Written and photographed by Sebastian Ölmqvist.
MEN’S SPRING/SUMMER 2014 HIGHLIGHTS — PARIS
June 26th – 30th
This year’s edition of the Men’s Fashion Week SS14 in Paris kicked off on Wednesday June 26th. Fashiontographer was pleased to be on site to cover some of the shows during the week.
This was the first time for me to cover Men’s Fashion for Fashiontographer and I was definitely looking forward to it. Invitations to attend shows were arriving only one or two days before the date of the show so I really had no idea what to expect beforehand. I was very curious about what kind of people I would encounter and of course also what next summer’s collections would look like!
First show for me was the John Lawrence Sullivan défilé, held in Orbe New York in Palais de Tokyo. The setting was minimalistic, with plenty of space for the crowd to focus on the clothes. The show had a really good energy to it and I left more energized than I arrived.
Designs were centered on variations of check patterns and monochrome bases, featuring blue, red and green. Straight lines and long slim silhouettes, paired with a distinct ’80s retro feel, made the whole collection transmit freshness and promises of the future. Basically, it was like imagining Kraftwerk band members going to important office meetings, only now they were in 2020.
On Thursday, I went to check out the Issey Miyake show. The audience defined hipness and fashion was taken to the next level by the Japanese fashionista mafia, whom I sat next to during the show. The luminous Miyake workshop made the garments appear in almost natural daylight, yet being indoors.
Bold combinations of innovative patterns, an Issey Miyake trademark, made designs appear futuristic and progressive. The lasting impression was one of fearless pattern mixing with a color palette resorting to blue, black, red and white.
Friday’s highlight was definitely the John Galliano show where I sat front row next to a number of domestic celebrities. The show was held in the Orangerie Ephémère in the Tuileries garden and as soon as the paparazzi flashes had calmed down, the runway action started.
One of the keywords for this collection was ‘boyish’ with oversized shoes, cigarette pants, low crotch seams, and abundant silk. All this transformed into a sporty vibe with baseball caps and school boy attitude.
On Saturday I popped in at the Tillmann Lauterbach défilé, held in Weber Métaux, rue de Turenne in the Marais district. With an audience almost hipper than at the Miyake show and a setting 100% industrial, I felt like being in Berlin rather than in Paris — but that was of course the intention.
Bright, natural colors with straight lines opened up the show, but soon black was the star on the runway. Whereas previous designers had opted for graphic patterns, this was more or less a monochrome show. Loose fitting garments transmitted a relaxed vibe throughout the whole défilé.
Later on Saturday I carried on to the Francesco Smalto presentation, held at Artcurial, avenue Montaigne. The location was perfect for this collection and rather than being a runway show, models displayed the Smalto designs in different settings, i.e. office, lounge, library, airport, and even poolside.
The collection was mainly travelling between the ’50s and ’60s, with a nod towards the ’30s in the library setting. My favourite was the poolside section, where early James Bond and ’50s Acapulco came to mind. Timeless, classical pieces for the gentleman who (like me) wished he was living in the early 1960s.
On Sunday I went to canal St. Martin to check out the Agnès B SS14 collection which entailed typical, signature pieces. Afterwards I went to visit the Capsule menswear trade fair at Quai d’Austerlitz where I came across some interesting upcoming brands.
Before getting ready for the night’s cocktail party, I sat down to absorb this intense week of men’s fashion — some really good shows, discussions on fashion with designers and other media people, priceless outfits in the audiences, AND an encounter with Karl Lagerfeld himself — yes, it had been a joyful experience indeed. It was a hot Sunday night in Paris — I slipped into my favourite espadrilles and hurried over Pont Neuf and across the Louvre to the party in Palais Royal. Needed some chilled champagne to get in shape for couture week.