Men’s – Play. Loewe AW20

At Loewe, things took a fun twist. That gesture of holding something in front of the mirror to see how it looks – we all know it. You could just see it the boys wearing draped lamé dresses fixed to the front of their tailored outfits on the autumn-winter 2020 runway. “I was thinking of ’50s couture—and a child, trying something on. What do you look like in the mirror?”, Jonathan Anderson explained. The two themes which have been running through this menswear season were bound together in one collection: carefree boyhood and the unprecedented presence of ideas about haute couture in menswear. “A fantasy wardrobe,” Anderson called it. “Playful. Optimistic. Pretty boys.” The dresses were a kind of signifying accessory, attached, apron-like, with leather straps. They said a lot about the way Anderson has always worked in the studio, experimenting with garments in free-association. The designer also put guys in coats which had “couture structures, on a woman’s block.” There was a white fit-and-flare shearling, a high-waisted princess-line coat. The zebra-print double-breasted caped silhouette, Anderson imagined, could easily become a superhero look. The childlike-couture perspective (also big at Francesco Risso’s Marni) led him to blow up existing Loewe mini-leather goods’ elephant shapes to become oversized tote-toys, to sprinkle crystal bling on sweaters, dangle diamanté jewelry on black patent boots, to weave a coat-dress from floral-print scarves. Anderson pointed out his own favorite—a shirt appliquéd with a pair of geese. Random and eclectic, don’t care. The point is that everyone, gender-regardless is welcome to pick and choose from what Anderson designs and delivers at Loewe.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Classics. Lemaire AW20

When in doubt, turn to classic. Specifically, Lemaire’s classic. For their men’s autumn-winter 2020 and women’s pre-fall 2020, Christophe Lemaire and Sarah Linh Tran offer a sober take on masculine wardrobe. A coat with wide shoulders, relaxed wool cardigans you might wear on a bare body, over-sized, thick cotton shirts, black leather pants with a loose fit (they also come in  denim). The workwear-inspired jumpsuit, belted at the waist, is probably one of the best pieces I’ve seen this entire season. The entire collection is kept in warm, earthy colour palette that always works. Just perfect.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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.