Men’s – Country. Jacquemus AW19

Simon Porte Jacquemus‘ autumn-winter 2019 collection for men signalled his (temporary) departure from the always sunny, always beach-y wonderland that got him slightly trapped for the last few seasons. But, it’s Jacquemus – France will forever be his endless inspiration. This time, he went to the French countryside, and came back to Paris with a warm, ready-to-get-dirty offering. The designer presented his collection around a table full of cheese, grapes and bread, and posted a look-book photographed far, far from the big city – the hills of Montpellier. The collection’s leading inspiration? “Traditional French workwear,” he said, “bakery guys, farm workers. They are real, real clothes, cotton, wool.” We’ve got thick, durable collared outerwear and matching pants in brown; printed shirts that seemed to be inspired with Cezanne’s rural still-lives; leather pants that were a fashion version of an apron you wear to a barn; heavy trekking boots. But there was also the softer part of the collection, focusing on slightly over-sized fitted suits – something quite new to Jacquemus’ young menswear line. The designer’s love letter to the beautiful, French farm life could not miss foulards, tied loosely around the models’ necks. Now, anyone planning a detoxifying, rural escape anytime soon?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Eclecticism. Loewe AW19

Loewe’s decision to show its menswear during Paris fashion week couldn’t be better. Jonathan Anderson’s exquisite work for the Spanish brand has to have the motion of a runway. A look-book/showroom presentation doesn’t necessarily work that way, so the previous seasons for men felt a bit under the radar, and even… still? But the autumn-winter 2019 line-up was exactly that: vibrant, bold, full of energy, and optimism that was beautifully reflected in the joyously eclectic elements of the collection. Let’s start from the beginning. A yellow, canvas sculpture by Franz Erhard Walther was the focal point of the show space at Maison de l’UNESCO. Fragments of clothing were strapped to the freestanding piece (‘Gelbe Modellierung’ from 1985), which resembled the cross-section of a wardrobe. Walther’s artwork influenced Anderson’s designs this season, as they were all about mixing, matching, deconstructing and, lightly saying, playing. As usual with Jonathan’s work at Loewe, everything was very artisanal and made with great affection. Whether we’re speaking of the XXL, rough-looking cardigan made of different yarns and threads, heavily patch-worked sweater or a trench coat constructed out of wool scarves. But the collection’s ‘show-stealer’ award goes to the boots. Well, not just regular boots. We’re talking of unzipped boots, going all the way up to a belt. “We were looking at gaiters and fishermen. It was early-’80, kind of, when we unzipped them. It created kind of flaps – Western, but non-Western. It was how to take something fetish and de-fetishize it.” This sort of ‘odd’ seduction was as well applied to tailoring. Looks were slim in the torso, with flared pants. Some of the suits were in houndstooth (styled with a pink puffer jacket), some had a one, satin lapel. “We’d done the suit in the women’s collection – we kept the waist, and extended the back,” said Anderson. “There’s something quite chic and suave about it.” The tailored pieces reinterpreted the nearly forgotten, cosmopolitan elegance of men. Others felt like they were suited for an adventure, or were brought back from some remote destination. Collected and curated into an outfit – like the huge ‘fishnet’ knit or the multi-coloured, fringed bags. Summing up. Together with Marni, Loewe is my ultimate favourite of the season.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – New New Look. Dior AW19

It’s just the third runway collection from Kim Jones, but it’s already visible that his Dior has the new, new look. The Dior man is somewhere between deluxe athleisure, composed of utilitarian styles and comfortable fits, and a couture dandy, a territory that lets Jones embrace the brand’s truest haute heritage – which used to connotate with womenswear, only. The autumn-winter 2019 collection was a pure fashion moment we all waited for the entire season. Models didn’t exactly “walk” the runway, but stood still on a moving sidewalk. Suiting was given an air of elegance with draped, floor-sweeping sashes in satin and leopard print faux fur. What brought the line-up a truly exquisite touch was the collaboration with artist Raymond Pettibone. Jones used his illustrations for all the hand-made embroideries and embellishments, that covered the tops and shirts. Spectacular.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Silver Swagger. Junya Watanabe AW19

Remember my post on Brioni’s latest collection? The ‘zaddy’ is in fashion. And for real good, according to Junya Watanabe. Stylish daddies united in the designer’s autumn-winter 2019 collection shown during Paris fashion week. Aged 40 and up, those guys looked far cooler than today’s teen ‘influencers’ (ad that’s a 19-year-old’s honest opinion, by the way). Watanabe focused on reinterpreted workwear and everyday essentials, done in his signature patchwork style. There were those grown-up, day-blazers and not-too-formal shirts, but as well a lot of cropped silhouettes (like one of the corduroy pants) and, oh my, yes, Breton-stripe tops. All that topped with those very well-nurtured beards. Junya called the entire line-up ‘silver swagger’. Jokes aside, but ageism is a problem in modelling across all genders – so seeing an entire collection worn by mature men, who aren’t necessarily professional models, is refreshing. Into this.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.