MEN’S FASHION IS RETURNING TO SOFTER ELEGANCE
Men’s fashion is evolving to embrace a softer elegance, aligning with the current trend for quiet luxury. This shift was evident in the catwalk shows during the second day of Paris Fashion Week. Designers such as Walter Van Beirendonck and LGN Louis-Gabriel Nouchi showcased collections that embodied this new direction.
WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK’S STRANGELY SOBER COLLECTION
Walter Van Beirendonck’s collection this season showcased a surprisingly subdued aesthetic. The flamboyant Flemish designer infused his usual eccentricity and non-conformist style into the collection, but everything seemed more calm and composed. Vibrant colors were replaced with monochromatic pieces in traditional menswear colors like white, black, navy, and sky blue.
The designer explained that he wanted to move away from multicolor and create more two-tone looks. The collection started with white outfits adorned with red details and occasional pops of apple green. It then transitioned to black or navy blue with flashes of fluorescent orange before concluding with black and yellow ensembles.
A COLLISION OF LANGUAGES, ERAS, AND SPORTS
Drawing inspiration from new technologies, artificial intelligence, and the legendary lost city of Dawleetoo, Walter Van Beirendonck created a collection that blends languages and eras. The futuristic looks collide with period wear, incorporating sports influences throughout.
The collection featured rugby socks with bold stripes, runner-inspired mini shorts, cycling jerseys elongated into tight-fitting dresses, and American footballers’ padded shoulder pads with a galactic twist. Red vinyl appeared as a pattern in several outfits, alongside protective waistcoats and jackets.
Transparency played a significant role in some silhouettes, with shirts, jackets, and trousers cut from white silk mixed with technical fibers in embroidered effects. Large bows made from the same fabric added an intriguing touch. Abstract motifs resembling hieroglyphics, inspired by the lost city’s language, were printed on cotton ensembles. The finale showcased guru tunics and caftans in hand-painted silk, resembling large abstract paintings.
ENDING WITH A POWERFUL MESSAGE
At the end of the show, Walter Van Beirendonck covered all his models with transparent plastic covers featuring skeletal drawings on the front. On the back, giant letters formed the brand’s slogan: “Stop terrorizing our world.” This powerful statement serves as a reminder of the designer’s dedication to social and environmental causes.
LOUIS-GABRIEL NOUCHI’S DISCREET AND SENSITIVE COLLECTION
Louis-Gabriel Nouchi, known for his exploration of masculinity, took inspiration from Christopher Isherwood’s novel A Single Man for his collection. The story follows an aging university professor in 1960s Los Angeles dealing with the loss of his partner.
Nouchi presented a more discreet collection, departing from the overtly sexy aesthetic of his past work. Models with reddened eyes and tears streaming down their cheeks wore sober and chic suits paired with shirts and ties. The square, broad-shouldered jackets were slightly fitted at the waist.
The designer aimed to capture the repressed emotions felt by the main character. Sensuality was elegantly hinted at, with openwork jumpers and T-shirts featuring widening collars that exposed the shoulder. Leather tops were strategically pinched under the arm, causing them to rise and reveal the model’s side. Some pieces featured different designs on the front and back, representing what one shows to society versus their hidden feelings.
Nouchi incorporated elements reminiscent of a car accident in his collection, with leather pieces displaying a dented effect, resembling damaged bodywork. The show concluded with a shirt and maxi coat in a crumpled silver fabric, creating a metallic relief. These pieces were made from recycled cotton and polyester jacquard, reflecting the designer’s commitment to eco-responsibility.
SUSTAINABILITY AND ECO-RESPONSIBILITY
Louis-Gabriel Nouchi emphasized his commitment to eco-responsibility through the materials and dyeing processes used in the collection. Most of the fabrics were carefully sourced to have minimal impact on the environment, prioritizing quality and durability. The designer believes that incorporating sustainability into the creative process is essential for the future of fashion.
As men’s fashion moves towards a softer elegance, designers like Walter Van Beirendonck and Louis-Gabriel Nouchi are embracing this trend, offering collections that balance unique aesthetics with conscious choices. Paris Fashion Week showcased their ability to create captivating menswear that combines artistry, storytelling, and a commitment to sustainability.