PARIS (AP) — Loewe thrust Paris Fashion Week into a dark, dystopian vision of the future on Saturday — turning its runway into a dead space where nature and animal life existed only to be exploited and exploited by the ‘humanity. A sanitized white wall descended onto a bare bridge as the models robotically paraded, bathed in hazy white light.
Here are some highlights of the spring-summer 2023 men’s collections:
LOEWE’S STILL LIFE
Models wore plates of television screens showing deep-sea fish in the ocean, and plasma-screen visors showed growing chrysanthemums. The only place the grass grew in designer Jonathan Anderson’s fashion dystopia was literally out of the shoes, where the green blades quivered and clacked surreal as the automata swept past.
The British designer has used the remarkable set and concept not only as a springboard for some of this season’s most accomplished designs, but also to make a thoughtful commentary on ecology and humanity’s disregard for the natural world. If we continue, Anderson warned, this world will be destroyed and the only way to see the bees will be on video.
The organic versus the robotic was explored in Anderson’s conceptual designs which were intentionally offbeat. A white minimalist sweater had excess sleeves flapping limply at the model’s side, above white sports leggings and loafers pushing 10 centimeter (4 inch) tufts of grass.
Bare chests and legs exposed vulnerability, while rigid square shoulder sling bags added contrasting fierceness. But the piece de resistance had to be the giant mustard rocker shoes that looked like the hooves of a horse but could also be from the set of a global “Star Wars” village. A feat!
THE ART OF INVITATION
The art of the chic invitation is still a staple of the luxury industry in Paris.
Houses vie to produce the most eye-catching, inventive and flamboyant show invitations, often delivered by energy-guzzling couriers to each guest’s home or business address regardless of the climate.
Small works of art sometimes give a clue to what a collection has in store; other times they’re just plain wacky.
Louis Vuitton sent a huge board game – something akin to a trendy snakes and ladders game – for its invitation to a show that immersed guests in the creative world of the late designer Virgil Abloh.
For Dior’s bloom-inspired show, the house sent flower seeds that a fashion journalist planted and which have already produced sprouts.
But Loewe’s “invitation” was surely the most bizarre: a soft box of real watercress growing in the ground.
CRAIG GREEN IMPRESSES
British designer Craig Green, who was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II this year for his contribution to fashion, is one menswear designer who continues to impress.
On Saturday, he brought his utilitarian items from London back to the Paris catwalk for an inventive, edgy take on uniforms.
Green developed her cutting-edge aesthetic after internships with names such as Walter van Beirendonck and Henrik Vibskov, leading to collaborations with Moncler.
Hanging stirrups, straps, pockets and accessories have seen riding and fencing clothing in deconstructed pastel tones with a transgressive or even aggressive side.
Green has skillfully blurred the line between art and fashion. A DIY look – with a top that appeared to be an upside-down sink with a builder’s ladder on the back – was also reminiscent of a cuirass of armor.
Does Green regularly take up the torch from the late Alexander McQueen?
THE SOFT GEOMETRY OF HERMES
Soft geometry and loose proportions paraded on the cobblestones of the Manufacture des Gobelins, a historic tapestry factory on the chic left bank of Paris.
Hermès has become synonymous with simple, unpretentious luxury. Veteran menswear designer Veronique Nichanian, who helmed design for three decades, proved it again on Saturday in a chic, masculine 1980s-inspired show.
It was a more casual affair than usual, with contemporary versions of Roman sandals and loose, comfortable shorts.
There were the expected studies in the contrasts. Tensions appeared in the proportions, as in an oversized pastel gray jacket worn over a low-rise waistcoat and high shorts. The difference appeared in the textures and colors of the fabrics: a shiny taupe shirt went under a honeydew leather jacket over flowing black pants.
Delicately geometric lines then adorned wool sweaters in a myriad of hues.
There was no distant concept, gimmick or muse, unlike most Parisian salons, simply because there wasn’t a need for it.
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