Today, more than ever, the boundaries between luxury and streetwear are getting increasingly blurred as top fashion designers infuse luxury with a jolt of streetwear and strong socio-political statements. More than just a feast for the eyes, this Fall/Winter 2017 season of menswear in Paris played with a rough yet optimistic street-cred attitude. Epitomizing the millennial craving for a more mixed-up fashion spirit, designers opted for the democratic flavor of the streets this season, instead of tapping into the demanding heritage of the luxury industry. Behind all of this lies the notion of fusion – a willingness to mingle luxurious savoir-faire with bad-boy streetwear and to therefore offer covetable collections that do not only attract a selected few, but that speak to the masses. Here are our favorite picks from this season's firmly established streetwear trend.
Dior Homme Menswear Fall Winter 2017 Fashion Show in Paris (by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION)
The rumours were true. And the results were spot on. Kim Jones perfectly straddled the Louis Vuitton line to make it even more cool to be part of one of the biggest streetwear labels around for the ultimate collaboration: Louis Vuitton x Supreme. The fashion landscape has been shifting towards streetwear as its preference for some time now but this took it to another level while simultaneously being able to stay as luxe and aspirational as LV is and as cool and aspirational as Supreme is. The LV element kept it elegant and high fashion, creating a point of difference among the rest of the wannabe streetwear attempts out there right now.
Rave culture, mostly, underpinned this collection - a ten-year-anniversary one at that - from Kris Van Assche, but that also saw plenty of streetwear elements too. Trousers were cropped and wide leg for a nod to the cool skater dude, chains hung from hips to toughen up and roughen up the signature slick Dior Homme suit and the controlled colour palette enabled it all to play out in a tight and cool (if not slightly intimidating) edit. Again, this was another-level worthy; in fact between them, one can't help but think LV and Dior have created a new breed of streetwear. What happens when the highest end of fashion meets the street? Answers on a postcard for a new name to coin the genre.
Facetasm Menswear Fall Winter 2017 Fashion Show in Paris (by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)
The North Face was the collaborator du jour for Junya Watanabe - though there were other brands in there too. It elevated the former for sure, while adding a tamer strand to Junya for an audience that perhaps if they do shop more NF won't have been so familiar. There were great jackets and great trousers, here the emphasis of course being on a practicality and a function because that's what the North Face is more about. Supreme's function is just to be cool. But what's been so interesting is this cross-collaboration that so many brands have adopted.
Puffa jackets and plaid shirts all piled up: layers right now is all we can really think about in Paris because it's so cold. Facetasm has pre-empted this, clearly, with the aforementioned garb. But very cleverly managed to make it look good too. The Japanese brand, which was an LVMH Prize finalist, tapped more prevalently into streetwear than it had in the past. But this was a beautiful and cool collection that very much has its own personality and stamp on all things street.
Lanvin Menswear Fall Winter 2017 Fashion Show in Paris (by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)
Nurtured by a growing sense of fear of the future and the rejection of our fast-paced societies, luxury brands such as Lanvin, among others, expressed their opinion directly in their grungy urban-flavored men's outfits with printed no-future style statements such as 'Nothing', as seen on the scarves at Lanvin's menswear show. By tapping into fashion's current obsession with scripts, statements and logos, Lanvin's Lucas Ossendrijvers provided his most street-wear flavored collection so far, unveiling covetable and authentic menswear pieces with a decisive 80’s vibe dominated by a strong selection of urban outerwear.
Tapping into the logo-mania as well, Dries Van Noten, for his part, decided to laud his closest allies: instead of teaming up with another fashion brand, Van Noten collaborated with the textile companies from which he sources his premium fabrics by printing their logos on patches that were adorning slouchy yet sophisticated pieces made for today's urban male. This was a first for the Belgian designer, who - in a surprising move - left his otherwise romantic and richly decorated menswear archetype behind for new street-cred looks with hard edges and strong lines that embody a certain lust for life.
Kenzo Menswear Fall Winter 2017 Fashion Show in Paris (by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)
In a willingness to escape from everyday life by exploring nature and its raw beauty, Yohji Yamamato's Y-3 revamped the take on functional outdoor clothing. Reflecting on the juxtaposition between our digital high-tech world and natural landscapes, Yohji Yamamoto focused on constructing a military-infused outdoor silhouette that brought an adventurous flair to urban outerwear essentials. A covetable collection that had his audience escape to the Great North with futuristic looking outdoor clothing crafted from both natural and high-tech fabrics.
Closing the Paris men's fashion week on an intellectual note, Carol Lim and Umberto Leon, the designer-duo behind Kenzo, made a statement by raising awareness for environmental causes through eclectic, nature-related prints – think Arctic glaciers, Hawaiian florals and aurora borealis dégradés – on heavily layered, quilted and cocooned urban silhouettes that came with a sustainable sensibility. One thing is certain, the pairing of the streets with luxury is in full swing and here to stay.