Balmain under the creative direction of Olivier Rousteing seems to be at the top of the fashion game. Just this week Rousteing announced Balmain Kids. Yet with so much going on the very talented 30 year old sent out his fall 2016 menswear collection so masterfully tailored, harkening Parisian history, that the cast of Les Misérables would have been envious. The collection in bold hues of blues and reds was accented with the houses signature festooning and embroidery fit for a modern day noble.
Givenchy found Riccardo Tisci channeling freedom this season and although I’m not sure his vision came through what did was his brilliant execution of weaving denim and stud embroidery with leather. The collection also featured laser print skulls and oversized serpent images on coats and bomber jackets.
Dior Homme the one thing that creative director Kris Van Assche understands is tailoring and for fall he mixed his usual slim fit silhouette with a splattering of wide leg trousers topped with fitted and oversized jackets and topcoats finished with narrow length western style bow ties.
Lanvin unlike many who present overly tailored collections Lucas Ossendrijver who’s celebrating 10 years designing for Lanvin overcame the shadow surrounding the house and the recent tumultuous departure of its creative women’s director Alber Elbaz by sending down the runway a collection that a guy could relate to with a fashionable yet easy gate. Highlights included oversized robe draped coats and batik styled tie-dyed print shirts.
Louis Vuitton was all about “Future Heritage” or as creative director Kim Jones put it “Paris old and new,” as Jones presented a collection that had the best of Parisian tailoring that featured slim fit double-breasted trench and fur coats, double-zip bombers and printed pullovers and cropped jackets.
Rick Owens has always been a designer to walk to the beat of his own drum and once again he did not disappoint as Owens address the plight of the planet in his fall collections aptly titled ‘Mastodon’ that featured a parade of prehistoric alien like creatures draped in sack like garments and sheaths slung over puddled length wide leg trouser.
Thom Browne known for his theatrical staging presented a collection of 13 guys revisiting their gentlemen’s club of 30 years past as he showed each look in triptych, first tattered, then distressed and finally pristine and tailored.
Valentino was a mixture of beatnik chic meets wandering nomad. The collection, which started in densely woven blacks, moved fluidly into plaids and studded embroidery and found its resting place in Navajo styled prints and tie-dye with a modern-esque hippy feel.
Walter Van Beirendonck one of my true favorites and a man that I’ve always seen as introspective and thought provoking in his manner of design this season showed a collection that expressed his anger at the world and its current state. One exit found a model as well as Beirendonck sporting a shirt with the word WOEST, a Flemish word which translates to ‘furious,’ and Beirendonck is angry at how screwed up the world is right now. Yet his anger came through in a beautifully tailored collection in true fluid Beirendonck style. His use of cutouts, draping and bold geometric abstract faces were reminiscent of futurist totems.
The week, however belonged to Raf Simons as the recently departed creative director at Dior showed a collection of larger than life overly draped variety sweaters and coats worn by defiant prep school boys. Maybe it was a way for Simons to free himself from the restrictions of womenswear and chart a new course as he explored unstructured silhouettes.