The focus of the past week has ostensibly been les hommes rather than les femmes – these are the autumn/winter 2015 menswear collections, after all – but there have frequently been crossovers.
Jean Paul Gaultier may have ducked out of the ready-to-wear circus last season, but his influence is still imprinted on the fabric of Paris menswear: plenty of blokes in skirts, at Rei Kawakubo’s Comme Des Garçons, Givenchy, Dries Van Noten and Thom Browne. Not to mention the women on the catwalk, in incongruous filmy frocks at Givenchy, and modelling bits of the menswear at Raf Simons.
Lanvin is generally subtler than this when it comes to fusing the male and female wardrobes, despite it being a label which is quintessentially feminine - its logo features a mother and child. A slither of chiffon or a touch of fringe or fur are all that's required for designer Lucas Ossendrijver to make his inter-gender point. But this season, perhaps, the message was too subtle. The garments themselves were basic - cable-knit sweaters, sloppy trousers, wide-cut coats - mixed together with invention and variety but without much to distinguish them individually.
A curious thing happened on the final day of the city’s menswear showcase. After Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent show, the clocks went back - kind of - and the fashion followers careen across the city for the spring Atelier Versace show. From pin-thin boys parading before an even thinner crowd (a number of magazine and newspaper journalists, myself included, have been barred from Slimane’s Saint Laurent shows in an entertainingly spiteful demonstration of designer pique) to a couture collection entirely built around the curves and swerves of the female body.
Two simultaneous seasons and a multitude of messages, for men and women. They could only co-exist with such a paradoxically harmonious cacophony in Paris.Reuse content