KENZO: GROOVY BABY
The collection: At a glance, you'd be hard pressed to not think of Austin Powers. Optical and psychedelic prints worked into baggy silhouettes. Think flared trousers, boxy jackets and slouchy knits. The materials? Lacquered mock croc, shiny satin and corduroy, of course. Was this Humberto Leon and Carol Lim trying to recall the era of peace and love? We hope so.
Accessories: Every model spotted daisy motif ribbon chokers — the same floral chain print that ran through the collection — with peace pendants.
Something you might have missed: Before revealing its runway show, the choir from The Académie de Musique de Paris performed a Oneohtrix cover of Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation in remembrance of the Paris attacks last November. If there is one thing everyone can agree on, it's that music unites.
SACAI: SPLICED-UP CLASSICS
The venue: The Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint) building located on the Left Bank of the River Seine. Think: Grand neoclassical architecture with gold-leafed ceilings done in the Italian palazzo style.
Inspiration and collection: The staircase landing leading up to the runway room greeted guests with a large neon sign that spelt 'LIIFE'. According to the show notes, the word symbolises the notion of 'giving more' and the pursuit of 'more love in life.' This central theme in the collection translated into 'two-in-one' garment pairings (for example, a shearling fleece duffle coat worn over a second duffle in burgundy wool melton in look 7 with their fastenings interwoven as one), and the cross-pollination of classic menswear pieces (such as the fusion of a camel pea-coat with an overcoat in look 20).
I spy: Regimental stripes in yellow, green, red and white applied to shearling fleece coats, knit scarfs and jersey tops for a collegiate feel.
Something you might have missed: The re-imagined 'life vest' (as exemplified in look 36) that doubled as a gilet or scarf and was routinely layered under coats and blousons.
HERMÈS: SPORTY AND CHIC
Location: The circular Maison de la Radio building in the 16th arrondissement. Guests were seated to face outwards, watching the models walk along the circumference of the building with the bustling Parisian streets acting as a dynamic backdrop through rain-streaked windows.
The collection: A dichotomous offering played out to two distinct soundtracks. Part one, synchronised with Chet Faker's Bend: Sporty separates including a hooded blouson in steel glazed calfskin worn over a zipped cashmere cardigan (look 10); double-zip bomber in blackcurrant suede goatskin paired with putty-coloured runners (look 18); and turquoise trousers with an elastic waist in stretch cotton gabardine (look 28). Part two, accompanied by The Brian Jonestown Massacre's Leave It Alone: A covetable and chic array of full-black ensembles. Personal favourites include the two-button suit in black wool flannel with wide chalk stripes worn over a zipped blouson in black silk-cashmere (look 35); the single-breasted blazer in technical corduroy with khaki-shaded herringbone matched with a turtle neck in black crackling silk (look 41); and the knee-length overcoat in sumptuous calfskin featuring paneled yokes of pony hair (look 47). All in all, it was the most 'fashion' that we had seen from Véronique Nichanian from her past few offerings.
Buro Loves: The Bolide weekend bags in tan (look 19) and dark chocolate (look 29) sporting a playful shark-like design featuring round beady eyes and jagged teeth. Proof that there is still youthful energy in this 179-year-old maison yet.
AMI: NEW DAWN
The runway: Set in the underbelly of the Palais de Tokyo building, it was an industrial affair with exposed concrete pillars, man-made fog, and a dim blue light radiating from the start of the cobalt blue coloured runway.
The collection: If you ever want to know what the Parisian youth are planning to wear next, look no further than the insouciant menswear pieces peddled by designer Alexandre Mattiussi. Barely five years old, and having already developed a reputation for delivering effortlessly cool oversized trenches and coats paired with crew-neck pullovers and buoyant trousers, the fall/winter 2016 collection by Ami didn't disappoint loyal devotees. Standout ensembles include the tone-on-tone pairing of a slate-grey Mac worn over a grey merle knit and wide-cut slate-grey trousers (look 5); that zipped bomber with a blown-up check pattern of black squares alternating with grey cubes in herringbone tweed (look 17); and baby blue turtle neck worn under an oversized coat and tucked into relaxed navy trousers (look 30). Even the closing looks of a silver sequined trouser and topcoat didn't seem ridiculous; this was menswear that you wanted to wear — immediately.
Worth the investment: Those white leather basketball sneakers fastened with three Velcro straps. Goes with everything, looks totally badass.
Something you might have missed: The choreographed final walk with the models slinking down the runway en masse, but in total darkness, before finally congregating and facing the same direction. An amber light then proceeded to intensify so as to signal a new dawn, and the end of a debaucherous all-nighter.
For all coverage of Paris Men's Fashion Week, click here.
To revisit Milan men's fashion week, click here.