- Don-Alvin Adegeest |
"I want to talk to my generation: this is my main aim as a designer,” said Olivier Rousteing, creative director at Balmain, about his first menswear show. What that entailed was a luxe utilitarian look with plenty of safari, leather, layering and sportswear. M65’s came belted with stand-out pockets and a plethora of detailing, joggers were fitted and featured pleated knees - a Balmain staple - and footwear came in gladiator sandals mixed with a desert boot vibe. More is usually more, as opposed to less, at the house of Balmain. But while some designers feature both men’s at womenswear on the men’s fashion week catwalks, at Balmain the collections are synchronised and cohesive, something that appears to be resonating with its fashion forward customer.
Hedi Slimane presented yet another controversial show for Saint Laurent, this time making it downtown Los Angeles grunge without the chic. Inspired by artist Billy Al Bengston, an inhabitant of Venice Beach California, Slimane infused each ensemble this season with Bengston’s subcultural approach to his vivid creations. Floral and animal prints came in bomer jackets and outerwear for boys; shorter than short dresses with star patterns featured for girls. Traces of Navajo Indian met army camo, sequins and plenty of plaid. All worn with the skinniest drainpipe jeans, some with frayed knees. There wasn’t a short sleeve or pair of shorts in sight for the boys, who instead wore hats and Kurt Cobain glasses. You'd be forgiven for not knowing it was a summer season catwalk. Perhaps the collection works best for those who come alive after the sun goes down, though there wasn’t much on show that felt new or worth investing in.
Nile Rodgers, disco king and co-founder of the 70s band Chic, treated the audience at the Louis Vuitton SS16 menswear show in Paris to a live performance. Rodgers introduced the collection “by my man Kim Jones” to the audience, before saying: “I hope you think the music is hot ‘cause the clothing is hot.” “Fashion is a language that reflects different cultures and tribes globally,” said Louis Vuitton’s men’s designer Kim Jones, who was influenced by the concept of travelling the world. South East Asia, Myanmar and Cambodia were some of the destinations cited by the designer, who mainly sourced inspiration from the silhouettes of Thailand’s Lahu tribe. “The traditional dress of the tribe looks so much like contemporary sportswear,” he explained, as he offered up a collection rife with track tops and running-style shorts. Classical Thai embroidery also delicately accented varsity-style jackets, which looked as if they’d been plucked straight from America’s Ivy League colleges.
Japanese label Sacai opted for a hybrid tribal collection, using the house’s foundation for textiles and texture. There were buffalo checks, fern-printed pajamas, knitted flight jackets, fractured Argyles, Peruvian patterns, high-collared bibs, and blanketwraps. All worn with spring summer 16’s biggest trend, sandals and socks.
Givenchy continued the resort trend seen in Milan and included his favourite female muses in his men’s SS16 show. Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci loves his female muses, which this season saw Naomi Campbell share the catwalk alongside Candice Swanepoel, Joan Smalls and Adriana Lima. Campbell walked in a black and gold blazer, bra, g-string, and pair of thigh high boots, whereas the men appeared to have found Jesus, who’s iconography was seen as thorn-crowned images across T-shirts, sweatshirts, overalls and denim. Knitted kilts over pinstriped pants were an evolution of his modern tribal gear