Demna did it again, as he managed to present us another fresh view of the ‘New’ Balenciaga era.
Showcasing more than 100 looks in total and with menswear being a very strong presence on the catwalk, he managed to deliver what his fans and the fashion world was expecting to see at Paris Fashion Week.
Noteable 90s elements, extra-wide shoulders, bold colours, clean lines and the ‘Demna’ tailoring on its best; here are some of our favourite menswear looks at Balenciaga Ready to Wear Collection.
“I do think that the political climate has influenced my designs,” Tom Ford admitted after his show at the Park Avenue Armory on Wednesday evening, the first of the ready-to-wear season. “I don’t mean that I wanted to do something in reaction to it, but I feel beaten up; worn out. I don’t want to look at aggressive clothes. I want to look at something beautiful and soft and pared down a bit.”
His AW19 collections consists of a sellection of rollencks, satins and tailoring on its best. Modern pieces with a nostalgic mood and minimal lines come to constrast with the very specific puffy jackets and coats.
n his debut show for Celine – now sans accent – in September, Hedi Slimane made it more than clear what his intentions are for the house. If anyone thought that some of the reactions to that show would have an effect on his vision, his first men’s show for Celine spelled out a big fat – or indeed very, very skinny – no. In fashion, as in life, there are certain forces that will make themselves heard. Slimane is one of them. He believes in his own vision to its utmost core: from the mechanical light installation that fanfares every show (this time it was a huge geometric ball) to the stick thin models that walk his runway (a new one turns 18 every minute), to the emerging rock bands that score his collections (the irreverently named Crack Cloud), and the vintage-inspired aesthetic that embodies his garments. No matter how deep you search, the ultimate proposal of any of his collections – and indeed the one he showed on Sunday night – is in essence the brand of Hedi Slimane.
Seasonal collections, however, are put in the world to propose something new for the immediate future. So how do you, as an observer of such collections, approach the work of a designer, who believes so strongly in a consistent point of view? You could read into Sunday evening’s Celine collection and say that it proposed a more cropped and roomier tailored trouser, or that its suiting evoked the tie-wearing Patrick Bateman yuppie dad tailoring of 1980s’ Valentino; only cut for a much, much skinnier frame. You could talk about the glitter and sequinned pieces, which were no doubt of a notable artisanal value. Or you could point out the obvious nostalgia – or was it wistfulness – that existed within the collection for the mid-2000s when indie music culture was at its high and everyone looked like the boys, who walked the 2019 Celine runway. What has to be stated – for the sake of the history books – is that Celine menswear, which didn’t exist under Slimane’s predecessor Phoebe Philo, was brought into the world looking like this.
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Dries Van Noten has presented a selection of voices that accompanied his AW 2019/2020 collection—an aural backdrop of snatches of conversations and interviews with the men Van Noten admires. There was David Bowie, of course: his pleated pants, a flavor of his ’80s persona. There was David Hockney, talking about getting up mid-morning in California, and going out to see what’s around to paint.
There was a burst of Jimi Hendrix—cue a riff on tie-dye. Kurt Cobain, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Yves Saint Laurent, David Byrne. And in the middle of it, there was the mordant voice of an Englishman, nailing the state of affairs today. “I think the whole of our society is run by insane people for insane objects," he said. Turned out to be John Lennon, in the ’60s.