Balenciaga & Louise Vuitton at Men’s Paris Fashion Week this January
21 December 2016
18th January – 22nd January
If New York, London and Milan are anything to go by – a cutting-edge time capsule of grunge couture, tribal prints, punk attitude and streetwear accents will all be on the runway at the Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. Take a walk on the wild side with a preview of the fashion capital’s best shows for Spring/Summer 2017.
The Men’s Paris Fashion Week Shows
It’s not often that so much excitement surrounds a debut menswear show. However, the street styles and practical designs of Demna Gvasalia have managed to simultaneously attract the attention of one of Paris’ leading fashion houses, whilst becoming the most desirable items in the world... and catapult the designer to the very top of the style-radar.
This is a collection that illustrates Gvasalia’s magnetism when it comes to making clothes and looks set to secure his domination over Paris and his contemporises. This will certainly be a show driven by attitude. Not since Hedi Slimane’s rockers stormed down the runway some 15 years ago has anyone at a major house presented a silhouette this severe – coats and suits with shoulders as wide as a door, immediately followed by its opposite: overpowering, withered styles on ironing-board figure models, most of whom were plucked from Instagram. The idea that “clothes make the man” is the theme for the show. The edgy attitude; the way the Parisians wear things; how they wear you – this is the show that has Paris Fashion Week caring more than ever about menswear.
The show will open with exaggerated tailoring and skinhead male models charging down the runway, donning baseball hats and Ikea-like totes. Each look changes from jacquard silk paired with tiny shrunken tops and lace trim to leather dusters and huge shoulder pads.
As the catwalk gets underway, you will notice that boots are the stand-out accessory; leather boots cut at the ankle or hit just below the knee, elevated on stacked heels that add a touch of go-go style to the model’s walk. It seems not so much a rebellion statement against religion, but rather a pushback against conformity. The shoes covered in animal print as well as white, black or silver leather.
Only the future will tell if the David Byrne look catches on to young generations of men content with low-slung jeans and hefty hoodies, however, what is certain is those boundaries will be pushed; and this show will firmly put Balenciaga back in a couture context, and stand distinctly apart from Gvasalia’s urban-driven Vetements project
Louise Vuitton Menswear Spring Summer 2017
The Maison Louis Vuitton has gone wild for Spring/Summer 2017 with Kim Jones taking inspiration from his childhood in Kenya and success in London. Africa’s savannah and Frank Marshall’s Regegades gang portraits offer the ideal palate for the show and Jones’ collection harmonises the paradox of British punk versus African culture, and connects them together with polished Parisian flair. The show captures the vitality and freedom of London and Kenya… along with the originality and spirit of punk. It details the dynamic juxtapositions that travel inspires, and reminds you that culture truly does inspire innovation.
From the opening of the show, you will immediately notice the African references: exotic animal prints, accessories wrapped in zebra-striped dyed ponyhair, heat-beating sandals, and a palate of muted earthy browns, desert beiges, and watering hole-blues. Look out for giraffe heads dropping and big cats prowling over silk shirts and bomber jackets and the Vuitton ‘Gaston V’ creating a zigzag effect in tribal beadwork. You may even notice a few of the ‘Big Five’ appearing as a cheeky illustration on a few accessories, drawn by Vuitton collaborators Jake and Dino Chapman.
Alongside notions of safari and the gentleman traveller, the rebelliousness of London punk also takes a starring role. “There’s always something a little London hidden somewhere,” says Kim Jones, adding, “This time it is the influence of Punk, albeit via Africa.” Oversized, shaggy mohair jumpers styled with second-skin, plaid trousers slashed with zips and stomping brothel creeps, the models jangling down the runway with safety pins on ears. All this carried off with the kind of Parisian Polish you will expect from a house like Vuitton – artisanal beadwork, trench coats and shirts in silks and suede’s adding a decadent touch.
While the cooler temperatures of Paris contrast with the continent’s searing heat, the elegance and refinement of the runway will leave you in no doubt that this is a milestone show by a French luxury house with a designer at the peak of his art.
Fashionable Drinks and Dining
After visiting the shows you will most likely want to escape the hustle of the fashion pack. Unwind in our five-star boutique hotel, very close to most of Paris Fashion Week’s venues. Famed as a sleek temple of luxury, Hotel de Vigny adds a touch of its own Parisian flair with beautiful interiors by world-renowned designer, Nina Campbell. You can also catch a bite pre or post show at our Michelin starred restaurant, Baretto al Penati… where elegant cocktails and the finest French Champagne are also being served.
If you would like to plan your stay Fashion Week stay in advance, please don’t hesitate to contact our concierge on +33 1 42 99 80 80, and let us cater to your every desire.
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