Men’s – Archi-Fluidity. Dries Van Noten SS20

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After a quite melancholic winter season for both men and women, Dries Van Noten is back with vibrant, energetic and very hot collection for spring-summer 2020. “It’s about ‘archi-fluidity.’ So, it’s a fluidity of archetypes of men and of garments. . . it’s all the typical elements that you know, like jeans, army pants, businessmen’s suits, soldier outfits—all those different things which are mixed in a very unconventional way, looking a lot to ’80s movies like Fassbinder’s ‘Querelle’, or even earlier things like ‘Pink Narcissus’.” He had it all, from sultry leopard prints and bold fuchsia to tropical florals and camo. There was leather, there was mesh, there were chains. Tailored blazers with short shorts are more than welcome. Seeing this collection, I can hear Lana Del Rey’s Sublime cover of Doin’ Time song in my mind…

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Positivity. Louis Vuitton SS20

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It’s Virgil Abloh‘s third season at men’s Louis Vuitton, and probably his best. For the spring-summer 2020 show, the brand held it in the real-life, cobbled streets and cafes of the Place Dauphine. The audience sat under trees on Louis Vuitton park benches or sipped a glass of champagne at outdoor tables. The view? A collection of easy, big shapes, flowing pants, real flowers stuck into harnesses and some really good outerwear. People like Dev Hynes of Blood Orange were part of the show’s casting, which made it even more intriguing. Of course, there were some similiarities to Craig Green’s garments in these wearable, geometric constructions that closed the show, but the collection’s main focus was on couture-level craftsmanship. Flower embroideries climbed up tulle coats, and a couple of immensely luxe iterations of hoodies, made from minutely pleated chiffon. “I’m learning, and taking much more of a couture approach”, he told the press after the show. It was a collection oozing with pure positivity, from the delicious pastel colour palette to the flower power elements.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Corporate Killers. Raf Simons SS20

Corporate chairs, violently covered with black tape, were placed all over the show venue. “Big lie… media America, corporate America… fascist America” spoke the mysterious voice as part of the soundtrack. Was Raf Simons about to sent down a line-up of corporate killers? It rather seemed like an underground tribe of rebellious boys who were about to fight with the old, power-holding white men, who block individuality. From one side, you could perceive this collection as Simons’ comeback to his comfort zone: defiant teenagers in rage. But from the other side, this might have been a cumulation of feelings gathered after the designer’s abrupt exit from Calvin Klein, which happened nearly a year ago. Today, Raf is again his own boss, and he’s sure of one thing: he despises corporate, capitalist America. “STONE(E)D AMERICA” sign appeared on a number of garments, while the hospital gowns and coats had “RS-LAB” labels on. The t-shirts were splattered with red paint, the knits were ripped, shorts were styled with heavy boots (as if the boys were off for a long crusade). Some models wore red scientist gloves – maybe Simons nodded to handling radioactive chemicals in this dystopian vision? This was a collection with a message, with emotions, but simultaneously is full of deadly good clothes. Raf doesn’t dissapoint.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.