FW15 Menswear Highlights That Slayed
Amid the splendor of Paris Fashion Week, a wealth of pieces from a wide array of fashion houses have made their way over from Europe to whet our appetites for the upcoming fashion feast of New York Fashion Week. Menswear was the name of the game this past week as trends that ranged from brash political statements to brash funeral wear to brash nudity made for a broader than broad palette of apparel for ya boy. We break down the definitive looks with our FW15 Menswear Highlights, which as a word of caution are not all SFW.
Givenchy’s Voodoo Masks and Man Skirts
Dark and spooky is nothing out of the ordinary for Givenchy, a label that has been helmed by some of the fashion world’s darkest visionaries, from John Galliano to Alexander McQueen to its’ most influential leadership yet under Ricardo Tisci. This year saw some of their most bone-chilling aesthetics yet, with models sporting some truly chilling voodoo mask make-up to accent fur lined black leather, ushering in some ‘Day of the Dead’ realness. Patterns evoking the American West were present on thick boots and what can only be described as ‘man-skirts,’ making us think that this autumn collection was made with Halloween fresh in mind.
Walter van Bierendonck Gets Political
Belgian designer Walter van Bierendonck has always had a knack for mixing strong, graphic design influences with wildly imaginative construction. This year, the designer added a dose of the current political climate with subtle, tongue in cheek references for a collection best summed up in his own words: ‘Warning: Explicit Beauty.’ Making a bold statement on the political strife regarding the Islamic State, he adorned sheer plastic tops with the aforementioned statement as well as the overt plea to ‘Stop Terrorizing Our World.’ But the motif of ‘ISIS’ was continued in its original connotation, with traditional Egyptian imagery used in the models’ eye makeup as well as various patterns’ centerpieces, making for both a visually and intellectually stimulating collection.
Thom Browne Designing Your Funeral
A little darkness is always good in a collection, but few take that to the logical extreme. Thom Browne did, as his FW line can be most succinctly described as Victorian Funeral. Each model was appropriately veiled, some more sheer than others, and most were attached to either imposing stovepipe hats or sinister wide brimmed chapeaus, one even had a raven perched on top. Though all wore black suits, the exquisite tailoring on each revealed a markedly different character in every suit. Browne made a name for himself with a collection presented in a circus setting, but we now think that a mausoleum may be his most fitting arena yet.
Comme des Garcons’ New Breed of Supervillain
Rei Kawakubo has always been a designer with a supreme vision, and her new menswear collection has a vision with a vengeance. Equal parts club kid and James Bond villain, Comme de Garcons’ AW15 menswear line is the definition of fierce. A through line of a pattern of vividly colored curls were designed by tattoo artist JK5, appearing on both clothing and on the models themselves, giving the illusion of inked skin. Elsewhere, the collection was marked by an imperious array of suits, some with Mandarin collars, some with shorts, and some with splices of animal print that were pure Cruella deVille. Being bad never looked so good, especially when topped with black hoods and caps straight out of Darth Vader’s closet.
Rick Owens Full Frontal
Seeing the uproar over the already infamous ‘crotch shots’ of Rick Owens’ FW15 menswear line was a bit like seeing fashion history in action. What can we infer from the placement of direct holes to highlight genitalia? If the rest of the collection is any clue, perhaps it might allude to the raw earthiness and rusticity exuded by each piece. Owens made his name with a line of leather jackets, and that same creative output comes full circle here. From neutral toned pea coats to complexity laden hoodies to the 21st century answer to the traditional poncho, the collection seems to state ‘I am man, here me roar.’ Perhaps that’s why they have those holes.
Homeslide image by EPA