Paris Men's Fashion Week SS19: Ami, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto converge on the unexpected


Text: Andrea Sim

AMI ventures into the great outdoors, Issey Miyake has a Pleats Please moment, and Yohji Yamamoto brings on the unexpected

The way Alexandre Mattiusi decks out the AMI man boils down to the adjective 'approachable'. He looks incredibly put together, but his on-the-pulse yet non-fussy style is short of intimidating. While we'd always imagined him to be a city denizen — and, someone you wouldn't mind going up to asking for directions or striking up a conversation with — Mattiusi was keen on bringing him to nature for spring/summer 2019. First with the wheat-filled runway, then with the interpretive fair isle jumpers, summer trekking sandals, anoraks, tights layered under shorts and, bucket hats. Yes, bucket hats that also came through at Versace, Valentino and Loewe. While there's clearly a consensus amongst designers that this is the man's accessory of the season, AMI's is intended for the outdoors. At least in form, following that of a hiking hat with ties to secure it under one's chin. But while he's enjoying a jaunt outside the concrete jungle, that sleek tailoring was not forgotten, afforded in a smattering of sleek DBs and handsome topcoats.

Yosuke Takahashi is one to evoke the feeling of summer in his clothing. For SS19, it was palpable in breezy bottoms paired with leather slip-on sandals, tie-dye patterns à la the music festival staple — albeit, in monochrome — and the occasional burst of colours deftly framed in black and white ensembles. There were no shortage of patterns too for a designer who tends to keep it visually clean, with a type of marbling print, the aforementioned tie-dye and stripes holding court. Until, the trio of looks featuring a linear pattern — reminiscent of the corrugated fabric used in the brand's Pleats Please line — showed up in a burnt orange that resembled architectural flames. An understated reference that certainly called to mind Issey Miyake without subscribing to logomania.

There are some designers with such hardcore fans that it guarantees a bunch of hopefuls without show tickets turning up to queue regardless in hopes of serendipitous admittance. Like Undercover last night, Yohji Yamamoto is part of that coterie and understandably so; those who master the technique of draping as poetically fluid as he does are few and far between. Collectors will have a field day with the black jackets lined with pockets on the exterior from lapel to hem, the impossibly free-flowing trousers that looked almost liquid as the models strode, the lightweight coats constructed with irregularly-shaped panels missing — an ace in the layering game. Yamamoto preferred his with graphics showing through, including one that read "Yohji is fresh". Colour, a real treat in his collections, came in doses of punchy pink, purple and blue, on what looked like a weightless coat and also peeking out in soft bunches under a black jacket. And this time, the designer pumped up his use of prints and imagery significantly by way of a nondescript, tone-on-tone leopard print visible only when the light strikes at the right angle, and with more overt means in the cavalcade of garments splashed with painterly portraits of geishas, flowers and the female form. The models we imagine, were instructed to take their time down the runway and make eye contact with the audience. Proceeding with such confidence and swagger, Yamamoto's SS19 outing felt like a social gathering of sorts. In a way, aren't all fashion shows?

All coverage from Paris Men's Fashion Week spring/summer 2019.


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