The menswear shows in Paris have wrapped for another season, giving way to a run of haute couture presentations. Despite chilling temperatures and a debilitating transit strike, the fashion community came out in full force to see new collections from some of the world’s leading menswear designers.
This season’s event, which ended Sunday, offered a number of firsts, including the unexpected debut of Usher’s brightly-hued hair and the much-awaited collaboration between Louis Vuitton and American designer Colm Dillane of KidSuper.
From celebrity sightings to comedy shows and — of course — standout collections, read on for our impressions from the Fall-Winter 2023 shows.
Usher’s new neon ‘do
The Grammy-award winning artist lit up the front row with his new head of flaming orange hair. Usher debuted his neon, ombre effect look on the first day of shows at Wales Bonner and was spotted again at Bianca Saunders the next day. Wearing the full opening look from last season’s runway, his attendance had photographers clamoring for a shot.
Geometry class at Issey Miyake
Geometric shapes, with a strong focus on triangles, was the starting point and the impetus for this season’s Homme Plissé Issey Miyake collection‚ showing the many iterations of how triangles and other angular elements can be twisted and manipulated into complex silhouettes and patterns.
Signature pleats, of course, were in abundance from pleated trousers to folded detailing on sleeveless shirts and coats, and larger, looser folds that fell from the shoulders on nylon outerwear.
The show was punctuated with dance performances that showcased how well the garments moved, as performers wove in and around a light show that featured — you guessed it — more geometric shapes.
Jenna Ortega Channeled Grace Jones at Saint Laurent
Jenna Ortega, star of the Netflix series “Wednesday,” stepped out in a black hooded, backless gown for Anthony Vaccarello’s first men’s show for Saint Laurent in Paris. The halter-style dress, from the brand’s Spring-Summer 2023 collection, was reminiscent of Grace Jones’ iconic signature look. Sitting front row, the actor was visibly mesmerized by Charlotte Gainsbourg’s piano performance that closed the show.
Rick Owens orthopedic boots
Rick Owens is no stranger to statement shoes — his vertiginous Kiss platforms have become a cult item. This season, the American designer channeled orthopedic glam with a boot that offered a far chunkier silhouette up the leg, featuring thick padding held together with leather buckled straps. Chicest way to recover from a broken foot?
Rosalía rocked Louis Vuitton
Spanish popstar Rosalía rocked the roof off the Louvre with her electrifying performance for the Louis Vuitton fashion show, which unveiled a new collection with its first guest creative director, Colm Dillane of KidSuper. The artist opened the show wearing an all-white oversized ensemble and walked the runway with a torch flashing the French brand’s iconic monogram before climbing up onto a yellow car and launching into a rendition of her hit “Candy.”
The Fall-Winter 2023 collection featured a mix of elegant tailoring, utility wear, sports-inspired separates and patchwork coats.
Grown up rave culture at Dries Van Noten
Music has always been important to Dries Van Noten. Keen followers will remember his Fall-Winter 2011 show, soundtracked by specially mixed David Bowie masters. This season, the Belgium designer explored 90s rave culture with a more grown-up sensibility. Guests went to a multi-level parking garage for the show, stacked with experimental musicians performing mellow techno beats, while beer was offered from a steel cart. At the top, Belgium duo Lander & Adriaan performed what the show notes called “sophisti-rave” on drums and synthesizers. The hypnotic soundtrack set the tone for the new collection that featured flora and fauna motifs, furry clogs, outerwear that ranged from tailored coats with nipped waists to oversized puffer jackets with abstract patterns, and roomy 90s-era cargo pants.
Junya Watanabe unveils Palace collaboration
Junya Watanabe, well known for his extensive list of fashion collaborations, chose to celebrate the many brands he has worked with over the years — including New Balance, Oakley, North Face and Timberland — in a predominantly monochromatic collection. Also spotted on the runway was the unmistakable Tri-Ferg logo from Palace, the London-based skatewear brand, on a black part puffer part parka jacket. Another first.
The Swinging Sixties at Kenzo
Kenzo’s artistic director Nigo has long been an anglophile, and his love for The Beatles runs at least as far back as 1999 — when he starred in an Abbey Road-themed cover shoot for Relax Magazine. In the show notes of his third collection for the brand, the Japanese designer compared the clothes to the storied “The White Album,” referencing the eclectic mix of cultural and style references drawing from the Brits, Americans and of course, the Japanese. Staged in a Parisian concert hall, the show featured a lively performance of “Can’t Buy Me Love,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by all-female, Japanese foursome the 1966 Quartet. The new fab four had the entire concert hall singing and cheering while models walked around their two violins, cello and piano.
KidSuper finds fashion’s funny bone
Outside the Casino de Paris, editors, guests and fashion denizens were packed like sardines while trying to get into KidSuper’s “Funny Business” fashion comedy show, hosted by supermodel Tyra Banks. Inspired by Netflix’s comedy specials, an impressive lineup of comedians including Jeff Ross, Emmy-nominated actress Yvonne Orji and French comedian Fary roasted the brand’s founder Colm Dillane while dressed in the new collection. The theme was tailoring with a twist, from suiting embroidered with tailor’s chalk mark to painterly peacoats doused in watercolor brush strokes.
On his unorthodox approach to runway shows, Dillane told CNN Style backstage he wants “something that lives on, that lasts more than those 15 minutes.”
“I always thought it was such a waste of money for something so ephemeral. So, I’m going to create concepts that have legs, and for this show, I thought how cool would it be to do this comedy show that I can keep doing - what if next year I do this in New York? And the year after, somewhere else?”
Sacai and Carhartt work double time
Japanese designer Chitose Abe partnered up with workwear brand Carhartt WIP for her Fall-Winter 2023 collection. It was a joyful exploration of Carhartt’s typically straight-edged style, infused with Abe’s romantic and unique perspective. Pockets were doubled and proportions were distorted as Abe subverted the brand’s signature offerings — from inside-out looking parkas with contrasting quilted padding and shearling panels to Carhartt’s iconic Michigan coats reimagined as soft knitted jackets with gold buttons.