Menswear S/S 15: Some random musings

This is predominately a photographic recount of Paris fashion week for Spring/Summer 2015. There’s simply too much to review in one article, so I’ll discuss my personal favourites, and collections that I enjoyed less than usual. There were some surprising and impressive showings this season. A/W is usually what draws most of my interest, but this year I must say I enjoyed S/S. The highs were certainly high and the lows… Well.

 

The Disappointing.

Rick1 Rick2RICK3Rick4 Rick Owens just hasn’t been the same for me lately. It could be the rising popularity of the street-goth aesthetic betraying my objectivity (he does seem to be at the forefront) or it could be his propensity to barrage the viewer with whatever new revelation he stumbles upon. It could be that I feel he is carelessly discarding his roots in black in favour of… Well, experimentations in colour. Boris Bidjan Saberi did the same this season but I don’t seem to mind that as much - in fact it’s one of my favourite collections from him in some time. To me, Rick has always been in-your-face subversive. His latest collection just seems a little less aggressive and a little too whimsical. Or, dare I say, androgynous? It could be the prints. His self-dubbed 'glunge' (glam-grunge ) aesthetic is and always will be (hopefully) his trade. I just wish he would tweak the clothes a little more to what it was a few years ago. Maybe I’m just pining over the past. Or boring.

 

The Good.

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Boris Bidjan Saberi. Utilitarian. Industrial. Olive and Khaki. The music. This collection felt rougher, stronger, more assertive than previous seasons, as if the direction was clear and hesitation had dissipated. An incredible showing.

 

Thom Browne, Menswear, Spring Summer, 2015, Fashion Show in Paris ThomBrowne-Homotography-01 Thom Browne, Menswear, Spring Summer, 2015, Fashion Show in Paris

Thom Browne on the runway never disappoints. As lavish, experimental, out there as ever. The models look like caricatures rather than people. Another journey through the rabbit hole.

 

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Yohji Yamamoto. It felt happy, playful, but also serious in the way that Yohji’s work always is. Generously cut. Flowing and lovely. Comfortable in the best way. An accurate projection of the artist himself.

 

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Dries Van Noten was incredible this year. Deep scoops and visible nipples? This was a raunchy side of Dries I never knew existed. The garments were impeccably cut as usual. Words that spring to mind? Subtle and delicate. Traits which have diminished rapidly across the board.

 

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Now to my favourite, Ann Demuelemeester. I approached this collection with caution and hesitancy. After all, the eponymous label was no longer in the hands of the poet herself. The torch had been passed to the successor and the previous collection was too cautious. Sterile. Safe and boring was not the direction I wanted my favourite label to head. I feel stupid now for worrying. Sebastian Menuer, a former designer at the Margiela house and the successor, handpicked by Ann, has tended to my anxieties and restored optimism once more. The distinct Ann look was still present, luxurious and powerfully androgynous. Delicate and romantic as if Ann was still steering the ship. Wearable too, I want every piece. And dear god, the embroidery…

 

The Bad.

A point of note is that I only wrote on brands that I at least have some interest in. Therefore I’m not selecting my least favourite from all the designers that were present, rather just the ones I follow to some degree.

 

Julius, Menswear, Spring Summer, 2015, Fashion Show in Paris Julius3

Julius. Déjà vu, can’t actually see a tangible difference between last year and this year. Same problems too. It’s just too costumey, too shiny, and too star trekkie for my liking. I do enjoy the cleanness of this season - opposed to over-doing the distressing treatments in the not too distant past.

 

Haider2 Haider3 Haider1 Haider Ackermann was too dishevelled for me this year. There are definitely a few pieces I would love to own but overall the looks were just too messy. Too much incongruency and not enough structure or flow. Maybe I’m missing something.

 


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Undercover. For me, there are many parallels between Undercover and Raf Simons. The labels are damn cool - everybody knows that. They thrive in a subculture on their own, somehow distinct from much of high fashion. Those Joy Division prints. That knitted sleeve perfecto. It all melds into a ball of sickly awesomeness. Unfortunately, the fashion element seems to be slipping deeper and deeper and deeper into streetwear purgatory. I understand that the street is where 'undercoverism' is rooted and where the influence is derived. I just wouldn’t like it very much if any more of the apparel looked like band merchandise.

 

And the really, really ugly

 

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Saint Laurent Paris, a collection innovatively dubbed as unisex. Sadly, the garments themselves lacked any semblance of innovation. The collection was tiresome, unimaginative and derivative beyond belief. Personally, the photos evoke nothing but resentment and Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’ in my head. The Hedi Slimane of Dior, who conceived and perpetuated his signature skinny silhouette is but a shadow of his former self. A mere imitation of his former genius. Everything is a rehash, or worse. It’s all too… Cheesy. Rock’n’Roll. Drugs. Sex. I get it. The Hedi of Saint Laurent doesn’t appear to be even trying. His garments are devoid of true influence. Is it satire, or simply lifeless, soulless? Let’s not forget the days where Hedi inspired Karl Lagerfield to shed almost 100lbs so that he too could conform to his silhouette, his vision. Let’s not forget the skinny suits that’re still being worn to death everywhere. Let’s not forget the outrageously popularised faux-hawk, a trend attributed to David Beckham. But where is the next step? It doesn’t seem to matter. Even his shadow is met with ubiquitous adoration. I guess sometimes a name is more than just a name.

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