The fashion week kicked off with a dense and intense calendar. Different points of view ushered the audience forward into an intriguing journey of the new men’s aesthetics and visions, or backwards through the various boring proposals we have seen and bought for several seasons. What makes this alternation illogical is an off-key feeling that makes these voices play more tone-deaf than harmonic. It seems that every designer speaks only to his immediate circle, carefully avoiding any other outside influence; actually, it seems that they don’t even want to start the conversation. And I’m not talking about each designer’s different style, which is the DNA of fashion itself.
Palomo Spain Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.
Every show is becoming more and more a personal celebration with friends and family, rather than an official presentation of a new collection for professionals. This approach affects the style and the narrative of the designers, as a closed and self-sustained circle that risks ending up phagocytizing itself to death. The “fashion gangs” built their coolness forgetting that the world outside quickly evolves and turn a brand from cool to outdated in a second without even noticing it; it just disappears from media, social media, and then (of course) stores. The styles range from romantic to dramatic, from utilitarian to dreamy, and so on. It’s interesting as a social phenomenon, but less smart as a commercial strategy, I guess.
Palomo Spain started in the morning with his unique aesthetic. In his “Pompeii” collection, the Spanish designer imagined his boys from a distant civilization came back after a long lethargy. They show the opulence of the mosaics and frescoes destroyed by the glowing lava. The collection looked precious and sophisticated, but there was a bit too much passion for the Gucci imagery.
Bode Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.
Emily Adams Bode, with her eponymous collection, interprets the heritage of the family business: the Bode Wagon Company in Cincinnati used to have a workshop to decorate the wagons of the Barnum and Bailey and Ringling Brothers Circus. Considering the initial inspiration, the designer did it well turning the banal eccentricity of the circus world into a more inner and delicate wardrobe, yet not for everybody.
Phipps Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.
Spencer Phipps, with his two-year-old brand all devoted to nature and sustainability, imagined the next Spring/Summer 2020 to be all about “climbing bandit cowboys.” Mountain shoes on every outfit were mixed with the apparels made in collaboration with the specialized brand Millet and western style hats and shirts. The overall results were interesting and sometimes ironic – the casting added the right twist to the collection as it was composed both with models and real people with strong characterized looks.
Heron Preston Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.
Heron Preston, by contrast, persisted on his workwear and streetwear approach that this time hybridized with a tailoring that actually was hard to find among the 39 looks. Denims (in collaboration with Levi’s), Gore-Tex pieces, and sport-like stuff were what really came out. This sounded anachronistic to the people outside Preston box and gave back the feeling that maybe it’s time to move on to something new.
Backstage at the Hed Mayner Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photo by Alessandro Garofalo for NOWFASHION.
Hed Mayner was very radical in his conversation with the tailoring: starting from the square as a primary shape, he worked on incorporating it in the process to create jackets, shirts, coats, and dresses. The result was a wide and soft silhouette made with natural fabrics and colors with a touch of tie-dyed denim. A very complicated language, but these are the kinds of voices that feed the creativity in the most exciting way.
TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist. Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.
For this new season, the gloomy atmosphere of the two last collections of The Soloist by Takahiro Miyashita disappeared. He kept his signature melancholia, but there was a touch of lightness given both by the combination of white and black and the juxtaposition of rigorous silhouettes with grand military-style uniform details styled in layers with cut waistcoats and beautiful kilt-inspired pleated bermudas.
Backstage at the AMI Alexandre Mattiussi Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Paris. Photos by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.
The day ended with Alexandre Mattiussi, who is the voice out of this bunch. His collections are always intelligent and well focused on product; his following includes nearly everyone because everyone wants to wear his clothes, given that there are no conceptual ideas or unwearable shapes. All the classics for men and women’s wardrobes were on the catwalk: everything in black for the beginning and then shades of khaki with flashes of red and purple. This time, it looked more fashionable than in the past, but it lacked somewhat in originality. The designer has always been clever in creating a story with his collections (typically made up of wearable and desirable clothes), but here he tried to leave the comfort zone behind in an attempt to discover different path – but he got stuck between a more edgy look and his signature effortless style.