Fashion Weeks

The Highlights of Paris Fashion Week Men's Fall 2019

Taking advantage of their opener spot for couture, the biggest talents in French menswear showed off their craft and questioned the very nature of the industry.
Reading time 5 minutes
Celine

In 2000, Hedi Slimane had recently started his job at Dior Homme when Karl Lagerfeld decided to lose weight in order to wear his clothes. Nearly two decades and a game-changing Saint Laurent era later, the designer is reinventing Celine, and it's no surprise he has decided to build the brand's menswear presence with a show at Paris Fashion Week Men's. Plenty of his signature slender aesthetic hit the runway, but so did elements of unexpected variation when it came to color and fit. While the real test of Slimane's power to transform the brand will be whenever he debuts his promised couture collection, the men's show confirms what we learned in September: this is no longer Phoebe Philo's Celine.

Heron Preston

In the middle of the longest U.S. government shutdown to date, Heron Preston presented an inaugural runway show themed around the TSA's Instagram. Literally. While this was purely coincidental, it made for a memorable Paris debut, something only heightened by an audience including Maisie Williams, Gunna, and Virgil Abloh. If only the collection was available immediately, people could start wearing pieces to the airport to lighten an unpaid TSA worker's mood.

Louis Vuitton

Abloh's first collection for Louis Vuitton menswear is only just hitting the market, but his second show proved he's already a crowd favorite. Timothée Chalamet and Frank Ocean were in the audience, as was Naomi Campbell, who debuted a new hairstyle for the event. The show itself was just as captivating as the guests, with a Michael Jackson theme and Alton Mason tumbling down the runway in an all-purple ensemble. Now that the world knows Abloh's yellow brick road led to such a mesmerizing event, the future looks even brighter.

Off-White

Never one to let his streetwear brand sit in the shadows, Abloh also pulled out all the stops when it came to Off-White. Most notably, Playboy Carti and Offset walked, and it's good the show got the latter to take a break from Cardi B hunting in order to rock a lilac coat. The show, "Public Television," was examining the real-world impacts of its titular subject, and Abloh's signature unconventional streetwear pairings paraded alongside music that included a sample from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

Dior Homme

 

If anyone says they "walked" Kim Jones' third collection for Dior (and second under a new name, following pre-fall—RIP Dior Homme), know they are lying. Instead, each model stood on a moving sidewalk runway to slowly glide past audience members, in effect making them look like products on a conveyor belt. At first glance, this appears to be a commentary on consumerism, but the designer was in fact trying to recreate the feeling of a couture salon, albeit in a modern way. Filled with utilitarian motifs and references to French history, the collection rolled out an entertaining addition to Jones' new endeavor.

Thom Browne

Thom Browne is always reimagining menswear, and Fall 2019 explored its feminine possibilities. In 12 groups of three, models displayed a vision of dresses, short trousers, and corsets. But the finale wasn't even about what any humans were wearing—instead, it was an unveiling of miniature looks that had been hiding on bubble-wrapped poles down the middle of the runway. Questioning why menswear and womenswear have such a sharp divide, the collection could be a strong argument to expand dolls like American Girl into the male market.

Raf Simons

Raf Simons may have left Calvin Klein, but he's keeping himself busy with his eponymous menswear line. The designer chose to hold his head high by continuing to mix elegance and pop culture as he does so well, leading to a collection full of ankle-grazing coats, cotton trousers, and vintage images of Laura Dern in Blue Velvet. Today's Dern, of course, sat front row, reaffirming the powerful mix of nostalgia and currency through her presence. While no one knows exactly where Simons will take his career next, it's good to know his creativity is alive and well.

Sacai

If you were looking for supermodels at Milan Fashion Week Men's, you would have found them in droves at Versace and Prada. While they were decidedly less present in Paris as more strict menswear brands had their chance to shine, Sacai decided to debut women's pre-fall. Kaia Gerber opened the show, embodying street elegance with a sheer maxi dress and the ever-present ugly sneakers. Rising stars Fran Summers and Anok Yai also helped to display a collection that showed menswear and womenswear have a lot more in common than some may think.

Vetements

Demna Gvasalia is always creating a spectacle that makes its contemporary audience think, and his Fall 2019 show for Vetements was no different. Held at the French National Museum of Natural History, the show featured more-creepy-than-cute stuffed zoo animals in the background. Whether the models, who wore misspelled logos and graphic pieces commenting on politics and consumerism, were supposed to be witnesses of the unsettling scene or zoo animals themselves is open to interpretation, but the streetwear is sure to be all over when it hits the market.

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