Streetwear and sportswear are still definitely riding high as menswear reference points, of that there’s no doubt, but thankfully they are moving on too. Following a wander into the Fifties in Milan at Prada and at Fendi, in Paris we’re seeing the era filter through into collections as well. At Ami, which was a beautiful and concise collection, wearable and sharp, not too directional but not boring either; at Dries where military shirting and high waists gave a sense of the era’s smart-dressing; and at Louis Vuitton for high waists and those nostalgic summer Hawaiian shirts. Though one can look to Ami and Dries in being most explicit with it here.
But, it’s not only the Fifties. The Eighties, seemingly fashion’s favourite decade (we just can’t seem to get enough of it), isn’t going anywhere. Of course, the champion of this is Balenciaga, who showed a cool-dad collection of big-shouldered, loose oversized jackets and patchwork denim; and super Eighties-style sportswear rife with graphics and logos so befitting of the time. Y/Project wasn’t far behind: this was more big shoulders on blazers and oversized silhouettes, lots of layers twisting and turning, denim jeans with a jacket – hallmark Eighties style.
The thing about the decade is, though, that there were so many avenues style-wise that depicted it. So, we also have Haider Ackermann and Walter Van Beirendonck channelling something of a Bowie Eighties. Ackermann was whimsical and lyrical, with monochrome stripes and spots that didn’t come across as austere as they might, precisely because of those languid silhouettes; meanwhile Van Beirendonck gave us Ziggy Stardust wigs and bodysuits for a punk take.
Which will win out? The Eighties has a slight lead right now, but we’re only halfway through the menswear shows in Paris – so the Fifties still has a chance to catch up…