Day two of Paris Fashion Week Men's saw brands continuing with familiar themes of exploration, optimism and freedom. JW Anderson specifically, ventured inwards for a spring/summer 2022 menswear collection that explored notions of youthful expression and experimentation.
French brand Courrèges, meanwhile, explored the almost newfound territory of menswear with newly minted creative director Nicolas Di Felice's first menswear collection. And at Burberry, it was a familiar and rebellious offering by Riccardo Tisci that reminded us of his days at Givenchy.
It's certainly not wrong to say that of all the fashion brands and designers, Jonathan Anderson has conquered fashion presentations during this pandemic. Across both his own label and Spanish luxury brand Loewe, Anderson has successfully crafted a unique way of unveiling seasonal collections that have included kits featuring boxes, newspapers, wallpapers and more. For JW Anderson's spring/summer 2022 menswear collection, a set of picture frames housing each look were sent out. They resembled the kinds that those who grew up in the British education system would be familiar with. And for Anderson, represented a sort of childhood nostalgia.
The intention of the collection was simple and relatable enough—a coming-of-age adolescence narrative that's based around the home and the idea of escaping reality. Cue vividly vibrant (almost to the point of tacky) colours and crafty pieces such as a beaded dress and a pillow-shaped top. Yeah, we'd probably experience some form of delirium too if we were sequestered for too long at home. Oh wait…
Look and feel: As mentioned by Anderson in the collection's video walkthrough, the spring/summer 2022 menswear collection explored an idea of bad taste, and pushing the boundaries of what is and isn't tacky. The collection had an overall causal vibe with an emphasis on comfort and levity. Nothing in the collection was ever serious with colours almost on acid.
The chosen leitmotif for the entire collection was the strawberry. Anderson likened it to a very British kind of kitsch, and it's blown up as prints emblazoned across everything from jumpers to hoodies to fully strawberry-fied sweatsuits.
Favourite looks: The aforementioned strawberry sweatsuit in look 14 was the collection's standout among the different colourways of the garment. It's a navy fleece with red-coloured strawberries and then topped off with strawberry embellished slides—one can't help but smile at the sight. For something a bit more conventional and palatable for the masses, there's look 29 that's more commercial JW Anderson. The jacket-and-shorts coordinates worn over a characteristically JW Anderson striped tee, would be something we'd cop in a heartbeat.
Favourite accessories: Right off the bat, we're heading straight for the logo-laden socks because they'd go with everything and anything. JW Anderson has been around for more than 10 years now and it's only recently incorporated the logo into more of its ready-to-wear pieces, and this particular iteration would be easy to adopt. The brand's first and recently released high-top sneakers were updated with subtle additions of the logos too. There's also a collaboration with Persol (look 32) but at this stage, we'd need more images and variations before jumping in on them.
In only his second outing for Parisian fashion brand Courrèges, artistic director Nicolas Di Felice made a huge decision: bringing back the brand's menswear. Not only was it a monumental task considering that Courrèges's last menswear offering ended sometime in the '80s, the spring/summer 2022 menswear collection also marked Di Felice's first menswear collection in his entire career to date.
But really, it meant that there were little to no expectations of how the collection would turn out. While Courrèges has been around for decades, its menswear range is but a distant memory. And as its latest artistic director, Di Felice had free rein on the menswear division's aesthetics. Thankfully for us, they consisted of easy, streamlined pieces that when styled together, embodied a new kind of Parisian chic. But break them up and they'd individually stand out on their own.
Look and feel: The Courrèges spring/summer 2022 menswear collection felt futuristic yet timely all the same. They were done in monochromatic tones (a continued trend that we've seen across most fashion brands for the past few seasons) with silhouettes sticking to sleek and slender lines. There was nary an exaggerated silhouette that would have taken the brand back to its Space Age roots, and thank the heavens for that.
While the general aesthetic was one that consisted of elevated everyday fashion, there were pieces imbued with a sense of fluidity and exploration. Look 11's leather trousers for example, were ridden with holes along each outseam, while look 20's tank featured a cutout right in the middle—spring/summer 2022 is looking to be a season of skin-baring.
Favourite looks: We could hardly ever resist an all-white outfit (simply because it always looks good) and Courrèges's iteration (look 6) that consisted of a gilet, trousers and finished with solid sneakers, was one we'd get into. The pieces looked to be made of leather but after a year of not dressing up that much, we're throwing caution to the wind at this stage. Look 14's similar monochromatic approach would also make for an ideal outfit to head out for the entire day and night in. And lastly, the closing look's knit jumpsuit—a one-and-done piece we'd be lounging around the home in but wouldn't mind wearing out for groceries.
Favourite accessories: The oversized luggage-shaped holdalls (looks 2, 9 and 15) were a throwback to old-school hand-carry luggage for a dose of retro-futurism thrown into the mix. We're gravitating towards the brown version just because it sits squarely in between the three in terms of versatility.
There were both progression and regression at Burberry. Chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci was back to his old tricks again, fuelling a collection that was goth-like in parts with plenty of youthful rebellion, while at the same time, removing the need to please every demographic of the Burberry customer. There was no longer an amalgamated collection of incongruent looks—just one unified vision throughout.
Having said that, the spring/summer 2022 menswear collection wasn't how we imagined it would turn out given the teasers. Unlike the psychedelic visuals that music project Shpongle (they provided the soundtrack) were known for, the collection stuck to the brand's signature beige, black, white, and infusions of dusty pink, red and blue. Tisci's aim was for the collection to embody a sort of youthful free spirit, but perhaps one that's quite Mad Max-lite.
Look and feel: Burberry wants you to be ready to bear bare arms for spring/summer 2022. The collection was almost exclusively sleeveless, right down to the brand's iconic trench coats. Sleeves were slashed to severe raglan proportions that at times, made some of the pieces looked like they were constructed to be halter-necks. But the device made way for quite possibly the most interesting iterations of the Burberry trench that we've seen thus far.
There was also a heavy use of cargo straps featured on everything from trousers, jackets, shirts and even coats. On some, they formed rib cage-like overlays, while on trousers, they jutted out for an ultra utilitarian aesthetic. The collection's defining print was the Rorschach-like blobs that took the forms of bibs and printed on sheer layers as well as coats.
Favourite looks: The simplicity and severity of look 2's halter-necked apron outfit matched with oversized cap-sleeved T-shirt and a beanie-cap hybrid. It's deceptively minimal but also incredibly sleek. Similarly, to that effect, look 29's gilet worn with simple black trousers and a hint of colours in the form of the same beanie-cap but trimmed with slivers of bold colours. And for an update on a Burberry icon, we'd go for the boat-neck version in look 45—an outerwear we may be able to pull off in Singapore.
Favourite accessories: You may not be able to see it in look 12 but there was a padded baseball cap in red that we're curious to see how it'd hold up in real life. Impractical perhaps, but we're here for the ludicrousness of it.