Now that Paris Men's Fashion Week is over and the menswear collections for Spring/Summer 2018 are set in stone, it's time to take a look at what was trending most during the shows in the French capital. Here's our pick of the top six trends to emerge from the men's shows for summer next year, from short suits at Thom Browne to an Eighties resurgence from Balenciaga.Read more Men's Style Guide features and check out our store. Paris Men's Fashion Week is always the last in the fashion week cycle for menswear (New York Fashion Week Men's comes in July, post the Haute Couture collections) after London Fashion Week Men's and Milan Fashion Week Men's. By this point it is clear that there are recurring fashion trends emerging from the shows in London and Milan, but Paris always has a habit of turning these on their heads. During Paris Fashion Week Men's a whole host of the biggest names in fashion shows their collections. The likes of Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Dior Homme, Hermès, Lanvin, Valentino and Balmain showed their Spring/Summer 2018 collections to buyers and editors, hoping that what they have to offer will be on the hit list for next year.
That said, with so many designers showing in Paris now (it really is still the fashion capital of the world) and more joining the schedule (Thom Browne, Vlone and Paul Smith for example), it's inevitable that some designers end up sharing the same ideas and concepts in their collections. We've whittled down the men's shows in Paris to the top six trends that we saw emerge, including a surge in short suits, the acceptance of socks and sandals, a love affair with the 1980s, plenty of sportswear, a continuation of the French's love of stripes and plenty of nostalgic references to overseas destinations.
While suiting is always a regular at the men's shows, each season comes with a mix up to how you should be wearing a suit. Over the past few seasons we've seen tailoring become a lot less rigid - suiting has become a lot less Savile Row rulebook and a lot more fluid. Ever think you'd be able to wear a pair of tailored joggers to a formal event? Well if the likes of Alexander McQueen say so then we guess that's alright.
For Spring/Summer 2018 suiting became a lot more summer appropriate. Take yourself back to the Nineties when Versace first decided to put a short suit down the catwalk and look at the collections during Paris Fashion Week Men's SS18 will be somewhat similar. The short suit appears to have come full circle and will soon be in every high street shop, if the Paris designers have anything to say about it. Walking to a soundtrack of Drake and Majid Jordan, Kim Jones had the Louis Vuitton models walk in looks that paired leather shorts with shirts and suit came complete with three-quarter-length trousers. For Jones corporate dressing has completely changed.
Over at Dior Homme, Kris Van Assche stripped things right down the crux of Dior's roots. The traditional black suit and white shirt was given centre stage, but it sat alongside a new youthful energy that Van Assche wanted to inject into the veins of the brand. He blended sportswear by way of short shorts with tailoring, in a way that he described as 'very street in a way'. He wanted the collection to harken back to the uniform of schoolboys and those short shorts paired with tuxedos definitely did that. Thom Browne delivered one of the most questionnable collections during the Paris men's shows. Questionable because of his inclusion of skirts and dresses in a menswear collection, but also because it raised the simple question of 'why do men wear menswear?' That aside, Thom Browne raised the question of why is menswear so rigid? Alongside skirts he put models in short suits, which were constructed in contrasting neutral shades of black, grey and charcoal and layers were given a playful mix up. Belgium menswear stalwart Dries Van Noten too corporate-wear and flipped it on its head. This is only to be expected of course as he is a member of the Antwerp Six who have together helped change the way men dress forever. Van Noten kept bottoms short, showing off long retro-inspired socks, and paired them with boxy oversized suit jackets.
Socks And Sandals
Once upon a time (probably last year) socks and sandals was still a frowned upon concept. We could almost go as far as saying that many thought it was the absolute no no when it came to fashion. now however that appears to be changing. For Spring/Summer 2017 Prada put models clad in baggy suits, socks and sandals down the catwalk and now for Spring/Summer 2018 the socks and sandals combination is more relevant than ever.
Louis Vuitton took us on adventure overseas and to do so they put models in socks and sandals. Did it look bad? Not at all. While the big talking point was inevitably the Drake soundtrack, the other big talking point has to be the fact that Kim Jones believes socks and sandals are an actual menswear staple. Pigalle did the same, putting models in double-strapped sliders and socks. Before now this has been a somewhat 'roadmap' look, but now its been taken up to the catwalk and high-end echelons. Vetements did the same, putting a Zurich local in a fitted suited and a pair of sliders with socks.
Sure, fashion has a love affair with the Nineties, but for Spring/Summer 2018 the mens collections from Paris took a step back. Now designers are getting their inspiration from the corporate world of 1980s office blocks. That's right, your new style icon is your dad (back in 1985). We saw the beginning of this back when Demna Gvasalia first took to the helm of Balenciaga and it seems that other designers have cottoned onto this success. Think boxy fits, ironed-in creases and light-wash jeans. Balenciaga's show was one of the talking points of the season, with Demna Gvasalia having actual families walk down the tree-lined park path (your typical catwalk is now considered mainstream). The collection is part two of Gvaslia's social investigation of what on earth the corporate man is and he took inspiration from the unlikely source of tech nerds and computer geeks. Eighties tailored jackets, hawaiian print shirts and shoe-skimming jeans ruled the collection.
For Spring/Summer 2018 Sébastien Meunier said his collection for Ann Demeuelemeester 'was about Robert Mapplethorpe in his life at the Chelsea Hotel . . . . we wanted to give homage to this bohème period that was very creative in the ’70s and ’80s in New York.' While Balenciaga showed us the corporate side to the Eighties, Demeuelemeester's Spring/Summer 2018 offering was a Romantic exploration of those glorious years sith flowing details and unstructured tailoring. For Spring/Summer 2018 Lemaire surprisingly looked to German brands Kraftwerk and La Düsseldorf for inspiration. This gave them the Eighties vibe they longed for and it worked. While the colour palette remained Lemaire's typical minimal, the shapes were anything but. Loose shirts were tucked dramatically into high-waisted trousers, and oversized trench coats ruled the catwalk.
Every season designer spay homage to an increasing bond between formal and informal, suiting and sportswear. The same has happened again and the Paris shows were full of sportswear touches. Dior Home, Lanvin, Hermès, Valentino and Louis Vuitton were all the big names putting sportswear down the catwalk. Lucas Ossendrijver’s menswear sat somewhere between tailoring and sportswear as he began to explore streetwear for the French brand. His Lanvin collection gave us baggy, high-waisted trousers, knee-length shorts and mac-esque jackets. That was the 'tailored' side. Now for the sportswear. He inflected his collection with toggles, polo shirts worthy of Lacoste, lightweight parachute parkas and oversized colours.
Fashion has a habit of taking it too far, but Hermès proved that taking it far into the stratosphere of the unknown is actually a good thing. The collection is so far from what the normal man would wear that it is actually very accessible. The collection is attractive to the young man who wants to look cool. Sportswear was prevalent throughout - trackpants and sports tops were shiny and technical. The collection was a fashion insider's dream with its technicalities, but also a dream for the average man who just wants to look fashionable. Pierpaolo Piccioli made sure Valentino's Spring/Summer 2018 collection was all about the tracksuit. Sitting alongside Eighties motifs, piping, and careful detailing, sat a series of embellished tracksuits that broke the boundary between high-end and sportswear once and for all. We're sure those grime-esque wrap around body bags will be a major trend next summer too.
Think of a Parisian's wardrobe and the first thing that probably comes to mind is stripes (the second may be a beret). Well the same is still true if the men's shows during Paris Fashion Week were anything to go by. Continuing on from London Fashion Week Men's and Milan Fashion Week where stripes were one of the major trends, Paris gave its own take and cemented the fact that next spring will be all about them. Balmain went stripe-crazy in Olivier Rousteing's French themed collection. He took Marinière Breton stripes so beloved of Gainsbourg and put them in monochrome. True to form these were then given the Balmain treatment and translating onto sequined jackets.
As one of the most influential women in fashion, what Rei Kawakubo says sort of goes. The catwalk show was essentially a party, with the models basically acting like they were in a nightclub. What does Kawkubo want you to wear to the nightclub? Stripes and plenty of them. Kenzo was given the striped treatment for Spring/Summer 2018. The show was political, with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon using only Asian models, but the clothes spoke through. Striped trousers, teamed with striped sports tops, sitting alongside striped shirts tucked into shorts was the genera jist of the collection, and as the final show on the Paris Fashion Week Men's roster, this paved the way for what we can expect to be the big trend next spring - stripes.
Over the past few seasons designers have been feeling the opposite to homesick and have been longing for a holiday. That's if their collections are to go by that is. For Spring/Summer 2018 the same can be said again. Paul Smith, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga and Ami all presented collections inflected with exotic vibes and a longing for a new destination. Political perhaps? We reckon so. Following on from January's Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration, Kim Jones had to do something to get people talking, and keep them interested. He took them on an adventure. Aforementioned socks and sandals played a key role, as did shorts, but it was the bold patterns that really shone through.
When the creative director teased that Drake would be previewing his new song as the soundtrack to the catwalk show, he did so by sharing a boldly patterned picture on Instagram, which basically summed up the theme of the collections. Prints were bold and worn by the likes of Naomi Campbell on the FROW. Jones' main aim is to engage with youth and he did exactly that with his brash prints and bold designs. Ami wasn't so much about going overseas, but was about the overseas traveller coming to France. Alexandre Mattiussi presented a dedicated response to the French summer and even the pink sandy catwalk was a nod towards the Paris Plage. This collection was about the Ami tourist and looks were bold. Think Hawaiian shirts, PVC shorts and socks and sandals. Now if only every tourist dressed in Ami... Paul Smith stayed true to form and gave us a colourful walk down the catwalk. Suits were paired with Hawaiian shirt as the British designer longed for a trip away.
Top six Trends from Paris Fashion Week Men’s SS18
Pair shorts with your tailoring just like Louis Vuitton, Dries Van Noten, Thom Browne and Dior Homme did.
Socks and sandals are now an acceptable look, as seen by Paul Smith, Louis Vuitton and Vetements.
The Eighties are back with a vengeance - think boxy fits and tucked in T-shirts and shirts. Balenciaga does this best.
Sportswear is once again trending, with suiting given a sporty makeover by the likes of Valentino, Lanvin and Dior Homme.
Vertical stripes are going to be trending - look to Balmain, Kenzo and Comme Des Garcons for inspiration.
The latest news from style, life, arts, and culture and everything in between. Whether it's a new brand arriving into our style, our latest drops and editorials. You will never miss a beat with us.