As a rule, menswear is evolutionary and not revolutionary; that super-directional ability goes to womenswear… and on a fairly continuous loop, I might add. When it comes to menswear, we don’t expect a complete sartorial shuffle each season, only a few garment additions.
With the latest cycle of shows, Paris brought out a few experimental notes, loads of surface treatments, more colors than usual, a little more leather and gender-bender notes –in this case it’s really more about men re-attributing past garment styles and sartorial luxuries.
And there were a few [not so] indirect references to the UK. It’s not a secret that the French love English menswear, it’s amazingly well thought-out, so classic and well made; it’s impossible not to like it. But, what is different this time is that the references are more cultural.
No one can think about vernacular UK men’s style without thinking about the posh boy’s school uniforms and team sports like cricket and rugby. These tailored stripped uniforms, long-sleeve shirts and small caps are iconic.
Is there another Scottomania brewing in the fashion world? It seems so. A little plaid goes a long way, as does feileadh-mhór style references and classic kilts.
Then comes the Scotland Yard twist, the Inverness cape-coat. Any Sherlock Holmes reboot could get some inspiration from the shows. The Inverness cape-coat and a variety of alternatives graced the catwalks with surprising modernity.
Moving back to France for another interesting historical nod that seems to be starting a movement of sorts. More than a few designers are referencing Pierre Cardin. Yes, Cardin, the great couturier and modernist creator, is an unsung hero of 20th century fashion and may simply be getting his well-deserved dues. His amazing cuts and experimental modernity is not a bad thing to channel and reference.