Paris Menswear parades end in a flurry of whimsy and structure!

Some would say that they kept the best til last and perhaps that is true of a couple of the collections presented on the last day of the Autumn/Winter menswear shows on Sunday!

This has been an inspired week of fashion, sometimes pushing the boundaries and at other times seeming to be quite pedestrian in presentation but overall the week has been one to celebrate some exciting up coming trends in menswear for the Autumn/Winter season.

Sunday bought to the fore a whimsical collection from Thom Browne  that told 2 distinct and very different stories – one made up of immensely wearable clothes, if you discount the wonderfully outrageous head wear and the other made up of sumo wrestler inspired outfits that certainly made a statement but were purely for show and as you will see will not make it onto the racks, except perhaps for people who wanted to contact the designer directly to buy a piece…this section would not be something that would have a strong market presence but certainly made an impact on the runway on Sunday.

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Part 1 of a 2 part story from Thom Browne.

The more wearable, marketable section of the parade featured a grey palette that blended a range of fabrics and styles that included using 2 different fabrics for different panels on a coat, adding in a kilt to create a layered effect, shorts for the more balmy autumnal days and featured coats with their hems stitched inside out to great effect.

When you added the quirky fun head dresses, Thom Browne managed to serve a flight of fancy with this collection.  The pieces were all wearable and even with just using almost exclusive greys for the range did not detract from the wonderful tailoring, style, cut and excellent designs on offer here.

The second section of oversized sumo bomber jackets, pants and shirts were fun, frivolous, made a real statement and added something really different to the parade but as I said before were a great addition to the catwalk and added another element of theatricality to the show but that is where they will stay.

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What a stunning display but not for office wear I think!

Hedi Slimane, designer for Yves Saint Laurent has been something of an outlaw since returning to the revered house. He has given the label a new, fresh look, tapping into the energy of the music scene and reviving both  grunge and the Teddy Boy style of the 50’s.

On Sunday night, he kept the same stories happening,  sending out beanpole rockers, sometimes drowning in their  woollen blazers and sparkly dinner jackets, their skinny legs wrapped in black denim or leather.

But this is not to detract from the fact that there was lots of great designs included here. There were a  host of English fabrics, and a return of the squared-off YSL shoulder line, and introduced classic styles familiar since the Fifties with Yves Saint Laurent, including raglan-sleeve woollen coats, fantastic trenches and slender suits with tapered trousers and high wasted pants which were reminiscent of the 1950’s rocker billy style.

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New additions to the YSL stable  included a handsome khaki cape and full-on furs, one in a striking hound’s tooth pattern which could be classics in the making.

The parade was staged in a clear tent at the foot of the golden cupola at Invalides, and was youthful and cool.

So here we are at the end of Paris fashion week for men and over all the week offered much in the way of forward trends.  For a season that can be quite uninspiring this was not a series of shows that disappointed at all and promised a range of exciting new directions, colours and styles for the upcoming Autumn/Winter offerings for menswear.

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