The 5 Best Trends From Paris S/S 12

June 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

5. Skirts

Rick Owens, GIvenchy, and Yohji Yamamoto

Can men wear skirts?

This season, a handful of brands including Rick Owens, Givenchy, Yohji Yamamoto, and Commes des Garcons, exclaimed, “Yes, they can!” and sent out models wearing skirts of various lengths, colors, and patterns. Yohji’s skirts were long and voluminous, in subtle red honey combs or striped prints. At Givenchy, skirts were various lengths and covered in brilliant prints of birds of paradise. At Rick Owens, skirts were floor-length, dark colored, and thick, reminding Times critic Cathy Horyn of a “mudslide taking out a few homes.

4. Reptile

Jean Paul Gaultier, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton

Wrapping another animal’s skin (or fur) around your own may be treasonous in PETA circles, but in fashion, it’s the pinnacle of luxury. Designers in Paris used an abundance of reptile in their collections last week. Louis Vuitton showed the most subtle take of the trend, using brown reptile skin to elevate an otherwise banal letterman jacket. Hermes used it for a simple zip-up summer layer. The pattern looked like untreated snake. Jean Paul Gaultier most strongly embraced the trend, sending down a head-to-toe black reptile look. It had a rock-n-roll kick, but with a wider, more relaxed silhouette.

3. Wide-Leg Trousers

Yohji Yamamoto, John Galliano, and Maison Martin Margiela

For the last few seasons, menswear silhouettes have been getting larger. I haven’t noticed this on the street necessarily, but it’s certainly been true on the runway. This season, trousers were so large they created a parachute-like effect when models walked down the runway. The billowing was sometimes a result of lighter fabrics as was the case with Yohji Yamamoto who showed a delicate collection full of silky trousers paired with tailored blazers. They had the ease of pajamas but were deepened by a feeling of history. John Galliano and Martin Margiela showed similar versions of wide leg trousers, only in stiffer fabrics.

2. Gingham

Raf Simons, Louis Vuitton, and Kenzo

Gingham is a perennial trend in menswear, but this season it was served in fresh color combinations. Raf Simons played with a slightly larger gingham print in bright orange and navy blue, putting it on t-shirts, blazers, and trenchcoats. Against the cold backdrop of mesh steel, it had a somewhat sinister effect, making me think of a fashion-conscious serial killer. Louis Vuitton’s story was about gingham in bright red and cobalt, the colors of African Masai tribes. Overall, the collection looked like the menswear addendum to Thakoon’s F/W 11 collection, which used the same color inspiration. Kenzo paired a light purple gingham with floral print. It looked a bit washed out, but pretty.

1. Colorblocking 

Raf Simons, Acne, and Victor & Rolf

Colorblocking is currently a major trend in large part due to Jil Sander’s S/S 11 collection, which showed a range of tailored items in saturated canary yellow, mandarin orange, and cobalt. The trend continues next summer, although the brights are neutralized with more browns and blacks. In his S/S 12 collection for Jil Sander, Raf Simons colorblocked brightly colored leather shirts and tanks with black pants, creating a visual shock. Acne’s collection had a slight retro influence. One look paired a bright seafoam cableknit sweater with light brown slacks, a simple brown belt, and a shirt with a contemporary take on a club collar. Viktor & Rolf’s collection was flooded with Yves Klein blue. Above, they paired a pair of Yves Klein blue pants with a diaphanous blood orange shirt. Delicious.

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