Paris Menswear Fashion Week A/W '15: The Reviews

Hermes, Berluti, Louis Vuitton and more from the French capital

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Dries van Noten

After Milan, Paris. Following the youthful exuberance of London and the elder statesman commercialism of the aforementioned Italian city, the majority of shows in the French Capital offer a pleasing mix of both qualities. A case in point is Dries van Noten.

The Belgian designer has been showcasing his unique menswear collections in Paris for two decades. Unswayed by trend or mood, van Noten's often embellished, always richly researched and ever esoteric designs are a light at the end of the menswear tunnel.

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On day one, van Noten showed his Autumn Winter '15 collection within an expansive train depot in the 15th arrondissement, to the haunting strains of DM Stith's 'Be My Baby', a cover of The Ronettes' original. A relatively muted pallette of midnight blue, with occasional flashes of pearl, vermillion and khaki, dominated. Immaculately cut quilted samurai-style jackets, fur-lapelled overcoats with silver embellishments inspired by the designs of the Chinese Miao people, and drapey double breasted silk suits felt both edgy and accessible.

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The beauty, as ever with Dries van Noten, was in the layering. Oversized embroidered culottes (yup) were worn over slim trousers, while cropped jackets, bombers and oversized overcoats were teamed in various unexpected combinations.

– Teo van den Broeke


Louis Vuitton

In his relatively short time at the creative helm of Louis Vuitton's menswear atelier, British designer Kim Jones has made quite a mark. One of the highlights of the men's fashion calendar, Jones' collections are met each season with anticipation by the world's fashion press, as his output (much like that of Muccia Prada and Christopher Bailey at Burberry Prorsum) invariably define the trends of the forthcoming season. Jones' Autumn / Winter '15 collection, shown on Thursday day in a bitterly cold Paris, was no exception.

Inspired, in its entirety, by the work of British designer Christopher Nemeth, the collection mixed the richness of fabrication expected of Vuitton, with Jones' uncompromising creative vision. A closer cut silhouette than we've seen in previous seasons, the trouser shape was slim – the key style was a skinny cashmere denim jean with a sizeable cuff – while cashmere camel coats were cut high in the arm. Jersey overshirts in camel and cream were easy and elegant, while denim blousons and kevlar mix parkas underpinned the off duty theme.

Noticeably, and unusually, only one suit was shown in the entire collection – a statement that will ensure the burgeoning sports lux trend continues for several seasons to come.

 – Teo van den Broeke


Berluti

Having cut his teeth at tailoring powerhouse Ermenegildo Zegna, it's unsurprising that Alessandro Sartori's seasonal collections for Parisian bottier Berluti are among the most luxurious in the world. Up there with the likes of Brunello Cucinelli, Loro Piana and, of course, Zegna, Sartori's clothes are not only produced from the finest cashmeres, leathers and vicunas by a smattering of hand selected Italian ateliers, they're also designed and cut with an urbane, elegant and (perhaps most importantly) youthful man in mind.

Sartori's Autumn / Winter '15 collection, his seventh for the brand, was his most contemporary yet. A super slim cut trouser dominated, while incredibly fine overcoats, parkas and trenches cut from sage, rose and dove grey leathers made a billowy statement. Soft shouldered double breasted jackets were teamed with v neck jumpers and chunky roll necks (there were no suits or ties on show here), but it was the outer layers which really stole the show. A double faced cashmere parka with mink trim looked expensive yet understated, while a buff suede field jacket took the shape to heady new heights. We want it all.

– Teo van den Broeke


Dior Homme

In one of his strongest recent shows, Kris Van Assche raised the bar and an elegant grey catwalk curtain at Dior Homme to reveal a 33 piece orchestra arranged in spectacular single file fashion along the length of the runway.

Each musician was dressed in black tie and sneakers and created the live score -  by Ivory Coast musician Koudlam - as the models filed past. Showing some of the only tailored suits of the season, some were in Prince of Wales check; some were of the 3 button variety - 2 micro trends of the past few weeks. But the strength lay - as it often does with luxury fashion houses- with the outerwear and the fabrication. Long line body warmers were layered above or beneath long dark denim or shearling jackets and coats. Stand out pieces were the technical wool jacquard car coats in a supersize Prince of Wales check with either navy or bright yellow contrasting over check.

– Catherine Hayward


Hermes

There is only one creative director capable of making a pair of shorn mink tracksuit bottoms look both understated and chic. Head of menswear at luxury leather goods brand Hermes for over two and a half decades, Veronique Ninachian's way with fine fabrics is second to none. Her Autumn / Winter '15 collection captured the mood of the season through this prism of uncompromising luxury.

Double-faced cashmere blousons and overcoats were teamed with cuffed cashmere and flannel track pants, fine gauge roll neck jumpers and chunky flat-soled lace ups. The silhouette was slouchy and informal – elegantly offsetting the opulence of the fabrics – and the palette moody, with shades of plum, bronze, carbon and black dominating. The sports luxe trend has never looked so, well, luxe.

– Teo van den Broeke


Lanvin

For those brands which show at the end of men's fashion month, there's a risk that their collections may not grab the attention of runway-weary editors. When you're Lucas Ossendrijver, creative director of menswear at Parisian fashion brand Lanvin, it's not something you need to worry about. Consistently innovative and on point, Lanvin's collections fizz with creative energy.

The Autumn / Winter '15 collection, for instance, perfectly captured the sporty, understated mood of the season. Flannel suit trousers came baggy; slouchy blazers were layered with tabbards, bombers jackets and overcoats; and the muted palette was dominated by shades of grey. Highlights included oversized parkas finished with soft lambswool trims; extra-long double breasted suit jackets and stiffly structured leather overcoats, double faced with neoprene.

– Teo van den Broeke