Last week’s Paris runway shows marked the end of the Men’s F/W 13 Fashion Week schedule (with the exception of NYC). As the dust settles over the French capital, Stylesight highlights the key denim looks to emerge from Saint Lauren, Dries Van Noten, Junya Watanabe and more.
Hedi Slimane’s debut Menswear collection was the most highly anticipated show on the Paris fashion week calendar. Although it has been over a decade since Slimane departed from his famed era at Dior Homme, the designer has returned to Men’s runways under the infamously-renamed “Saint Laurent” label. He delivered a parade of expertly-executed L.A.-rocker looks for F/W 13 that stayed true to the ultra-slim vision he’d released on the Menswear world 10 years ago. The collection was updated with slashes, chain-inlays, and resin treatments evoking Slimane’s vision of romantic, prep-school rebels. Slimane’s passion for L.A. (the new location of Saint Lauren’s design studio) and everything that makes up L.A. — the music scene, local bands, and lifestyle — was clearly seen throughout the collection. Furthermore, the casting was made up entirely of musicians rather than models.
Each season, Japanese designer, Junichi Abe brings a fresh approach to the Paris Menswear collections with his innnovative take on seasonal trends. For F/W 13, the designer focused on effortless classics infused with a contemporary outlook. One of the main silhouettes referenced throughout the collection was denim, reworking iconic shapes like the 5-pocket jean and the Western shirt with unexpected wool constructions or slick resin coatings. His experience as a pattern cutter in the Comme des Garçon design studio has refined his natural attention to detail and allowed him to offer a fresh perspective on everyday pieces. A mainly matte palette of grey and mid-tone blues brought these denim staples to a sartorial level with clean, boxy cuts lending a contemporary feel.
Korean designer, Juun.J looked to the awkward volumes and proportions of the 90s for his F/W 13 collection. Demonstrating his knack for architectural tailoring, the designer looked to round proportions to emphasize upper-body silhouettes, transforming trucker jackets into bomber shapes or merging bomber jacket sleeves with long wool coats. A palette of black acid-washed green denims tempered against saturated wools or slick resin coatings, each highlighted by contrasting gold hardware. Exaggerated funnel-necks, knee-length jackets, and flight suits gave the collection a somewhat military aesthetic with dense denims in armour-like rigidity, creating a dominating and striking silhouette.
Not the only label to infuse a high dosage of raw denim into their F/W 13 collection (see Missoni’s rigid denim injection from last week), the Lacroix team focused on a collection of design classics reworked in unexpected fabrics for thier runway show in Paris. The show kicked off with a selection of activewear silhouettes reworked in sartorial pinstripe and quickly moved into deep, un-rinsed indigo items, from the biker jacket to the coverall and chore coat. Each item was cleverly stylized to inject further modernity into the range and the raw denims ensured silhouettes were crisp and sculptural.
Phillip Lim is always adept at producing unusual designs from a common theme and this season his exploration of biker basics was innovative and approachable. From the start of the presentation, Lim subverted the toughness of leather with stylized boro patch working, lending a fresh homespun quality to moto jackets and tapered trousers tucked into zippered beatle boots. Engineered camo prints in unexpected palettes of pink and greys and worn-in military field jackets reinforced his rebellious male aesthetic that perfectly balanced between bohemian biker and street-smart youth.
Dries Van Noten’s take on grunge debuted at his S/S 13 womenswear collection, a theme which carried through to Menswear for Fall. The masculine version, however, took a grungy aesthetic and juxtaposed it with rich, baroque-inspired jacquards, tapestry hoodies, and William Morris tees creating an “old money in revolt” story. Denim was clean yet modernized; front-placed cargo pockets on a loose-fit pant were artfully studded for an industrial edge and sweatshirts were reworked in color-blocked and waxed denims. The king of mixing textures and prints, Dries created another sophisticated yet youthful collection.
Junya Watanabe presented a collection for F/W 13 that took his usual workwear influences into a darker, more spartan aesthetic. Workwear was still at the heart of the show, but the layered blanket stripes, patched 5-pocket jeans and Winter chore jackets were drenched in a muted grey palette with an altogether more ramshackle attitude. Over-dyed railroad jackets were artfully repaired in tonal stripes and plaids, vests were layered on top of overcoats and true blue indigo jeans were almost completely covered with tones of grey patchwork giving his F/W 13 collection a darkened, depression-era sobriety.