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Boom time for menswear as Paris Fashion Week returns

Just last week, Vogue declared that “the night belonged to menswear” at the Golden Globes, and stores have been reporting unprecedented growth in the sector for months.

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Boom time for menswear as Paris Fashion Week returns
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The fashion juggernaut returns to Paris this week, with Saint Laurent rejoining the line-up and menswear on a hot streak, even if the industry remains wary of economic headwinds.

The changing world of menswear is evident on red carpets around the world, where the likes of Timothee Chalamet and Harry Styles have helped redefine male style, ditching monochrome tuxedos in favour of daring outfits and bright colours.

Just last week, Vogue declared that “the night belonged to menswear” at the Golden Globes, and stores have been reporting unprecedented growth in the sector for months.

So the buzz is deafening around the menswear shows hitting Paris from Tuesday, boosted by the return of two big hitters in Saint Laurent on Tuesday s opening night, and John Galliano s Maison Margiela closing the week next Sunday.

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Saint Laurent has not presented a men s show in the official calendar since Belgian designer Anthony Vaccarello took the reins in 2016, preferring one-off appearances in exotic locations such as Marrakesh and Venice.

Succession talk

In Milan last week — where fashion shows have not even finished as the industry caravan decamps for Paris — the talk was all about who would succeed flamboyant creative director Alessandro Michele at Gucci following his recent surprise departure.

In Paris, the big unanswered question is who will take over at Louis Vuitton following the early death of Virgil Abloh in November 2021.

The label got fashionista tongues wagging when it announced that Thursday s show is being handled by wunderkind Colm Dillane, the man behind hot young Brooklyn label KidSuper — along with an accompanying film shot by French director Michel Gondry.

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While many are worried about the impact of possible recessions, tightening environmental regulations and inflationary costs, menswear is seen as a bright spot.

“Saint Laurent, Gucci and Givenchy are working almost better in men s than women s at the moment,” said Alice Feillard, director of buying for Paris department store Galeries Lafayette.

“We ve been seeing this exponential growth for two or three years… It s really taking off,” she added.

 New field of expression 

Even men s undies are gaining ground on the female market.

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Male underwear was up 3.3 percent in the first 10 months of 2022 to 400 million euros ($435 million), against 2.5 percent growth in women s lingerie (to a still dominant 1.5 million euros), according to figures from the Salon International de la Lingerie, which is held in Paris this month.

“Menswear has greatly evolved in recent years,” said luxury expert Serge Carreira of Sciences Po university.

“It has created a major new field of expression, innovation and research for the houses.”

Givenchy notably abandoned haute couture and took up menswear after the arrival in 2020 of US designer Matthew Williams, known for his luxury streetwear.

They stage their catwalk show on Wednesday, with key rival Dior strutting out on Friday.

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One name that often comes up as a possible successor at Louis Vuitton is Grace Wales Bonner, who presents her own show on Tuesday.

Grace Wales Bonner is often mentioned as a possible successor at Louis Vuitton
Grace
She is part of a growing trend of women designers who focus on dressing men, along with fellow Brit, Bianca Saunders.

There is also excitement for the return of award-winning US designer Emily Bode, known for using recycled material, who stayed away from Paris during the pandemic.

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Imane Ayissi adds African touch to Paris haute couture fashion week

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Imane Ayissi adds African touch to Paris haute couture fashion week

Imane Ayissi wove African textiles into his haute couture collection shown in Paris on Thursday, mixing raffia-lined garments in bright colours with dresses coated in sequins or airy silk fringes.

“This is a window to show techniques of African artisans,” said Ayissi.

Models walked down a runway in an ornate mansion near the Arc de Triomphe, parading sculptural dresses and sequin-coated tops that were trimmed with raffia.

A fitted minidress in splashes of orange, red and green featured a traditional tie-dye technique, with a sprinkling of orange Swarovski crystal embellishments added for sparkle.

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“We’ve gone through some very difficult times, with the COVID-19 pandemic that was hard for everyone; it’s time to try to rebound,” said Ayissi, gesturing towards a hot pink dress.

The Cameroon-born designer, who is based in Paris, is currently featured in the Victoria & Albert Museum exhibit “Africa Fashion” in London.

Haute couture fashion week in Paris, which wound up on Thursday, features some of the most prestigious fashion houses, including Christian Dior (DIOR.PA) and Chanel.

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Doja Cat stuns fans with red body paint and 30,000 crystals at Paris Fashion Week

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Doja Cat stuns fans with red body paint and 30,000 crystals at Paris Fashion Week

During the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring Summer 2023 show at Paris Fashion Week on Jan 23, 2023, Doja Cat made a bold entrance, adorned in red jewels and makeup from head to toe, leaving a lasting impression on the audience.

The eye-catching outfit, which was custom-designed by the fashion house’s creative director Daniel Roseberry, was brought to life by makeup artist Pat McGrath, whose team spent almost five hours completing the look.

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Chanel hits playful note at haute couture show in Paris

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Chanel hits playful note at haute couture show in Paris

Chanel creative director Virginie Viard took a spirited direction for the French fashion house’s spring haute couture show, sending models out of hulking, stylized animals crafted from cardboard and wood.

They emerged, one at a time, circling the towering statues like ringmasters, in bouncy, cheerleader miniskirts, floral jumpsuits and shimmery tweed jackets.

The opening look set the tone – an ivory, double breasted coat, buttoned snuggly across the chest before flaring out, the feathery fringe of a miniskirt poking out below.

On her head, the model wore a black top hat, its brim gently sloped, while flat sling-back shoes accentuated her long, bare legs.
Viard pared down the superfluous often associated with haute couture, offering mostly trim silhouettes, with just enough flounce, when it came to fuller skirts, or restricting the color palette when it came embellished looks, like a full length ivory coat covered in ruffled pleats.

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An elephant-shaped structure rolled in for the finale, and out stepped the bride, in an airy, ivory tulle bustier dress that fell below the knee, paired with gold boots that rose above her ankles.

During her bow, Viard drew artist Xavier Veilhan, who designed the set, out from the risers while the audience cheered.

The Paris haute couture shows, which include some of the most prestigious names in fashion like Georgio Armani Prive, Jean Paul Gaultier and LVMH-owned (LVMH.PA) Christian Dior, run through Thursday.

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