It’s a wrap for Paris Men’s Fashion Week AW22, and though it was a far quieter affair as a result of reduced in-person attendance and brands cancelling their shows (thanks, Omicron), we were still treated to some inspired productions from the likes of Louis Vuitton, Dior and Loewe.
The five day event was one of firsts and lasts, as Louis Vuitton honoured Virgil Abloh with a showcase of his final collection, while at Kenzo, Nigo presented his debut collection as the brand’s new artistic director.
Before all eyes turn to Paris Couture Fashion Week, we take a look at the highlights from the first Paris menswear outing of 2022.
Arguably the most significant event of this Paris Fashion Week, the Louis Vuitton show served as an emotive farewell to the late Virgil Abloh and his contributions to the fashion world. The Men’s Fall-Winter 2022 Collection, dubbed the Louis Dreamhouse, was the final show of Abloh’s eight season arc for Louis Vuitton. The Maison’s design team, in completing the collection, sought to consolidate the themes and messages of the designer’s work on a wistful, dreamlike stage. Jewel tones coloured a number of suits and work jackets, while varying textures from rich tapestry to satin sparked the imagination, a fitting tribute to Abloh’s ideology that beamed with a child-like sense of wonder.
For Dior’s 75th anniversary, Kim Jones transported us to a bridge over the Seine for its men’s collection, which honoured the brand’s legacy in a slick, neutral palette consisting of black, camel, light blue, and the iconic Dior Gray. Models donned berets that accompanied contemporary tailored ensembles, embellished with a proliferation of florals and sequins. Flourishes that lovingly link back to Monsieur Dior include the lily of the valley and the leopard. Designs from a collaboration with Birkenstock were also unveiled on the runway, the footwear pieces matching the collection’s overall tone with their elegant grey hues and flower embroidery.
On a sandy-floored stage with multicoloured ribbons dangling overhead, Jonathan Anderson presented his AW22 collection for Loewe that was tinged with commentary on the metaverse and our increasingly tech-immersed world. Models drifted through the beachy setting wearing bodysuits sprinkled with digital-looking fairy lights, heart-shaped cut-outs that seem to reference our obsession with social media likes, and T-shirts with the wearer’s selfie image printed upside down. Continuing the current of experimental whimsy seen in Loewe’s women’s collection in September, warped geometric silhouettes made appearances along with unusual accessories like conch-shaped bags.
Rick Owen’s FW22 Men’s ‘STROBE’ presentation at the Palais de Tokyo was true to its name, characterised by rhythmically strobing lights in a darkened room as his ‘LANGUOROUS GLAMASLEAZY LIGHT SEEKERS’ modelled glamorously goth ensembles. Loose distressed fabrics, face-obscuring fully zipped hoods, and puffy oversized jackets dominated the space, but it was the illuminated headwear that made the biggest impression of all. Inspired by a trip to Egypt, the helmets sport Dan Flavin-style fluorescent bulbs set in a vertical, crown-like structure, assisting the strobe flashes in highlighting the collection’s unconventional black silhouettes.
Making his debut in Paris after his recent appointment as Kenzo’s artistic director, streetwear legend Nigo presented his combined womenswear and menswear collection at the Galerie Vivienne, where brand founder Kenzo Takada had his debut show in 1970. Celebrity fans and friends Pharell and Ye (formerly Kanye West) watched in the wings as a procession of Japanese denim jacket and trouser sets, floral prints, and preppy plaid marched by. While paying homage to Takada with patterns and pairings, as well as tipping his hat to Carol Lim and Humberto Leon’s time at the helm with tiger motif elements, Nigo still made sure to put his own contemporary stamp on the lineup, bringing together a culture-crossing blend of workwear, streetwear, and outerwear.