Best shows from PMFW SS18: Lanvin, Paul Smith and Kenzo
And just like that, it's the last day of Paris Men's Fashion Week. Although dogged with food poisoning since his first day in Paris, editor-in-chief Norman Tan has survived fashion week (just!) to bring you his personal take of his favourite shows on the fifth and final day.
From the return of the tie at Paul Smith to aerial acrobatics at Kenzo, simply scroll down to look at the runway images as you listen to Norman talk you through the collections.
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LANVIN: LAYERED ASYMMETRY
Designer: Lucas Ossendrijver
All you need to know: Presented in a square runway setup under blue flashing lights — almost reminiscent of a boxing arena — models came out fighting in a street-centered collection that spanned tailored outerwear (duster coats and harnessed trenches) to technical sportswear (think: High shine waterproof slickers). Stylistically, it was all about layered asymmetry with a focus on the neck. Hoods and large stand-up collars on parkas and jackets were worn to the side, whilst bum bags (yes, bum bags are everywhere this season) were belted anywhere but the middle of the waist. There was also a white semi-transparent hooded anorak — we've seen transparency rear its head a few times this season: OFF-WHITE show in Pitti Uomo, Ermenegildo Zegna show to kick off Milan Men's Fashion Week, and Louis Vuitton here in Paris. Trend to watch.
PAUL SMITH: OCTOPUS'S GARDEN
Designer: Sir Paul Smith
All you need to know: I'd like to be under the sea / In an octopus's garden in the shade... When 'Octopus's Garden' by The Beatles played as the closing track to Sir Paul Smith's latest spring/summer 2018 runway, the key print for the collection made sense. It was a gorgeous midnight Hawaiian scene featuring both Hibiscus flowers (garden) and koi fish (under the sea) used as an iridescent jacquard for blazers and trousers; translated beautifully onto fluttering camp collar shirts worn under bold single-breasted suits; and festooned into a tie to finish off dapper ensembles in that killer combo of purples and greens. Ties? Yes, ties are back. We've seen this at Fendi, Versace and now Paul Smith. Combine this with colour-blocked suiting and 1970s silhouettes? Definitely a winner in my books.
KENZO: HYPER COLOR
Designer: Carol Lim and Humberto Leon
All you need to know: This is the current state and future of high fashion — a combined men's and women's spring/summer 2018 collection; inspired by two Asian muses (musician and dancer, Ryuichi Sakamoto, for menswear; supermodel and one of Kenzo Takada's muses, Sayoko Yamaguchi, for women's); and a model line-up composed of fully Asian models. But it only makes sense: Kenzo is first and foremost an Asian brand, and the engine room for fashion consumption is, and will continue to be, Asia. With that in mind, designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon presented a colour-blocked collection that's sure to appeal to their clientele. A female offering that packed a floral punch with flower appliqué on belts and chokers artfully mixed with stripes and ruffles on dresses; and a menswear discourse that spoke of British tailoring by way of relaxed blazers and coats accessorised with a single chain detail that ran from front to back under the left underarm. Separating the menswear collection from the women's was an aerial acrobatic performance on the walls of the Camille-Sée High School by Lafawndah; an 'intermission' that garnered unanimous fashion audience approval and, as such, was the perfect way to end Paris Men's Fashion Week.