The Milan Fashion Week Men's for the spring/summer 2020 show season might have concluded, but we are nowhere near the end of the finishing line. What you are about to read, is the first of six days of fashion reviews and highlights from the Paris Fashion Week Men's showings. In the words of that younger cousin who's watched one too many rap videos: "Let's get this bread."
With almost a week of fashion shows and presentations—the longest out of the big three fashion capitals—we definitely aren't short on brands looking to leave their mark on the runway. First up, Paris Fashion Week Men's opens with Heron Preston, Fumito Ganryu and CMMN SWDN presenting their spring/summer 2020 collections.
The American designer might have made his name in the streetwear realm, but Preston is not satisfied with the usual trope of pushing out graphic tees, industrial belts and collaborations. Like any smart businessman, he is looking to scale—both on the commercial and creative front.
For the Heron Preston spring/summer 2020 collection, he turned his attention to tailoring. But if you're a fan of the label, you need not fret. Preston still drew inspiration from the same creative pool of workwear and catchy graphics. But what he did differently, is interpreting them through the use of suiting and new fabrications. Case in point, the first look from the runway: a pristine tailored white suit that drew elements of a bomber jacket and cargo pants—two staples of streetwear.
The collection also featured new fabric elements added into Preston's repertoire—sheer organza translated into polo tees that are perfect for summer layering, and soft tweed fabric juxtaposed against stark GORE-TEX jackets. The collection also saw the continuation of his collaboration with Levi's, our favourite being a full double denim outfit rendered in Preston's signature orange hue. The collection is not by any means revolutionary, but that's not a slight on it. What Preston sent out was a collection that's convertible and uncomplicated. And based on the legion of fans who showed up to the show, decked head to toe in his collection, it seems like it's a formula that works.
When Fumito Ganryu started his eponymous label, there were three core concepts on which he laid the foundation of the brand on—co-existence with nature, gender-neutrality, and functionality. Based on Ganryu's previous collection, the latter two were more obvious, but the idea of co-existence with nature was harder to express through clothing. Inherently, it's quite a task for an article of clothing make city-dwellers want to leave their couch behind and head out into the wild, but perhaps, one can bring the beauty of nature to them.
For Fumito Ganryu's spring/summer 2020 collection, he turned to nature to shape the colour palette of the season—interpreting moody clouds, rolling waves and lush greenery into prints, and translating them onto long robes and coats, trousers, skirt-like shorts and shirts. While the prints might seem jarring together, the pairing of the various settings mimics actual scenes that one would be familiar with in nature. Through a single outfit, Ganryu was able to tap on his first love of paintings to help put together scenes from nature.
But Ganryu didn't neglect the other pillars too. The jackets and coats are box-pleated and expand when you're on the move, yet sleek when at rest (the extra billowy effect that it lent the garment was a nice plus). Functionality was expressed through the silhouettes as well as hidden zips that allowed wearers to explore different ways of wearing the piece in order to suit different needs. Tailoring is also no longer pigeon-holed into the boardroom, with a boxy silhouette one that wouldn't look out of place no matter where you are in the world.
The brand's footwear game also takes a leap with the spring/summer 2020 collection witnessing not one, but two different collaborations. The first is with Japanese brand Suicoke that resulted in a hybrid silhouette. The second is a collaboration with sportswear brand Salomon, featuring a sneaker with a lightweight sole that's designed for both running and hiking.
If there's one thing you should be doing in this collection, it's to go forth and explore.
Calling the collection 'UMMAH', Emma Bakir Hedlund and Saif Bakir's spring/summer 2020 men's collection for CMMN SWDN was about exploring the former's Swedish and the latter's Iraqi heritages. The inspiration behind the collection was to imagine a community (thus the name of the collection, which means 'community' in Arabic) and what the clothes might look like when different cultures come together and start combining ideas, skills and techniques unique to each culture.
The result was a clash of prints such as python skin, ornamental Middle Eastern tile patterns and leaves (possible trend alert?), on languid and boxy silhouettes. The idea was to showcase the different layers working together, but the beauty of the collection was more than just the masterful balancing of different prints, it was also a smart play of proportions. Loose-fitting jackets and shorts were often worn with skin-tight T-shirts. Heavily printed looks were balanced by subtle monochromatic outerwear. Layered tops were contrasted by python print biker shorts, and anchored by chunky penny loafers fitted with heavy-duty Vibram soles.
While there was a poetic balance between the two designers' heritage and modern design sensibilities, our favourite was something more underrated—a pair of simple pleated trousers, with oversized velcro side adjusters. Just like the overarching theme of the collection: simple, yet effective.
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