Last weekend I let time pass me by sat at Parisian pavement cafes, sipping café au lait and eating an array of delicious pastries and mouth-watering macaroons, whilst enjoying one of my favourite hobbies, people-watching of course. Fashion is one thing that is quite impossible to go unnoticed when in Paris. Being one of the four ‘fashion capitals’ of the world this beautiful city is known for it’s elegant, refined and chic fashion design and is home to some of the most prestigious, powerful fashion houses in the world.
The last few days of Paris Fashion Week has brought some interesting thoughts for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2013 menswear season. As scandals have circulated our suit wearing bank bosses and prime ministers in recent months there’s understandably been a large cloud of negativity surrounding everything they are and everything they do at the moment. Aptly the traditional smart grey, navy and black suits appear to have disappeared off the catwalk. Instead we’ve seen a pick ‘n’ mix of colours and styles including gold double-breasted jackets teamed with printed shorts from Dries Van Noten. The statement piece from Balenciaga’s show was a tomato red silk cotton suit worn with a pair of luxurious white buckle boots. For men this season will be all about the statement suit, so gentleman be prepared to lock away that safe grey suit for another year.
Adrian Clark, style director of Shortlist has been quoted, “It is seriously unfashionable to be a City boy at the moment, what with everything that is going on economically and politically.”
There’s a new confidence in menswear design and the consumer is most definitely buying into it. Research shows that men born after 1982 have increased their spending on fashion faster than any generation before, with men now spending more when shopping than women! Men are far more fashion conscious these days, just a few years back I remember the menswear norm being a pair of bootcut Lee Cooper’s and a t-shirt. Today the high street is full of endless cuts of men’s jeans, printed t-shirts and various cuts and colours of ready to wear suits.
Paris Fashion Week also showcased Belgian designer Raf Simons’ collection comprising of men in mini-shorts matched with clean coloured shirts and jackets. Similarly British tailor Hardy Amies’ debut Paris collection centred around tailored turn-up shorts cut off at mid-thigh leaving much leg to be seen.
Is this pushing menswear boundaries a little too far or do we really think men will begin wearing these small creations around town? Personally, I think this may be one that remains on the catwalk.