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.

Men’s – In Search For Excitement. Acne Studios SS20

There are moments when I really think that some brands would do better with look-books instead of fashion shows. Especially Acne Studios‘ menswear. Jonny Johansson‘s spring-summer 2020 collection had lots of Acne classics – like elongated white shirts, cropped pants, so-ugly-it’s-good sneakers – that need no further introduction. For the sake of the show, they were made bit weirder with plastic lapels and cowboy fringes. The most interesting garments were the woven ones in scarlet red (with raw fringing) – they were the most attractive and sparked at least some excitement. But in overall – this show brought very little to the table and drowned in the sea of other menswear shows in Paris that got barely anything to say.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Beauty in Distortion. Y/Project SS20

Glenn Martens loves distorting volumes at Y/Project, and it’s an in-house signature coming each season from the brand. But this season, twisting, elongating, bending and deforming proportions of garments resulted in flowing, organic, even beautiful silhouettes. The tailored jackets and coats were turned inside on themselves. Chevron stitching on knits pointed downward past the double-zippered fanny packs to the super tightly fitted leggings below. Country wax and workwear jackets seemed to be violently grabbed at the collar and pulled upward. It’s quite incredible what Martens and his team do to their clothes, they sort of defeat physics. Womenswear was as well rotating around a similar idea of self-mutating garments, but it really surprised in case of fabrics that were used. Would you ever think of lace at Y/Project? The over-sized, black button-down dress worn over a beige shirt made of the same lace reminded me of Prada autumn-winter 2008, where Miuccia as well layered lace. But of course in a whole different way… Y/Project doesn’t stop to excite.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.