Paris men’s fashion week was a mix of live shows, digital presentations and guest designers, including London-based Burberry, which eschewed the LFW calendar to be on the official Paris schedule. Here are our top five picks of the Paris SS22 collections:
Y/PROJECT x Fila
When Y/Project showcased its Fila collaboration during Paris men’s fashion week it was a breath of fresh air amongst a sea of brand hook-ups. Creative director Glenn Martins embellished the 110 year-old Italian sportswear brand with a novel and innovative approach. This was evident in his updating the silhouette with some serious fashion detailing, like billowing sleeves, dropping the shoulders, playing with asymmetric seams and reworking the classic sweats and jeans. Martins said in a statement: “I see this collaboration, really, as a marriage of Y/Project’s experimental spirit and Fila’s innovative drive grounded in sportswear. The process was as easy as it was fun and it allowed me to openly explore a streetwear direction that felt new. There is a fresh, happy vibe to the endeavour that I think is right for this moment.”
It has been two years since Hermes last showed in the courtyard of the Mobilier National in Paris. This season the French luxury house worked for the third time with theatre director Cyril Teste, who has a method eye to show Véronique Nichanian’s creations in the most beautiful of light with his lingering zooms and narrative that feels neither too contrived nor so real it is devoid of inspiration.
For spring 2022, Nichanian called the collection “Double Jeu”, with lighter than light outerwear, with a focus on craft and stitching. Many pieces, particularly the outerwear, were reversible – hence the title. Refreshing of this - and all Hermès collections - is that it doesn’t need pulsating logo’s or fantasy themes to market its clothes. The emphasis is on garment construction, even if its origin - at least to the wearer and eye of the fashion connoisseur - is instantly recognisable.
Key styling takeaways: chelsea boots worn with socks and shorts and knotted sailing cords as belts, which hung extra low over trousers and bottoms.
When Ricardo Tisci suggests removing the sleeve from the classsic trench, re-working it with a sporty capped shoulder, fashion folk will listen. With the sleeves removed from outerwear, Tisci introduced a new approach to layering, but also proposes a bold statement of masculinity, which is to bare one’s arms. Paired with monochromatic suit trousers, sporty varsity jackets and even a sleeveless leather biker, the result felt modern and crisp, without being too seasonal or trend-led. With every collection Burberry’s staple outerwear is given multiple treatments to appeal to its customers’ wallets with new iterations. This season the desirability factor is decisively high.
During the pandemic Rick Owens left Paris for Venice, where he has a second home. The Lido at the Excelsior Hotel, once the backdrop of the infamous film Death in Venice, was a misty and melancholic setting for Owen’s SS21 collection, his fourth and final until his return to the Paris catwalks.
Fog machines boosted the ambiance, much like in a club or rock concert, leaving a trail of vapour with models walking the shoreline. Such is an Owens promenade, with models in sturdy high-heeled ankle boots that ground his signature diaphanous and monochromatic silhouette. This season Owens went softer, as seen in sheer panelled shirting, cut-out jersey bodysuits and feather coats. Of course it wasn’t all soft, as seen in a Led Zeppelin approach to shoulders, stiff Japanese denim patchwork and his staple of leather. What wasn’t here was excess, of which Owens told Vogue: “Next season all of the houses are going to want to show their flex. I don’t know how exactly we will be able to manifest everything that we have learned, but we’re going to have to figure it out.”
As the recipient of the 2018 LVMH prize winner for graduates, Archie M. Alled-Martinez left Central Saint Martins for a year of work experience at Givenchy. The Spanish-born designed launched a line of knitwear shortly after, taking inspiration from the 70s and 80s nightclub scene in Paris to create genderless garments with a queer undertone.
His latest collection explores the theme to new heights, celebrating muses such as Roy Halston, Sterling Saint Jacues and Antonio Lopez, cultural icons in the 80s gay scene, all of whom died of AIDS. With their names stitched onto jersey tops as well as their respective ages at the time of death, Alled-Martinez shines new light on these gentlemen, who were undoubtedly unsung heroes of their times. In a month of Pride marches, celebrations and demonstrations, his message stands out.