On the fourth day of Paris Men’s Fashion Week, Kris Van Assche unveiled motocross trousers with leather suits for his debut runway show at Berluti; Rei Kawakubo went on a rave for Comme des Garçons Homme Plus; and Kim Jones sent out a conveyor belt of stationary models for this third outing at Dior Men.
Read our succinct 10-word reviews below for all you need to know from each show. For the full bottle, listen to the audio review while clicking through the gallery of runway images. Whether you dip and dash, or stay and savour, these reviews are for you to use and enjoy as you please. Incroyable!
Remember to come back every day for the latest action from Paris Men’s Fashion Week AW19.
BERLUTI: ON YOUR BOURGEOIS BIKE
Designer: Kris van Assche
10-word review: Ballsy bourgeois menswear with burnished leather suits alongside motocross trousers.
Favourite look: Part of the LVMH family, Berluti is meant to cater to the chi-chi men’s crowd; the old money set who appreciate the finer things in life and don’t even bother with checking the price tag when something catches their eye. It’s as bourgeois as it gets; even more so than Vuitton or Dior Men. So when we discovered that the show was going to be held at Palais Garnier—the 19th century opera house in the established ninth arrondissement—it made total sense.
What would incoming designer Kris van Assche showcase for his debut Berluti show? True to the punk nature of his design aesthetic (just check out his tenure at Dior Homme before Kim Jones took over), he presented a high-low mix of beautifully crafted leather pieces alongside statement motocross trousers. Ballsy, and yet so right. Hence, our favourite ensemble was that mandarin orange peak label top coat in look 7 worn over a tan leather buttoned up shirt tucked into motocross inspired trousers with ‘Berluti’ running down the upper side leg. Killer.
Favourite accessory: Those large belt bags in leather and croc that also came with a top handle so you can carry it like a tote in addition to strapping it around your waist or body. (It’s the bougie way of doing belt bags, don’t you know?) And the reinterpreted Alessandro lace-up adorned with angular metal toe caps. Again, like we said, killer.
COMME DES GARCONS HOMME PLUS: RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
Designer: Rei Kawakubo
10-word review: Noir mash-up of tail coats, fishnets and leather BDSM necklaces.
Favourite look: Only a few designers have the pulling power to gather the fashion media into a tiny basement in Paris—packed in like sardines with our winter coats crushed against one other—in order to witness a fashion show. Rei Kawakubo is one such designer for the sole reason that you never really know what you’re going to get. And when the music dropped—with a bass so deep and so loud that it could resurrect the dead—everyone literally jumped in their seats with a collective gasp. (I swear my heart actually skipped a beat.)
We don’t know what drugs Kawakubo has been taking, but this BDSM-cum-punk-cum-rave show was such a stark departure from her playful, almost innocent and boyish, collections from the past two seasons. But I guess that’s the beauty of what Kawakubo does—she defies convention. With models sporting ACDC-inspired black and silver eye makeup and necklaces made from leather lattices complete with metal grommets and spikes, it was an all-black outing not for the faint hearted. But there was some refinement in the madness: check out look 31 with that evening tail coat in purple velvet embroidered with metallic sequins.
Favourite accessory: BDSM-style necklaces aside (if that’s your thang) it’d have to be the black mid-rise leather sneakers cuffed at the ankle with leather straps finished with metal rings.
DIOR MEN: COUTURE CONVEYOR BELT
Designer: Kim Jones
10-word review: Conveyor belt of couture-inspired tailoring elevated with exotics and drapery.
Favourite look: A Dior Men’s show by Kim Jones is becoming as hotly anticipated as a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day—that is, you know it’s going to satisfy your soul regardless of the ingredients. And for Jones’s third outing for the French luxury maison (after his spring/summer 2019 debut in June and pre-fall 2019 collection unveiled in Tokyo this past November), the autumn/winter 2019 show did away with the monolithic statues that dominated the runway sets of the past two seasons. Instead, Jones presented 49 ensembles on a 76-metre long moving walkway. Yup, moving runway. Jones created a conveyor belt with his models standing static like classical sculptures. Excuse our French, but it was f*cking epic.
Choosing a favourite look is like choosing your favourite emoji—it all depends on the occasion and context. For an evening soirée, we cast our vote for look 43: that grey peak-lapel double-breasted suit with a pearlescent silk panel diagonally-wrapped across the body and then draping to the floor; recalling the couture methodology of moulage, of directly draping material on the form. Shut. Up. Already. My only gripe is that this outfit would have looked better in motion—the silk whipping and dancing with each step. If only the models walked back down the runway after rolling out sushi-style. Oh well, you can’t have it all.
Favourite accessory: The Saddle bag finds new form this season, reissued in nylon or leopard-patterned mink (meow!) but we’re rather fond of the nylon gaiters as a styling accessory to frame footwear. Also, perfectly practical during the rainy season to keep your trouser hems dry and clean. See, they’re just as functional as they are fashionable.
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