. Watanabe was the protégé of the legendary Comme des Garçons designer, Rei Kawakubo—who is renowned for her conceptual and innovative approach to design.
The Look: Intimidating jazz-gangsters. And the models, all inked up to the match the monochromatic tattoo-like prints on the shirts they were wearing, looked every inch the part. Baggy trousers, Bermuda tailored shorts, leather jackets and loose tailoring, plus porkpie hats completed the look which, for a designer known for collections that often wander on the avant-garde side of life, was tame, totally wearable and highly covetable.
Who: Dries Van Noten
Designed By: Also the man himself. Belgian Van Noten is known for his eclectic use of print and color and was part of the famed Antwerp Six—a group of designers who all graduated from the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts at the beginning of the '80s. Each known for their unique style at the time, it put Antwerp on the map as a hotbed of fashion talent.
The Look: Artisanal, serene, and incredibly tactile, Van Noten always has something of the arts and crafts about his collections. Here we had tangled knit jumpers, more Bermuda shorts (trend alert!), boxy tapestry tailoring and bombers trailing artfully with fringed knit. Van Noten is a master at making wearable clothes as beautiful as they can be without going overboard. It's all in the edit.
Designed By: Demna Gvasalia, the creative tour de force behind cult brand Vetements. Gvasalia was appointed to the helm of Balenciaga last October following the departure of Alexander Wang. This was his eagerly awaited menswear debut.
The Look: Power dressing like you've never seen before. Boxy suiting was seriously boxy, inverted triangle silhouettes top of the season's style agenda. Where elsewhere it had been all about baggy trousers and breezy shorts, here they were tight, and worn with high-heeled boots. While his collection was not necessarily as overt in its direct catwalk-to-closet appeal as other labels maybe, this is one man whose effect on mainstream fashion is undeniable. Gvasalia is a wizard when it comes to shaking things up and making them the hottest thing right now. Just look at what a hit Vetements became! This will no doubt be the same.