Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023 Menswear brought the nerve, the verve and, interestingly enough, the weed (?)
Here’s our pick of the best menswear from Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023
For Loewe Spring/Summer 2023 menswear, Jonathan Anderson collaborated with Spanish bio-designer Paula Ulargui Escalona to grow chia plants, St. John’s Wort and other botanicals on his garments. The result? Sneakers and budding goats, mossy hoodies and sweatpants. It would have taken 20 days to “enlarge” the collection through constant watering, seeding and, one might assume, tilling? Along with the biomorphic hero pieces, the collection included three sleek leather coats with various everyday items (headphones, lighters, etc.) “stuck” in their textures. There were also a few colorful bomber jackets, visors with LED displays, performance apparel and, of course, a whole new generation of Puzzle bags.
Move over, Julia Fox, there’s a new supervillain in town – and it’s Glenn Martens’ muse. For the Spring/Summer 2023 collection, Y/Project took the textural biomorphisms so prominent in its past iterations (including the legendary Jean Paul Gaultier Couture 2022 collection) and transformed them into a retro-futuristic, steampunk concoction. The dystopian Liberty Belles in denim and denim-print organza, the gentlemen in scarves and rugs with a casual oversized suit over a completely unbuttoned shirt with a removable collar. Leather has had a moment – albeit understated – as an asymmetrically cut biker jacket; so have the prints – as well as the textured on-screen graphics of the walking dragons, brought back from the urban skater uniforms of the 90s.
Virgil Abloh’s latest collection for Louis Vuitton embodied everything we love about the late designer. The show was upbeat. On a yellow background, a symphony of colors unfolded, crystallizing in her a pure childish wonder. 18th-century French motifs adorned bomber jackets, cubist prints were spotted on baggy suits, and Joker-painted green and purple furs adorned hoodies, sweaters and jackets. Four looks with vivid floral embellishments executed in the best traditions of Claude Monet closed the show – the last outfit being a dress with a train and a matching blazer.
Pink at the Rick Owens show is the phenomenon I never expected to see – not since the Spring 2021 ready-to-wear show anyway. Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time Owens’ production has evoked existential dread and anticipation of the end of the world. This time, however, the color added a new dimension to Owens’ genre of dread, meant to depict “balls of fire and blazing suns, arcing across the sky.” Among the cult favorites were the pointy-shouldered tops that either looked like Nosferatu or a cartoon witch – the dealer’s choice. Among the novelties, the iridescent look reminiscent of the oil spill, the cubist print looking like window panes and the godson of Parisian sensuality – Ludovic de Saint Sernin – closing the show.
We’re all prisoners of Kim Jones’ horticultural hobbies, it seems. Dior’s Spring/Summer 2023 menswear show at Charleston Farmhouse made the connection between Jones’ Britishness and the house’s tender relationship with flowers. And fashions followed. As expected, the collection blossomed from couture – with Jones’ signature side-button jackets as the power upper – and everything in between (think technical knits, parkas, bermudas and fedoras) as rosebuds. scented. The color palette was a logical extension of Spring 2022 – minus the retina-busting acid green to this author’s chagrin. The tartan was a cool addition. Appearing on waistcoats and tiny tennis shorts, they brought the collection even closer to the noble British countryside.
Véronique Nichanian knows better. No flattery, but rather a statement of fact. For the Hermès Spring/Summer 2023 collection, Nichanian evoked the quintessential summer motifs, such as seahorses, crayfish and the imagery of the sun disappearing over the horizon done in yellow knits. A few waves, tattersall, wheat illustrations, at least some lobster intarsia, but what stood out were splashes of lilac, aquamarine and raspberry – some slathering on luxurious croc leather parkas and bucket hats – you might just become the most glamorous fisherman this side of the basin in Hermès leathers. The collection generally followed the Spring 2022 canons, while spicing it up with new verve and shaping it with prominent couture elements.
Celine’s Spring/Summer 2023 men’s show was titled “Dysfunctional Bauhaus”. The name could actually mean several things, but perhaps the simplest was Hedi Slimane’s apparent and aggressive, almost, rejection of conventional frameworks of “functionality.” This was deciphered in look number one, where a spookily embellished jacket and late MJ-style chachkis were topped with carefree little black shorts. LBS if you will. Shimmer was the word of the day in the Dysfunctional Bauhaus universe – with the golden tinsel coat paying a not-so-subtle homage to the Fall 2022 collection.
It seems Marine Serre’s Spring ’23 menswear show was a parade of archetypes previously known to fall through the cracks of the French visionary’s laser-centric aesthetic narrative. One thing happened – Serre defies predictability, intentional or not. The show opened with swimwear, slowly dripping in staples of its signature recycled denim with small crescent prints, then an explosion of hot pink jackets and dresses made from discarded towels – it’s a point where you, dear reader, begin to jump and roll. the floor in disbelief – for Serre, it was just another PFW show. The parade ended with some classic crescent-shaped jumpsuits, combined with sumptuous baroque dresses à la Fendace.
I have been an Egonlab. loyalist since their short film Horror Story which came out early last year. This time around, the day after its Spring/Summer 2023 menswear show, the independent brand finally got the buzz it deserved. Florentin Glemarec and Kevin Nompeix launched thigh-high boots in matte and patent leather, matched with denim shorts, some of them cut in a way similar to women’s swimwear (hello, GmbH) and continued their delicious tradition to mix emerald green with bright pink – this time, in the form of a flowing suit over a semi-sheer ruched turtleneck.
I once heard a friend say, “What if Thom Browne was to Gen Z what Jean Paul Gaultier was to Gen X?” Beyond the philosophy, one could hardly ignore the ingenuity and sass of Browne’s Spring/Summer 2023 menswear. The collection was, as we’re told, a bit of a love letter to, well, jock straps – the final look with the standout denim-colored tweed number (yes, technically, that one is part of chaps, rather than underwear). There were skirts galore as usual, both long and mini. The models’ faces were decorated with anchors, presumably drawing inspiration from Björk or rather her makeup artist Hungry.