Paris Day Four: The Pink Desert of Dior Homme

In the season of nature, gardens, flowers, sustainability messages, and disconnecting from devices to enjoy real life, Dior Homme, designed by English artistic director Kim Jones, created a shaded pink desert world built in a huge tent near the Institut du Monde Arabe to present the collection conceived in collaboration with American artist Daniel Arsham. Along with the work of Japanese artist Sorayama Hajime, the French Maison looked to an imaginary future as a source of inspiration.

Dior Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.

After the charming Sorayama steel robot (which was turned into shiny accessories), a decadent perspective awaited us for the duration of the show. The staging and details were inspired by Arsham’s work “Future Relic” in which today’s objects look decayed as if they were archeological finds. The same technique has been applied to the setting and the Dior logo as monoliths in the sand. The collection was a celebration of the atelier’s savoir faire and their incredible capacity to turn fabrics into amazing shapes, honoring the memory and the future. The craftsmanship quality is undeniable incredible, but the collection wasn’t. Jones didn’t deliver any emotion in an aseptic show that seemed to celebrate more the partnership with German luxury luggage brand Rimowa (part of the LVMH group, as is Dior) than the creativity of the Maison. The pale palette colored three main themes that were presented: the fluid tailoring, the desert/urban leisurewear, and the see-through items, sometimes with the heritage newspaper print.

Berluti Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photos by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.

A symbiosis of modernity and heritage was the obsession of Kris Van Assche at Berluti. The Belgian artistic director imagined a man with contemporary masculinity – diverse, independent, and adventurous – expressed in increasingly fluid tailoring that was the leitmotif of the collection. Single- and double-breasted jackets and coats, also proposed in a sleeveless version, were the glue of all the looks, many of which had a schizophrenic palette that ranged from sorbet hues to acid nuances to bright and loud bold colors together with the signature tan leather. Suits and outerwear had details made with the signature handwriting in the most unexpected places (on the vertical cut on the front in the bottom trouser hems, to mention one). The collection seemed a bit disconnected, and the logo pushing looked too intrusive for a brand that has an indecipherable 18th century manuscript as its signature object.  

Junya Watanabe Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.

On the other end of the spectrum, starting with the morning shows, the liberty and flowery trends were very strong. Junya Watanabe released a collection entitled “Nowhere Man” which describes a man that does not belong to any particular place. So, freedom of mind and spirit made him choose from many sources that also became collaborations. Watanabe was a pioneer in partnering with designers from other regions and turned the brand into an iconic laboratory where different worlds collide. This collection mixed garments, companies, and institutions that are part of our everyday lives: restaurants, bookstores, publications, liquors, beers, and even the Amsterdam Tulip Museum and brands with which he has been collaborating for a long time to create a signature look that is immediately recognizable. 

Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.

In a wonderful setting that hid the luxuriant plant decorations behind semitransparent panels for a shadow play effect, Jil Sander by Lucie and Luke Meier stressed the idea of finding the soul in minimalism – not to look cold, but to express the passion of how the garment has been done. The couple made their point well and delivered a sophisticated collection that speaks about nature (all natural fabrics and one organic banana fibre derivation) in a different way: no flower prints but an inner message working on the sharp men’s tailoring, yet making it more sensitive and fresh.

Comme des Garçons Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.

Comme des Garçons always shows a league apart. This season’s performance, entitled “Orlando – transformation and liberation through time,” is act one of three: the second will be next September for the women’s collection, and the final one in Vienna for the world premiere of “Orlando” composed by Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth and for which the brand designed the costumes. The title of the opera is a clear analysis of the gender and aesthetics fluidification. The models were wearing courtesan-style frocks, pearl necklaces, and Nike Air Max 95 shoes redesigned in pattern and silhouette. The shapes were all inspired by the XVIth century style wardrobe with modern details like pleated jupe-culottes and t-shirts with printed jewelry.

GmbH Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.

Berlin label GmbH, by Benjamin Alexander Huseby and Serhat Isik, offered their “Vision” (actually it's the title of the show itself) about integration. North is related to the element of Earth, East with Air, South and Fire, and West with Water were the inspiration that has been blended and delivered in a wardrobe that look a bit repetitive in terms of shapes and silhouettes, but coherent with the theme in terms of palette. In the co-ed show there was a lot of tailoring with the waist highlighted by harness-inspired details, reloaded workwear, and long dresses for women. The variety of the casting and the four cardinal points and elements were an interesting metaphor to put together different human beings under the same sky. The music, with Middle Eastern influences, completed the mood. GmbH is evolving in a good direction, adding its harsh and cool new German aesthetic, a less streetwear-oriented look.