100% Vetements. Vetements AW20

The autumn-winter 2020 collection by Vetements, the first since Demna Gvasalia’s departure, is 100% Vetements. “We want to strip down the bullshit of the industry,” summed up Guram Gvasalia, the brand’s co-founder. “Somehow in fashion the spotlight went away from the clothes,” he remarked, “and for me this is why people like Margiela are so iconic because he never appeared and it was always about the clothes.” So, flashlights were sent as invites, and an announcement was made at the beginning of the show that the audience should turn on their phone torches to be able to see it. Design-wise, the line-up was all about Vetements classics – over-sized duvet-jackets, heavy metal-inspired prints, hoodies and t-shirts with ironic signs, trench coats, leathers – with a bigger focus on tailoring. But what really struck (and confused) the audience was the model casting. The lookalike Kate Moss, Snoop Dog, Angelina Jolie, Sharon Stone and Naomi Campbell were all a surprise. “I would have loved to have the real Naomi,” Guram shrugged. “But as a young company I am afraid we cannot afford it.” The game of real or fake has always been part of the  brand. Love it or hate it, but Vetements still knows how to catch the attention.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Fire! Dries Van Noten AW20

Dries Van Noten‘s latest fashion is fire hot. First the Christian Lacroix collaboration that became an instant, historic moment. Now the autumn-winter 2020 collection for men, which is just wild. “It’s about enjoying clothes, dressing: using your sexual power to feel great.” Faux fur stoles (aaaaaaaah, the return of decadent chic!), rich velvets and satins, leopard prints, raw denim, chunky knits. The collection was rock & roll, Mick Jagger, New York Dolls, so many things. There were also a lot of loose silk pants and to a lesser extent shirting, the sensual mellifluousness of whose material wafted breathily against the stronger, harder pieces around them. The collection as well included many  menswear classics. The military bomber and parka, the long check overcoats and the burnished brown leather jacket were all hot stuff for outerwear lovers. Hawaiian-style prints on puffers, shirting, shorts, and pants, plus typically vibrant knits completed a collection that climaxed with some crystal-set lilac silk boxing shorts and a rush of rave applause. This mights be favourite collection of the entire menswear season.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Partisans. Yohji Yamamoto AW20

At Yohji Yamamoto, looks were layered and imbued with rough, “unfinished” details. Officer coats with imperfect embellishments, military berets and caps, unmatched patterns unevenly patchworked, knits were dyed and hand-painted. But there was something absolutely romantic about these rebellious-looking guys. Swaths of beautiful, printed silk floating alongside a few silhouettes were pure poetry. The 76-year-old’s idea to develop these figures as “Partisans” sends the message that he remains a true nonconformist. “I used to explain my spirit as anti-trend, anti-fashion. I kept saying I’m an outsider. Now the vocabulary is not enough. And I’m angry about what’s going on in fashion, so I have become partisan.” It’s a word that people today assume is political. “Or dangerous,” Yamamoto added.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Performa. Rick Owens AW20

Rick Owens‘ show has always been a hot ticket in Paris. But in the last few seasons, his collections are receiving rave, nearly fanatic response. No wonder why – both his menswear and womenswear line-ups take you to another dimension. Tyrone Dylan Susman, Australian jewellery artist, Rick Owens’ studio designer and the brand’s face, opened the show in a one-legged, one-shouldered jumpsuit modeled after one made by Kansai Yamamoto for David Bowie in 1973. But where Yamamoto’s was a vivid pattern drawn from yakuza tattoos and kimonos, Owens’s was drably dun, and in the felty, blanket-like cashmere. Another highlights of this collection, which was all about elevated forms: the “monstrous” shoulders and the huge steel-fronted platforms (they might soon be selling as well in the men’s sector as all the Owens sneakers – if they aren’t already!). The designer talked about “graphics of exposed flesh” carved by his cut-out cashmere layers, and alongside those were the graphics of silhouette. Acidic colors on shearlings and motocross pants, screaming striped prints and hints of cleavage delivered via the deep-V tees so recently beloved by Rick himself were as well the big takeaways from the line-up. “I was a lot more introspective 10 years ago. And, you know, I think as you get older, you just get a little more reckless, more comfortable, more confident, more playful.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.