Paris Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2023

Texture and Layering Came in Many Guises: From a Nod to Victorian Style at Rick Owens to an Ode to Nostalgia & Time-Travelling at Yohji Yamamoto, Fall 2023 Packed a Decidedly Tactile Punch.

A perfect mix of traditional and contemporary – at Walter Van Beirendonck
Image and Video Credit Paris Fashion Week, Participating Designers and Vogue

Paris Men’s Fall 2023/4 brought with it a tide of time-inspired fashion: some designers looked backwards and derived inspiration from times gone by, others looked straight ahead, innovating, fantasizing and imagining the future.We saw epic ensembles take their inspiration from across centuries and across cultures at Yohji Yamamoto, and even Rick Owen – the ultimate futurist – allowed himself a sneak peek back to Victoriana. Givenchy played with contrast of a different kind, combining classics with street and urban wear to create silhouettes that have a magical eclecticism about them and Acne Studios delved into aspects of gender and fashion, creating an aesthetic and dreamy collection of non-binary pieces.Textures – from faux fur to velvet, satin to denim, patterning – from surface prints & embroidery to intarsia and jacquard knits and layering – pattern on pattern, texture on texture, and often deliberately exposing bare skin, were all there to be marveled at. Black – as is without fail the case with Fall collections – was a key player, and taken to delicious new heights at Saint Laurent.
Check out some of the key moments of Paris Men’s fashion Week Fall 2023/4!

Cummerbund and skin – at Saint Laurent

 

GIVENCHY

Watch Givenchy’s show here:

This collection started out in a very well-behaved fashion, with classical tailoring … but before you could say Jack Robinson it reavealed its true colours: fabulously eclectic and surprising street and urban wear silhouettes interwoven into the meticulous tailoring. Inspired layering showcased classic, tried-and-tested combos like tartan, plaid, leopard print and camouflage all in one outfit, or an oversized, super luxe ‘gangsa’ faux fur coat over a boucle skirt, topped off with – you guessed it – a diamonte (or is it real diamonds?) necklace. There was snakeskin (of course!), marled jersey and two-tone fake fur across garments that spoke of contemporary – albeit edging on the alternative – menswear: mid-thigh skirts, textured and transparent knits, jumpsuits and cropped hoodies … all simply delicious. The combinations that included predictably ‘prim and proper’ tailoring at the top but soon ‘descended’ into something rather playful, were perhaps the most interesting in this Fall 2023 collection.

Inspired layering – at Givenchy

Faux fur and a mid-thigh skirt – at Givenchy

Simply sumptuous! At Givenchy

Where the traditional meets streetwear – at Givenchy

An airy knit – at Givenchy

Two-tone faux fur – at Givenchy

 

YOHJI YAMAMOTO

Watch Yohji Yamamoto’s show here:

The legend that is Yohji Yamamoto gave us a Fall 2023 collection that deviated decidedly from his beloved monochromatic black (or black & white/ black & red) palette. We saw texture upon texture, pattern upon pattern, creating vivid looks that were reminiscent of characters from an epic drama. Brocade, printed velvet, woven cotton, denim, wool tweed and tartan created collages of sumptuousness and luxuriousness. The puss-in-boots footwear, hats and caps added a distinct dandiness to this lavish collection. At the end of the collection Yamamoto couldn’t resist reverting back to his comfort zone of tried-and-tested black and white layering complete with trademark Yohji Yamamoto braces.

Sumptuous layering – at At Yohji Yamamoto

Traditional tartan meets Aztec print – at Yohji Yamamoto

A dandy storybook character? At Yohji Yamamoto

Velvet prints and denim – at Yohji Yamamoto

Swish-buckle denim – at Yohji Yamamoto

Inspired textures, patterns and layering – at Yohji Yamamoto

Black and white, and braces! – At Yohji Yamamoto

 

SAINT LAURENT

Watch Saint Laurent’s show here:

Black, black and black. The symbol of luxe, elegance, sophistication – and of the house of Saint Laurent. Black – a non-colour – absorbs rather than reflects light, hence designing in all black (bar a few pieces) takes confidence, which Anthony Vaccarello has in excess, and this Fall 2023 collection is full of fabulous takes on tactile texture and clever details to reinvent black as the palette of choice. Standout details were the oversized bows on shirts, the generous and voluminous leather trousers and sequined knitted tunics. The dramatic floor-sweeping overcoats, razors harp tailoring, cummerbunds reminiscent of exotic places and the use of ultra-luxurious silk chiffon and velvet (often importing traditional womenswear garments into the repertoire) also wowed us no end.

A sequin tunic – at Saint Laurent

An eloquent bow – at Saint Laurent

Black on black on black – at Saint Laurent

Shiny and reflective black – at Saint Laurent

Transparency – at Saint Laurent

Luxe winter white – at Saint Laurent

 

DRIES VAN NOTEN

Watch Dries Van Noten’s show here:

The king of colour and texture started his collection in a rather restrained way but soon the demure black, camel, beige and grey gave way to a delicious kaleidoscope of sage green, salmon pink and chocolate brown accents. Exquisite floral prints (Van Noten loves his botanical prints) embellished water-colour, washed-out surfaces on jackets and trousers, embroidery put finishing touches to coat lapels and intricate intarsia emblems decorated knitwear. There were many striking layered ensembles – pattern upon pattern– and many beautiful examples of tactile surface design, as only Van Noten can muster, but the standout shape of the collection has to be that perfectly shaped woolen coat with its slightly exaggerated shoulders and body-hugging shape.

Abstract botanical prints on this puffer jacket – at Dries Van Noten

The ultimate new coat shape – at Dries Van Noten

Sportswear meets botanical prints – at Dries Van Noten

 

RICK OWENS

Watch Rick Owens’ show here:

In one of the most highly anticipated shows of the week, maverick Rick Owens, high priest of post-apocalyptic chic, went, well … rather prudish on us. The capes and cloaks, in particular, had a certain Victorian feel to them, the ripped denim (not that the Victorians sported the latter) felt rather dainty and frou-frou and the spikey shoulders of the jackets were a little Dickensian. There was plenty skin on display, though, which gave the collection a very contemporary feel, together with the trademark platform footwear. Particularly quirky this time around were the transparent heels.

A nipped-in-the-waist silhouette – at Rick Owens

A waisted jacket – at Rick Owens

A cloak with a nod to Victorian chic – at Rick Owens

A draped cloak – at Rick Owens

A voluminous teddy bear coat – at Rick Owens

A nod to Victorian chic – at Rick Owens

An egg-shaped overcoat – at Rick Owens

A puffer collar – at Rick Owens

 

ACNE STUDIOS

The conversation around gender, and what’s menswear and what’s womenswear, continued at Acne. There’s nothing new about it, there is, however, plenty that’s exciting about it. Cropped tops, over-the-knee socks, bodycon onesies and lacy knickers – those items traditionally reserved to suggest female sensuality, are combined in this collection with ‘masculine’ battered jeans, biker trousers and sturdy mountaineering boots. In other ensembles football boots evolved into heels, and worn with a knitted tube dress. This is a collection that’s asking questions – and offering stunning solutions.

A perforated leather ensemble – at Acne Studios

 

A bodycon onesie with over-the-knee socks – at Acne Studios

Lacy knickers – at Acne Studios

Tartan patchwork – at Acne Studios

Eighties bodycon – at Acne Studios

Fragile pastel knits – at Acne Studios

 

WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK

Symbols of life and death were printed on ensembles, made into patchworks and woven into intarsia and jacquard knits, in a collection that states, “We need new eyes to see the future”. Jackets with cutouts across the rib sections were reminiscent of skeletons, serpents and phallic symbols decorated tops and jackets, veils worn by models reminded us of funerals, plastic ‘drips’ sewn onto garments spoke of the fragility of life and ‘protective gear’ embellished outfits. These are fundamental and philosophical questions put out there by Van Beirendonck. Luckily the result was a collection of pieces that were super playful and extraordinary fun, with the colour green celebrated with its connotations (envy, life, vigour, Garden of Eden etc) in all its guises and shades.

Green symbols – at Walter Van Beirendonck

Green in all its guises – at Walter Van Beirendonck

Protective plastic – at Walter Van Beirendonck

Cutout ribs – at Walter Van Beirendonck

Layering – at Walter Van Beirendonck

Symbolism – at Walter Van Beirendonck

Black snakeskin – at Walter Van Beirendonck

Traditional tweed – at Walter Van Beirendonck

A kilt and intarsia sweater – at Walter Van Beirendonck

 

Cecile Paul

Author at Pynck

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