As the Paris Fall 2017 Menswear collections wind down we have to admit a bit of disappointment. These collections seemed so safe, so commercially driven. In an uncertain world, it makes sense. Menswear presents a particular challenge. While we may love the one-off, the uber-creative or even the gender bending looks for their innovation and the statement they make about the designers philosophy, in the end most men stick closer to the tried-and-true when it comes to fashion. Let’s face it…most guys just don’t take those kinds of chances. Paris Fall 2017 Menswear took this into account.
Paris Fall 2017 Menswear Our Final Word!
That being said, there were plenty of great, solid wardrobe building pieces as designers delivered layered looks that gave the guys just enough room to show some creativity. These are the pieces that will drive sales. While the majority of men may not be willing to go so far as the Oscar Wilde-inspired looks of Wooyoungmi or the boldly colored street culture clothes at Pigalle to make their personal style statements, the ability to mix and match patterns and textures and shapes and proportions does bring a bit of excitement to men’s fashion.
Excitement came, too in the explorations of the men’s suit. It is well understood that the relevance of the suit is waning as casual wear becomes more “de riguer” for the office and for evening. For the sophisticates and power brokers there were still sharply tailored, classic suits across the collections. For Paul Smith, traditional silhouettes in fine British fabrics came in his trademark bold patterns and pops of color to provide a fresh alternative. But for those ready to dip their toe into something a bit more modern the options went from slimmer silhouettes, some featuring cropped pants, to slouchy jackets and wide-legged pants that could be easily dressed up or down. Thom Browne challenged the concept of the traditional suit with his exploration of proportions and demonstration of extraordinary tailoring skills. But his elongated sleeves, preponderance of buttons and sandwich boards of pattern pieces may have gone a bit too far. Still, he forces you to think and we love him for it!
Designers answered the call for cocooning with sure-to-please textures that make you want to dive in and lose yourself. Rich velvets, and thick knits have been trending throughout the European shows and why not? They suggest a comfort and coziness that assures protection. For even more protection designers delivered oversized silhouettes in everything from sweaters and pants to outerwear.
And on the subject of outerwear, it played a dominant role throughout the collections with looks that ranged from rugged to tailored, exaggerated to refined. Designers used outerwear as a vehicle to expand their vocabulary and make their boldest statements.
In the end, there was one key trend that looks to be the high note of the season. Shearling. There has never been a season showcasing more creative adaptations of shearling in everything from trims to sweaters to outerwear. For that we have just one word….Bravo!