An important Kenzo show rounded off an eventful Paris Men’s Fashion Week24th Jun 19 | Beauty
The week also saw tributes to Karl Lagerfeld and controversy at Vetements.
Men’s fashion week tends to pass with less fanfare than its female-focused counterpart. But that is beginning to change, as this past weekend shows.
Paris Men’s Fashion Week was dominated by bold displays, out-there clothes and the odd dash of controversy.
Here’s everything you might have missed…
Farewells at Kenzo
It was an emotional show for Kenzo, because it marked the final season designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim would head up the brand, after eight years in charge. They’ve had a successful tenure at Kenzo, and had absolutely no plans to slink out quietly.
The menswear finale saw singer Solange perform in an incredible floral and pearl gown, before she launched the womenswear section of the co-ed show.
Leon and Lim are important – and rare – examples of Asian American designers in high fashion. We’re excited to see what they do next with their own brand Opening Ceremony, but for now, it was a pretty perfect farewell to Kenzo.
Tributes to Karl Lagerfeld
Fashion giant Karl Lagerfeld passed away in February, and tribute was paid to the designer at the Grand Palais – where many a Chanel show has been held.
Dubbed ‘Karl For Ever’, the event saw everyone from Cara Delevingne and Tilda Swinton to Pharrell and Helen Mirren pay their respects to the designer who made his mark at Chanel and Fendi. The show featured a range of performances, dancing and music, as the fashion world remembered the influential designer.
Footballers crossing over into fashion
Spanish player Hector Bellerin swapped the football pitch for the runway to appear in Louis Vuitton’s latest menswear show. Dressed in hot pink, Bellerin was obviously thrilled at the opportunity and posted on Twitter: “Don’t let them tell you, it’s not possible.”
It well and truly cements his reputation as football’s top fashionista – he’s often seen on the front row of big shows, but this is the first time he’s transitioned onto the catwalk.
He wasn’t the only celeb appearance at creative director Virgil Abloh’s show – singer Dev Hynes also walked the runway, watched by Frank Ocean, Skepta and Gigi Hadid. It was a particularly romantic collection from Abloh, full of soft tailoring, pastel colours and floral detailing.
Dancing at Thom Browne
Thom Browne rarely does things by halves – he enlisted ballet dancer James Whiteside to open the show with a 15 minute performance in a custom suit-tutu hybrid.
The show itself was as bizarre and delightful as we’ve come to expect from Browne. The designs were particularly gender fluid, and no doubt we’ll soon be seeing Browne fans like Tessa Thompson wearing it on the red carpet.
Models wore structured pastel suits with broad shoulders and codpieces – Browne said in the show notes, he envisaged himself as the host of a “Versaille country club”, which sums up the aesthetic perfectly.
Controversy from Vetements
Vetements often appropriates slogans for its clothes, and its latest show was no different. It was the height of irony and held at a Parisian McDonald’s. Models wore name tags saying things like, ‘Hello my name is: Capitalism’. Other t-shirts read: ‘I (heart) Paris Hilton’, and models also wore replicas of the blue heart-shaped necklace from the Titanic movie.
The brand also replicated a white t-shirt with the words: ‘Don’t Shoot’ in English, French and Arabic. Many were quick to point out on social media how it’s identical to t-shirts worn by journalists in Beirut when reporting on the conflict between Lebanon and Israel in 1982.
This isn’t the first time the t-shirt has been recreated by a designer – brand Qasimi made a version for its AW17 show. At the time, designer Khalid Al Qasimi told Wonderland: “I feel it’s important to discuss political issues, especially when coming from the Middle East.”
After seeing the Vetements version, Al-Qasimi told Vogue Arabia: “I understand what they are doing. It’s about consumerism. But it’s a complete F-U to the region as well. I used that print to highlight the plight of something going on in the Middle East. For Vetements to use it in such a flippant and provocative manner; I don’t think they realise what these words mean to us Arabs.”
© Press Association 2019