Paris Fashion Week S/S '15: The Highlights

Esquire's fashion editors report from the world capital of style

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Following on from our coverage of London and Milan's menswear fashion weeks, Esquire's Fashion Editors are reporting from the French capital for the final round of the Spring/ Summer '15 shows. Here's their picks of the most exciting new collections from some of the world's greatest design houses. 

1 | Louis Vuitton 

It's extraordinary how Kim Jones, men's style director at Louis Vuitton, consistently manages to include all the key trends in his seasonal collections. Take Jones' Spring Summer '15 show, for instance. From seventies-style wide-legged trousers and geometric chevron patterns on shirts, to looser double-breasted tailoring, float-y belted overcoats, light roll necks, backpacks with nylon detailing, flashes of fluoro, bright white sneakers (in crocodile, natch) and even the high and tight hairstyles – they were all there, and each was executed faultlessly.

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Inspired by the Rajasthani cities of Udaipur, Ranthambore and Jaipur, colours were bold, with embellishment coming in the form of mirrored embroidery on bombers and tailored jackets, which were inspired by those worn in the Indian military. Fabrics, as ever, were unimpeachable, with suits in super fine wools and crisp cottons, silk organza short-sleeved shirts and wool mohair mix trench coats. The key piece? A cognac calf guitar case. The only way to carry your Fender Stratocaster next summer...

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2 | Dries van Noten

A grown-up, elegant and, above all, intelligent offering from Belgian designer Dries Van Noten. Toeing the line between commercial viability and artistic integrity with impressive dexterity, his SS'15 show was one of the strongest of the season thus far. Taking nightwear as his cue, the key piece around which this collection orbited was a floaty silk overcoat - sometimes belted, sometimes not - shown in muted shades of bottle green, black, and midnight blue.

Feminine though this may sound, the coats, worn over layered vests in tonal shades, slim cut trousers complete with understated, intricate prints, blood red cummerbunds and soft silk shirts, felt masculine and louche. Tracksuit bottoms with suit trouser proportions came teamed with perfectly cut, just-loose-enough double breasted silk jackets and embroidered bombers, which could have been taken straight from the archives of the V&A, so intricate was the needle work.

Considered, predominantly wearable and completely desirable, this collection will keep Mr Van Noten in silk dressing gown coats for some time to come.

 

3 | Givenchy

Riccardo Tisci made a compelling case for the short suit at Givenchy. Loose shorts in fine wool came teamed with matching overcoats and blazers worn over shirts and ties in Tisci's trademark black. Donned by models who looked like they'd punch you if you said hello, meshy panelled polo shirts, cropped pilot bombers and multi-pocketed anoraks were also shown in box fresh white.

The only pop of colour came in the form of an intricate flower print sprayed across sharply cut single breasted overcoats, polo shirts and slim trousers. This rakish silhouette was a marked contrast to recent seasons, where shapes have been predominantly sporty and slouchy. Wearable and true to Tisci's design DNA, Spring Summer '15 will no doubt prove another sell out season for the success story that is Givenchy.

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4 | Paul Smith 

Set in the round of Paris’ stunning Bourse de Commerce, Sir Paul’s SS’15 collection was one of his strongest in recent seasons. While trouser shapes have been becoming progressively drappier across the board – some to a slightly ridiculous extent – Smith’s were just floaty enough, without too much puddling at the top of the shoe and the shape of legs recognisable beneath fabric.

Woolen jackets with satin lapels came in shades of dusty plum, cornflower blue and soft pink. Beautifully cut, they played an elegant counterpoint to the more casual trousers, which came in tonal hues. Elsewhere, loose leather shorts, simple skate shoes and clever tees with bomber jacket sensibilities stole the show. The palette of sunset-esque hues felt wearable and elegant.

 

5 | Dior Homme

As ever the suiting in Kris Van Ascche’s Spring Summer ’15 was exemplary. Starting in simple midnight blue, the addition of pin stripes, both horizontal and vertical felt surprisingly modern (stripes are a thing for next summer, folks) while the addition of a blown up version of Mr Dior’s very own handwriting – emblazoned across jackets, trousers and simple white shirts – was an elegant nod to the brand’s illustrious heritage.

The strength of the collection, as ever, lay in the accessories – with chunky backpacks and briefcases designed to look like technical camera and computer bags. Chunky white sneakers with Velcro straps, worn with pulled up white socks had an eighties vibe, as did the normcore-inspired loose stonewash jeans worn with billowing sweatshirts emblazoned with brightly coloured, jazzy scribbles. Think Seinfeld-on-Seine.

 

6 | Cerruti 1881

Cerruti 1881’s S/S ’15 show took us on an imaginary road trip from Palm Springs to LA to showcase designer Aldo Maria Camillo’s relaxed collection. Layering and mixed proportions showed how to wear this emerging trend, while silhouettes were flowing with a sense of weightlessness and defined by voluminous dust coats and tailored Bermuda shorts.

Dove grey and toffee coloured featherlight wool jackets were worn with ankle cropped pleat trousers. Short bomber style jackets, ribbed and gathered at the back, were shown over longer tailored jackets. Short, cuffed centre crease trousers (used throughout) all came with a fine ribbed knit 'leg warmer' poking out – a nice styling touch to emphasise the layered idea – if a little warm. The double layered vest was a key piece throughout many coming with silk print scarf borders and panels.

Knitwear highlights included a bold palm print in sage or burnt orange with contrast black and white ribbed cuffs and hem.

 

7 | Lanvin

Lanvin's love affair with deconstructed sportswear showed no signs of subsiding at their Paris show. There were light wool long line tailored jackets cut off at the shoulders with gauzy cotton silk panel backs, along with loose threads and laser cut edges on leather jackets – both sure to please diehard fans.

Fringing details across Western style suede and leather jackets offered a youthful rock vibe, while pleat black drape trousers (definitely the shape of next season)were found dotted throughout.
Colours were typically Lanvin, with midnight blue being the favourite along with claret, forest green and slate. A silky peppermint green jacket tucked into trousers was a highlight, along with the zip front shirts and knitted collars worn under Parka style macs and  elcro fasten trainers. This sporty aesthetic – using dark, rich, silky fabrics – has come to define what Lanvin represents in recent years, and suddenly seems to have set the trend barometer for next season.  

 

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