There’s monster energy coming
After the bestial atmosphere of Milan (in particular the “yeti” costume at D&G), there is a decided animalism in this series of shows. Lots of leopard print, like that of a classic Dior trench coat. And oversized shaggy pieces in fake fur, like at Givenchy. And from Bode, a shaggy tiger print hoodie. The trend was endorsed by women’s haute couture brand Schiaparelli, which sent Naomi Campbell and all to the catwalk in dresses outfitted with (again, fake) taxidermy heads at the chest or shoulder. Kylie Jenner sat in the front row, a decapitated lion bone resting heavily on her chest. He looked bonkers and a lot of people were furious at his opulent insensitivity, so be careful: you should probably never go there. complete safari.
The navy is undefeated
It’s kind of an unspoken rule that if you don’t know what to wear, wear navy. It’s smart without being stuffy, timeless and flattering to everyone. And it’s exactly this do-it-all nature that tends to keep him out of high fashion. It is a known quantity, why play with it? So it was heartening to see the endlessly reliable (yet often overlooked) color playing a starring role in this season’s Paris runways. There was the navy suit at Dior, Fendi knitwear and coats (in Milan) and Pierre Mahéo decided to devote half of his fashion show (entitled ‘Monochro-mania’) to colour. “I’ve always associated sartorial consistency with a form of elegance,” he said in the show notes. “And I’ve always admired women and men with sober wardrobes, who draw a clear line over the decades, update their look without really altering it, and remain relevant without deviating from a style, their style.”
Blazers can be coats
Contrary to reports, tailoring is still at the heart of menswear, evidenced by the fact that it is presented each season in a new way, but never so new that it is not yet a suit. This season, for example, many designers have decided that a blazer, normally not equipped for the cold, can be thickened to outerwear proportions. At Dior, in true Kim-Jonesian style, woolen coats had their tails tucked in to create boxy blazers, and at Ami, double-breasted jackets were cut to the thighs. The key, as couture-focused brands such as Corneliani demonstrate, is in how you treat the fabric. “Coat” wool, such as melton – known for its warmth and stiffness – has been softened a bit and cut to size.
In Milan we saw the gray suit making its way into the season, and the trend continued here and there in Paris, but the dominant pattern was more focused on the button placket than the palette. Lapels were riding up, and while in recent seasons the tailoring has been low-cut, low-cut and wide-shouldered, with histrionic ’70s details, here it was short, boxy and, crucially, three- or four-button. Very sixties. And found at Prada, Tiger of Sweden, Fursac and Paul Smith, among many others.
There is an alternative to scarves
Basic attribution is on the rise (more on this here) and one of the key trending pieces for wholesome, folksy, almost Tolkian dressing is a scarf. Clearly, the high fashion hallways paid attention, as there were scarves at Paul Smith Hermes and Bode – three brands where fancy is expected, to be fair – but no one did more scarves than Officine Generale, a brand managed by one of the gods of housing development, Pierre Maheo. The Parisian is an icon of casual elegance, so a scarves-heavy collection makes sense, and good news for those planning to lean into the trend this fall.
The 70s were the best decade for outerwear
For starters, there was a lot of shearling at the shows this year, both on the catwalks and on the streets. Hermés is always a good source for outerwear, and the Paris show didn’t disappoint, especially with a kind of hybrid shearling jacket (available as a waistcoat and overcoat too). But the Robert Redford vibe continued everywhere, with duffle coats at Prada, bomber jackets at Isabel Marant, chunky pea coats at Tiger of Sweden and a shiny brown leather jacket at Louis Vuitton. High waist denim and cowboy boots sold separately.
Very Classic menswear is back
In her brilliant show in Paris, British designer Grace Wales Bonner seemed to take a major step forward in her career, transforming from an exciting and emerging young thing into an unmissable talent who looks set for heavyweight status. A collection of elegance and luxury and restraint, and still so characteristic her. Inspired by the life and work of black artists in Paris, he blended elements of preparation and sportswear with aristo-classicism – slippers, contrast collars, shawl lapels, brooches and tailoring made in partnership with Anderson & Savile Row’s Sheppard – and it’s triggered a starter gun on a trend that will continue throughout the week. First at Louis Vuitton, then at Dior, Paul Smith and Hermès – no more high-collared shirt lapels and Dickensian tailoring.