Always surprising, menswear took another unexpected turn for fall, heating up with blurred gender lines, club culture revivals, and political posturing, to name just a few highlights from the European shows. The fall collections showed a heavy blend of beautiful classics with some head-turning surprises. Here, a look at the season’s standouts.
Alexander McQueen’s mouth jewelry is a unique addition to Sarah Burton’s typical subversive undertaking of refined tailoring. The faux piercings give the illusion of gauging the models’ severe cheekbones, which pleasantly balances the feminine touches of the ready-to-wear pieces.
The breakthrough performance so far is MAN’s young starlet, Charles Jeffrey. With close consideration to an East London club culture revival, attention could be swayed from the garments themselves, which would be a pity. The paint splattered separates demonstrate an artist’s touch and, with a short film at the helm, this young designer is showing some true creative muscle.
However odd, Jonathan Anderson’s stylized look-book of elongated leopard beanies and a furry wrap comfortably snug for two was visually stimulating with the help of a surreal Spanish backdrop and the creative direction behind M/M Paris.
Craig Green’s strapped and fluid garments that have become a fixture of his young but impactful career were reinterpreted this season with new fabrics such as silks and leathers- the patent version, shown here, was a standout.
Raf Simons showed his first collection since leaving Dior for his longtime namesake men’s label. There were references to David Lynch and Cindy Sherman and questions about time and age in his show notes. But it was all about volume. Resembling high school varsity sweaters, his oversized shredded knits evoked a nostalgic, yet slightly sinister feeling.
With a history of political presented in his collections, Walter Van Beirendonck’s was again in a provocative mood for fall. In the wake of the horrific attacks in Paris and violence across the globe, the messages surfacing on his see-through sweatshirts were frightfully transparent themselves.
Once a classic piece for a wealthy elite of women, an argument for men’s fur holds strong this season. From the fuzzy bear-like coats at Coach to this elegant number at Dries Van Noten, the gender conformities of this once feminine indulgence seem to have been tossed aside.
A rendition of classic tailoring, Rei Kawakubo expertly reworked the modern man’s suit while exploring historical references that explore the complexities of armor. Julien d’Y completed the looks with upside-down rose bouquets that fanned out over the boys’ locks into romantic halos.
Rick Owens’ post-apocalyptic world-view extended to fall, with the models walking with white ghostly-white faces that looked ripped from a Wes Craven movie. Among the tailored volume, textured fuzzy garments, and bleach-splashed fabrics, an ominous subtext ran during his accordingly named Mastodon collection.
Space age was unquestionably the driving inspiration for Donatella Versace’s fall collection. With metallic track pants, tech-y fabrics, and intergalactic adornments, it felt like a futuristic voyage in 1987. Very Blade Runner. However, her reinforcement of the tech revolution with this body wrapping go-pro left us with one question- what will Rihanna’s Versace go-pro footage look like?