Paris sees the culmination of the traditional tailoring world, much of the language we saw in Milan was present here but with fashion-forward styling and plays with novel concepts and storytelling. This season had many highlights, some noted below, but well worth a look was Officine Generale – a reliable staple for an amazing display of modern tailoring and esoteric takes on bedwear as elevated pieces for the day. Exposed underwear, socks with garters below the knee worn with shorts, and monochrome looks lent an exciting twist to classic garments. Marine Serre again delivered a message of making from waste as half of her collection came from deadstock materials. She continuously delivers exciting and distinctive pieces with her own unique signature, whilst obtaining a more responsible approach within it. Dior had models appearing out of the floor, Pharrell delivered what needed to be done in his debut men’s LV show, complete with a street party with Jay-Z, and Jonathan Anderson continued into a direction of menswear with Loewe not seen anywhere else.
Berluti isn’t talking about quiet luxury this season. It’s vibrant luxury for them but they say, “It’s still an if you know, you know type of brand,” which they’re leaning into. The new collection has some subtlety in maximalism. The details in leather goods can be felt without touching, obviously with the highest level of quality and craft. Continuing the trend through from Milan, Berluti has reworked and returned styles, some from over 30 years ago, including a revival for the B Volute hardware emblazoned on the loafer and belts. The ready-to-wear consists of mixed fabric segments: jackets with cotton and leather. A safari jacket with an adjustable waist – elegant and perfectly versatile and utilitarian. The tailoring is clean and wider than before, there’s a narrative of loose and free whilst looking put together which flowed on from Milan too. House classics were continued in the form of a dark green suede bomber and blue blazer. A lightweight parka was also brought to life and the new season’s practical everyday wear featuring the shadow sneaker, mixed with outerwear like a gabardine raincoat perfectly. It’s clothing for outdoors, comfy with immaculate execution, but it’s not quite activewear yet. Although, if you’d really like to let your hair down, through a secret room there was everything to satisfy party guests. Even the most serious of brands and their clientele have fun behind closed doors, and all in the essence of Olga Berluti’s own engagements. An impressive array of puzzles, toy spinning tops, champagne holsters and an ashtray decorated the dining table. Berluti offers opulent, practical and elevated pieces with a heavy emphasis on heritage and craft.
The brutalist backdrop, and courtyard garden location added a soft light to this shaded outdoor show, which was welcomed in the Parisian heat. The Tokyo-based brand delivered possibly the most well-styled show of the season (Styled by Charlotte Collet). It was subtle, the clothes looked like they had been lived in and enjoyed. Celebrating subtle details that make all the difference and unconventional twists and quirks which make us unique and individual was the premise, and they delivered it with precision. The layering of shirts exposing a contrasting cuff on the turn-up and extra collars peering out from the neckline ties apparent through transparently thin knitwear. Simple black Flip Flops partnered with a pleated skirt-suit, (the commute in this heat was clearly too much), and flowy high-waisted trousers, similar to those you’d see from The Row, were worn elegantly in relaxed workwear ensembles in a masterclass of materials, fabrications and how to style autumnal layers in summer. Knee-high socks revered a chic school-boy aesthetic, accompanied by an open-neck shirt and tie, but it was far from juvenile. The final section gave us dashes of vibrant colours, in wraps, knits and suit trousers before delivering a striking blast of lipstick red.
At LGN, Tailoring in everything – It’s a reformation of classic wear. Very seriously done. Louis-Gabriel is becoming well-known for his intensely well-executed shows and is one of the few runways with diverse and well-rounded castings. Last season we saw the runway version of American Psycho and this season’s show was inspired by Christopher Isherwood’s, A Single Man. This led to a plethora of characters and emotions, crying murderers and the virgin vulnerability of damaged finance bros. Louis-Gabriel constantly flirts with and challenges traditional masculinity in his clothing and characters. Whilst a car door and memorial flowers wandered the runway under the arm of a model, this collection was far from a car crash. The designer’s stunning signature tailoring ran through each look, even with challenging materials. The extra strong double shoulder, and a cinched waist in the double-breasted suit jacket came in monochrome looks – black, white and citrus – then reworked with the arms torn off, and paired with shorts. A heavy, glossy white leather suit was accessorised with a seatbelt, whilst other looks were accessorised with various car parts. Louis-Gabriel not only captures you with interesting takes on classic clothes, but also incredible storytelling through fashion.
Dreams become reality and what may have been an illusion comes into focus with Suen taking inspiration from the perception of real life and dream-like existence. His collections incorporate a mix of Chinese heritage and Oriental theatrics, with a grounding of natural materials and progressive takes on the masculine form. Beauty shone through, even with the simplicity and Yin and Yang of black and white looks, the textures, cut and silhouette gave character. The opening look was a razor-sharp, leather, three-buttoned, notch-lapel suit, tight to the waist but fanned at the shoulder, partnered with short shorts. Then white underwear for outerwear – not a bad idea for the summer we’re about to have. Alternating dark and light, the best of the collection was heard before it was seen, with a dangling bell ringing with each stride as it struck the thighs of the models. A stunning silky white suit, extra-wide leg, low-rise, and a cropped tee underneath a minimalist, clean suit jacket with a single button, and no collar or lapel. This approach ran throughout, it seemed to get better and better, as he played more with silhouettes and proportions, fastenings and accessories, the hardware shone as bright as the fabrics. The blend of tradition and the future manifested into alluring new pieces that felt like we hadn’t seen before.
Lemaire has been an extremely consistent resident on the Paris schedule for many seasons now. Since starting the brand, Christophe Lemaire and Sarah Linh-Tran have carved out an aesthetic that is distinctive, subtle and beautiful. The Lemaire brand doesn’t need to shout, it has the inside clique that works for them, and even with the growing popularity you can be certain that things will not change to satisfy any mere trend. With the recent opening of their new flagship store in Le Marais, you can now be surrounded by the Lemaire concept. Their modular approach to dressing is translated into the physical space too. This season’s show came at the perfect time on the murkier and drizzliest day of PFW. Inspired by recent trips to Vietnam and Bangkok, the designer couple explored how travelling can deliver a more intentional way of dressing. With the unpredictability of weather that we see as a result of climate change, we have to be practical and real with what we choose to wear. This was evident as the lightness of fabrics in this collection came with the practicality of hoods and water-resistant layers. I envision a humid day during the rainy season – which probably works well on the tube in London too. Jackets were draped from bag straps, revealing tank tops and relaxed tailoring looked as comfortable and dynamic as ever, and each look had the versatility of being dressed up or down. The clothes, not only beautiful, are practical and pleasing. They are endlessly adaptable, tell stories of where we’ve been and can acclimate as we move further onward. If I needed to be dressed in one brand from here on in, bury me in Lemaire.
I am always excited by the Maison Mihara Yasuhiro show and the fun it will deliver each time. It did not disappoint. In this season’s show, entitled ‘LoFi Vision’, even the analogies in the show notes are whimsical in the way Yasuhiro describes the ’90s – “memories of that time sink and float like ingredients in a soup”. And so to commemorate that period, this season’s looks all had a vintage-inspired feel. Basically nothing fit, but everything worked. Imagine finding your favourite piece in a vintage store that’s not your size but you get it anyway and live in it for years. That’s how a lot of these pieces looked. Faded from wear, stretched by comfort, and wrinkled from life. The most oversized boyfriend hoodie you’ve ever seen, or in this case, one that would be passed down from your old sibling, glided down the runway. Denim followed in different hues and distress, along with torn and holey knitwear, again overworn and elongated. There was a nice cameo for some very ’90s inspired sneakers, wide laced and wide soled, and bags resembling a boombox, no doubt it would be playing LL Cool J if it worked, and dinosaurs – a childhood obsession of his. The fun surprise came when Apollonia Stoisits, the model in look 28 of 50, took to the stage, joining the live band to deliver the punk vocals for the remainder of the show. And finally, Yasuhiro emerged for a boogie during his finale.
Brett is a sustainable fashion campaigner, model and content creator.
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