Paul Smith seemed very optimistic regarding his crisp and colorful collection. Smith’s signature slim silhouettes reminded us of the Mods — the double-breasted suit jackets had strong shoulders and were paired with ankle-length pants in mismatched shades of peach, mustard and teal. A more laid-back vibe came in cotton or leather biker and blouson jackets. The whole collection offered a modern spin on Smith’s very British tailoring.
The menswear-collection of Lanvin had a post-punk vibe. Black leather was one of the key ingredients, even used for shirts and ties under suits. Flowing high-waist pants worn with oversized white shirts with rolled sleeves reminded of Fred Astaire. There were boxy T-shirts, classic jackets with billowing backs, a ska-style black shirt with a neon front, and glam suits in glimmering silver.
Silky, ultra-light windbreakers in python and sheer nylon were worn like shirts, tucked into slim, shiny pants or over tailored shorts. Spring’s top trends for men — lightness, transparency, silky fabrics and upscale technical sportswear — were there.
Kris Van Assche’s collection for Dior Homme was entirely in blue, the metal buttons and white/blue striped sweaters aside. Van Assche, in his methodical way, set out to present what he called “a complete wardrobe.”
Van Assche knows how to turn an idea over and over, tweaking it: showing a blazer, then shearing its sleeves, then removing its back. But the concept became skin when Van Assche rendered a few jackets and coats in nylon mesh, the better to show the construction inside.
Rei Kawakubo sent an army of dressed-down guys onto her spring runway. Their hair dyed orange and clamped with studded leather headbands, the models navigated a grid of steel poles wearing pajama suits paired with slouchy overcoats. The designer underlined the collection’s rebellious mood by splicing together unexpected fabrics and silhouettes, such as a gray pinstripe coat with strips of black snakeskin and studded leather. Her simple shirt-and-pant combos came in fabrics that could come from a rocker’s wardrobe — red tartan, leopard print, camouflage and gold lame.
The Hermes-collection designer Veronique Nichanian sent out were sporty silhouettes in unexpected fabrics. Like zippered parkas in chiffon calfskin; T-shirts in perforated leather; and sweaters inset with lambskin panels.
Appealing were the sophisticated, summery suits done in deep blue linen canvas or virtually sheer seersucker in pale shades. Along with a series of single-breasted, navy wool and mohair tuxedos.
The Viktor & Rolf Monsieur ss2013 collection reflects the house’s approach to a smart gentleman, with unexpected twists in detail. Inspired by the vibrant colors and relaxed silhouettes of India, the collection merges a layered, soft silhouette with a traditional sartorial approach. The result is a colorful collection with an elegant, relaxed attitude.
The silhouettes are a combination of summer tailoring layered with light, easy pieces. Colorful tunics peak out through the range and have a relaxed summer fit. A house classic trench in terracotta is lightweight and unexpectedly lined with the signature spectacles-print, an iconic print for Monsieur.
The tuxedo in summer wool-silk is freshly done in a dove grey resulting in a modern, chic approach to evening wear.
The traditional, western herringbone print is modernly re-interpreted in variations. A palette of salmon and oranges ranging from pale to bright are the highlight seasonal colors against classical contrasts of white, black, midnight and beige.
Composed of a combination of brushed leather, canvas, mirrored leather, or suede, the shoes and bags complement the relaxed elegance of the collection.
‘The cult of communion’ was the starting point of the Givenchy menswear-collection. The church incense and organ music that preceded the show set the mood already. Tisci printed innocent white brocade with spooky looking vestigial faces. He played with layering and proportion and gave just a small reference to priestly vestments by adding a white collar that peeked from under black coats or ice-pink satin.
The designer had artists reinterpret classic religious imagery to provide the collection’s graphic tees and sweats, which have made Tisci’s work for Givenchy such a visible presence around the world.
While the designer continued his devotion to active shapes — sweatshirts, polos, T-shirts and baseball jackets — he set aside his recent fixation with skirts for men. Instead, bi-level tunics flapped under suit jackets. Inspired by the Bauhaus movement, the tailoring was bold and linear, with triangles of fabric inset into lapels and shirt collars.Tisci treated feminine fabrics like satin and organza as sweatshirt material, stamping his sporty jerseys with female religious icons instead of player numbers.
The Beatles were the soundtrack for a sweet, urban/preppy collection from Junya Watanabe. He said he moved away from structure although his men looked rather sharp-dressed. There was a easy feel to the collection with the fresh-faced models in suits and separates in cornflower blue, khaki and pale gray. Pants were cropped above the ankle or cut into trim Bermudas. Individual touches included elbow patches and pocket trims in shirt fabrics.
This time Ann Demeulemeester – the Belgian queen of black – wanrted to prove she can use color too in her collections. Her show opened with deep-wine purples and ended with orange and sea blue.
She may have changed her color palette, but her man stays the same: romantic and a loner. Some oriental elements resonated in this collection, like the side-tied silk kimono tops bubbling out from beneath jackets, trailing sashes behind. Demeulemeester made it her own by undercutting preciousness with ease. She loosened her stricter silhouette with wide, soft pants, some printed with casual stripes or graphic roses.