26 Jan. 2012


The Paris menswear fashion week closed Sunday night after a turn of more than 50 shows and dozens of presentations. In politically and economically difficult surroundings the designers went for a wearable and reasonable wardrobe without any big surprises. Most of the collections for the next winter season 2012/13 come in shades of black and grey, as seen in Yves Saint Laurent, Songzio, Damir Doma, Cerruti, Wooyoungmi, Dries van Noten, Jean Paul Gaultier and also John Galliano (under his new designer Bill Gayton). Hermès even chose “black” as the theme of its collection, showing different variations of the color.

Besides this onslaught of dark tones, some hues shown through: greens (Cerruti, Dior, John Laurence Sullivan), some blues (Kris van Assche, Louis Vuitton, Raf Simons) and less so reds (Mugler, Margiela). More common were checks in these colors or in white and grey. Kenzo, Walter von Beirendonck, Thom Browne, Issey Miyake and Givenchy proved that bright colors are not totally absent for winter's menswear.

Concerning materials, the designer went back to real winter textiles, with a fair amount of warming knitwear, woolen fabrics, tweed, velvet and corduroy. Note-worthy was the lavish use of leather and long, wide coats in cashmere and wool, all which are quite expensive at the moment due to the economic crisis. Fur collars also showed a luxurious approach.

Wide-cut trousers, popular in many summer collections, did not transfer to winter. Small, skinny trousers are back with colorblocking adding on a cool, young attitude. Nearly every pant for next winter is cropped to the ankle or even higher, similar to styles seen two or three seasons ago. Wide trousers were often formed with a cuff at the ankle and a very high waistband as shown by Rick Owens, Dries van Noten and Yves Saint Laurent. This silhouette recalls menswear from the years following Word War II, with thicker materials, comfortable outfits, and hats. A second trend is the influence of femininity in menswear with items like ballerina-shoes, capes, fur collars and scarves as seen in the Yamamoto and Louis Vuitton collections.

One of the most anticipated shows was the launch of ready-to-wear for Berluti. The LVMH affiliate has specialized in shoes since 1895 has now started anew with clothing. Loewe and Carven presented their menswear-lines for the first time, thus making their menswear collections official.
Barbara Markert

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