Theatricality takes center stage at Paris Fashion Week

After a season dominated by the conflict in Ukraine, Spring-Summer 2023 Men’s Fashion Week opens with high-flying shows in the open air. Schoolyards, Parisian gardens, touristic esplanade: the artistic directors draw a new postcard of an ultra Instagrammable Paris.

Is this the end of virtual parades? The question is valid. In Paris, 76 of the 84 on the list presented physical shows between June 21 and 26. Between unusual places and reconstructed sets, the houses do not abandon the online format – which is central to their communication – and envision sets ready to be broadcast live in order to simultaneously surprise the audience personally and those behind their scenes.

Between a reinterpretation of the Paris of postcards and derelict spaces, the houses represent a wardrobe for a changing city.

Kick-off on the quays of Austerlitz at the Institut Français de la Mode

Inaugurated last November after several months of renovation, the Institut Français de la Mode served as the opening set for Men’s Fashion Week. After a virtual parade of design masters last January, the 32 students of the Bachelor of Art in Fashion Design presented a physical show, conceived by agency OBO (behind the sets of the Ami, Lacoste or Germanier fashion shows) on the pontoon of the school on the banks of the Seine.

Large coats adorned with feathers, post-apocalyptic technical combinations and deconstructed tailoring: 36 silhouettes waving along the waves facing the big names in the industry, the designer Isabel Marant or the press attaché Lucien Pagès. The Bachelor’s collections under the direction of Thierry Rondenet and Hervé Yvrenogeau, adapted to night outs, bear witness to the vitality of the young Parisian guard.

The Greater Paris of Studies Studio

Founded by Aurélien Arbet, José Lamali and Jérémie Egry in 2012, the label Études has taken over the Petite Ceinture in the north of Paris and dotted its decor with wild grasses. A railway built in the 19th century to go around the capital. If this isn’t the first time the shows have taken place on the outskirts of the capital (Marine Serre or Balenciaga), it’s a first for Études, which, in its statement of intent, indicates to start thinking about clothing as a living witness to the history of a space .

baptized circumference, the collection weaves a dialogue between the city’s past and future to rethink workwear archetypes, twisted by custom codes. Cotton canvas suits are worn with caps and worn and overdyed denims are hinged to fitted jackets. They implicitly establish a dialogue between the industrial world and the contemporary urban uniform known to the collective, which gets a new diamond-shaped metal logo this season.

at military school, a rereading of the uniform by Givenchy

It was at the École Militaire, at the entrance to the Champ-de-Mars, that Givenchy’s artistic director, Matthew Williamson, decided to accompany his audience. Normally open during Heritage Days, the place is turning into a meeting place for fans eager to catch a glimpse of Tiktok labels and icons of contemporary hip-hop scenes, such as 24kGoldn. But the show also takes place indoors, where an opaline cube surrounded by a tidal wave acts as the backdrop for the parade. The models cross the 5 cm of water in wellies or sneakers with thick soles and form an army of hoodies with Givenchy logos.

Monochromatic outfits offer a reinterpretation of the streetwear uniform (a style that has been making its way to luxury brands for a decade). Williamson goes back to basics: chunky baseball jackets, neon sweatshirts with balaclavas and jeans with excellent elastic boxer shorts. Implicitly, we understand that streetwear has become a uniform like any other, just as codified.

Palais de Tokyo, land of conviction for Rick Owens

“Fireball at Rick Owens”, caption the Instagram @StyleNotCom in full show. In a matter of minutes, videos of flaming orbs circling above the Palais de Tokyo fountain make the stories go round. As attractive as the broad-shouldered figures that make up the parade, the crane lifting these spheres draws attention. We would almost forget the collection. Still, Rick Owens continues to innovate, revealing hints of color between couture pink and kitsch gradient. Another achievement: several transparent pieces of leather (known as look leather from a specific tanning process), give lightness to mostly heavy pieces.

However, this spectacle is sometimes deviated from. There, back to the Eiffel Tower, in full sun, Rick Owens tells us a fable about the human propensity for destruction. The moods of the set that collide again and again in the fountain of the Palais de Tokyo are a metaphor for collapse. A lesson passed on via Instagram stories…

The square courtyard of the Louvre transformed into a playground by Louis Vuitton

A monumental building game, the surreal backdrop of the Vuitton show was a nod to the childish universe inspired by Virgil Abloh, the house’s artistic director who passed away last November. For this new round, the square courtyard of the Louvre has been transformed into a life-size park with its yellow stage in the style of a children’s car circuit. The symbols of childhood have slipped into the costumes: modeling clay texture, airplane paper, cartoon prints.

The story of the parade took shape like a Disney movie. The show opened with Florida-based marching band The Marching 100 and ended with rapper Kendrick Lamar and his Long live Virgil† As a tribute to Virgil Abloh, the models also covered the catwalk with a large multicolored veil.

The Sacré-Coeur, Gallery of Contemporary Idols in Ami by Alexandre Mattiussi

After climbing the stairs to the Sacré-Coeur, we had to make our way among the fans who had come to cheer on the swarm of stars who attended the Ami show. For the first time in the history of fashion shows, the esplanade was transformed into a fashion setting.

In this space, there is no need for a photocall anymore: the rooftops of Paris serve as the backdrop for the stars posing in total Ami looks. Cult actresses Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Adjani cross paths with serial actors Angus Cloud (Euphoria), or Joe Locke (heartbreaking) and legendary models, Carla Bruni and Naomi Campbell. You’d think the show would end here, but the parade reveals surprises. To play the Paris from postcards to the end, Alexandre Matiussi opened his parade with actress Audrey Tautou, a nod to his character of Amélie Poulain (who lives in Montmartre). Followed by iconic models Kristen McMenamy, Paloma Elsesser, Cara Delevingne and Mariacarla Boscono. clothes ? 54 equally striking looks, articulating schoolboy trends and the more rock silhouettes of the 2000s.

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