Paris Fashion Week: A smooth revamp for men’s runway shows
After London and Milan, the torch has been passed to the French capital. Paris will unveil the men’s autumn/ winter 2017/18 collections from Wednesday January 18 to Sunday January 22, against a backdrop of market instability and a transitional period for Fashion Weeks.
But despite co-ed shows, new names and departures from one fashion capital to another, Paris is maintaining a steady programme, and is managing any change smoothly with some strong updates.
50 labels feature on the calendar this year, up from 49 last June. Several are appointment-only presentations from such labels as Valentino, Rick Owens, Louis Vuitton, Yohji Yamamoto, Givenchy, Dior Homme, Hermès and Lanvin. The fashion week will close on Sunday with co-ed shows from Paul Smith and from Kenzo, the fresh addition to this edition.
A further highlight of the week is the arrival of Colombian-born French designer Haider Ackermann at the creative helm of Berluti, where he succeeds Alessandro Sartori (now at Emenegildo Zegna). It's likely to be the must-see show on Friday evening.
Among the big names, the departure of Carven has made the news as the label puts its men’s line on hold. And as in June last year, Raf Simons and Saint Laurent will be absent. The former, who was guest of honour at Pitti Uomo last summer, has decided to transfer to New York (where he is taking the reins at US label Calvin Klein). Meanwhile, Saint Laurent, under the creative direction of Anthony Vaccarello since June, has also decided not to stage a menswear show.
For the rest, the established labels share the spotlight with emerging talent and other rising fashion stars, with two newcomers in particular set to make their debut this season. First off the bat is French label Icosae, on Wednesday.
Founded in 2014 by brothers Valentin and Florentin Glemarec, who trained at the Ecole du Louvre, the label offers "a new men’s wardrobe with polished, adventurous and subversive collections," it says.
The young designers, whose savoir-faire and inventiveness has been remarked upon since their first presentations, are breaking new ground with innovative tailoring inspired by a spirit of the creative underground, channelled through pared-down graphic silhouettes.
Another new name to the show is that of the Chinese label Sankuanz, founded by young designer Zhe Shangguan in 2008. A semi-finalist of the LVMH prize in 2015, the label was noticed by a handful of top buyers, and by Vans, with which Shangguan signed a collaboration. After his debut on the London runways, he is making inroads at Paris, where Sankuanz will close the show on Sunday.
The designer is keeping his style studio in Xiamen, in the Chinese province of Fujian, where he began his university studies in 2007. He offers a street and hip-pop style mixing Asian and Western inspiration.
Finally, as an opener to the Fashion Week on Wednesday, Lucien Pellat-Finet will depart from the static presentations that the label has hosted until now in order to present a live runway show. Likewise, Cerruti has announced its return to the catwalk on Friday. For the past year, the label had put a hold on any shows, preferring to save its place on the calendar with its presentations.
On the flipside, Maison Margiela, whose menswear collection is headed by an internal design team, will opt this season for an in-calendar presentation on Friday.
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