PARIS – Lanvin and Paul Smith capped a masculine and utilitarian menswear season in Paris as Kenzo paid tribute to Irish singer-songwriter Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries, who died last week.
Meanwhile, design veteran Hedi Slimane was named the new creative chief at Celine.
Here are some highlights from Sunday’s final fall-winter men’s shows and the run-up to Paris Fashion Week for couture collections:
LANVIN’S UTILITARIAN CHIC
A constellation of bright lights that were fixed on stands around the runway gave Lanvin’s display a dreamlike air.
The clothes at the Sunday morning show were more fixed on reality — with sneakers, hoods, hats, toggles and straps appearing on urban-looking and masculine winter looks.
The notable creative feature here was the cross-over styles. Sometimes asymmetrical, it worked well alongside designer Lucas Ossendrijver’s signature use of layering.
A long coat with square pockets featured a flat cross-over lapel, alongside a partly-unzipped and oversized sleeveless coat in beige — that hung wonkily and possessed a carefree quality.
At times, styles that fused a Japanese and workmen’s esthetic demonstrated Ossendrijver’s penchant for mixing vestimentary references.
Lanvin owner and enigmatic Taiwanese media magnate Shaw-Lan Wang — who’s reportedly been behind the recent tumultuous creative changes at the house — clapped vigorously.
PATRICK GIBSON TALKS “TOLKIEN”
French notables including Lulu Gainsbourg, the musician son of the late Serge Gainsbourg, and DJ Martin Solveig attended Lanvin’s brightly lit show in the Palais de Tokyo. Actor Patrick Gibson of “The OA” and “The Tudors” fame was among the speckling of international faces.
Gibson posed for the cameras in sunglasses and a low-key, coffee-colored Lanvin coat that matched the coffee being served around him.
The 22-year-old Irish actor has wrapped filming for the upcoming biopic “Tolkien.” It tells the true story of author J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote “The Lord of the Rings” after returning from the horrors of World War I.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of interest. (Main actor) Nick Hoult did an amazing job portraying Tolkien,” Gibson said.
“It shows the really human side. It doesn’t feel like a biopic. It feels like a story about a regular person out of the framework of history. And that makes it real, (showing) his flaws, too,” he said.
FORMER SAINT LAURENT DESIGNER SLIMANE NAMED AT CELINE
Veteran fashion designer Hedi Slimane has been named the new creative director of the edgy Paris brand Celine.
Slimane, who gained critical and commercial success as Saint Laurent’s designer during 2012-2016, will replace outgoing British designer Phoebe Philo, whose departure was announced in November.
In a statement Sunday, Celine parent company LVMH praised Slimane’s “talent and his remarkable ability to anticipate and express in a unique way the evolutions and desires of his age.”
French-born, Italian-Tunisian Slimane previously worked for LVMH as designer of Dior Homme during 2000-2007. He was credited with contributing to the influential skinny menswear esthetic.
Calling Silmane “one of the most talented designers of our time,” LVMH head Bernard Arnault said he was “particularly happy that Hedi is back within the LVMH Group.”
KENZO CHANNELS A COLORFUL EQUALITY
Kenzo, one of the biggest houses to go full on with the merger of men’s and women’s designs, went retro with the 40-piece Technicolor collection it presented Sunday.
The 1960s preppy received a shot of colour in crisp, high-waisted check pants worn with a wooly V-neck tank top and contrasting turtleneck. The leopard print that appeared on flat-fronted jackets added a quirk.
The looks were defined by some serious colour-blocking — which spawned beautiful statement shoes in leather and snake and a navy blue hooded sweater with a bateau neck and floral motifs.
The flower — a common theme in the Kenzo universe — cross-pollinated into the 46 women’s styles. The strongest designs were a series of vibrant, multicolored floral gowns.
The figure-hugging fabric was ruched down the body along a horizontal hem to make it look like the wearer was ready to burst out.
For the confetti-fueled finale, The Cranberries’ anthem “Dreams” blasted out in homage to Dolores O’Riordan, whose lyrics and vocals defined the band. The singer-songwriter died in London on Jan. 15 at age 46.
PAUL SMITH’S 80S
It was the dramatic styles of the 1980s that were in vogue at Paul Smith’s fall show.
The British designer stuck closely to suit- and coat-heavy looks for his smart collection that referenced the broad and angular shoulders ubiquitous during that dressy era.
Asymmetrical paneling on outerwear — such as a half-tartan, half-plain tailored coat — was a recurrent style and mirrored the days of the New Romantics.
Large architectural lapels or turned-up collars on long oversized coats also had the exuberant flourish of that decade’s heady fashions.
The sober and beautiful colour palette of myriad blues — navy, Cetacean, Cerulean, blueberry, turquoise — as well as purple and vermilion ensured the collection stayed tasteful.
AGNES B. IS SALEABLE, RISK-FREE
Agnes B.’s perfectly saleable designs were dapper, but the collection ultimately played it safe.
For fall-winter, the French designer’s best styles riffed on the retro suits of the 1960s.
Fitted grey and grey-blue woolen suits flared slightly at the jacket hem and were accessorized with a trilby hat.
They wouldn’t have looked out of place on the James Bond of the Sean Connery era.
Jazzy shirts and ties in contrasting patterns added the contemporary lift that was also seen in a vivid royal blue hat and chic three-button jacket.
At times, the commercial garments looked out of place on a platform of high fashion.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K