FASHION

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Tania Braukamper
Author
Tania Braukamper

What do Bernie Sanders, raver boys, skirts and sleeping bags have to do with men’s fashion? Ordinarily, not that much — but fashion is full of surprises, and rarely ordinary. From the recent fall / winter 2017 Paris menswear shows, here are five fashion lessons to take away for the season.

1. Your clothes are cooler when they say something. 

Literally. Clothes have become a medium for delivering a powerful message, but does the message come from the designer or the wearer? Ideally, an alignment of both, as we saw with the Dior women's "We Should All Be Feminists" tee. At the Paris men's shows, things weren't always political — until they were. Demna Gvasalia mashed together the Balenciaga name with the Bernie Sanders campaign branding as a way of shouting a message sans words. At Dior Homme, Kris Van Assche was championing a different cause: His sweaters featured the face of Christian Dior himself alongside the words "They Should Just Let Us Rave." Ami, Lanvin, Valentino and others all came out with slogan prints of their own.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Politics vs parties: Balenciaga and Dior Homme.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

At Ami and Lanvin.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

At Yohji Yamamoto and Sacai.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

"Beauty is a Birthright" says Valentino.

2. The puffer jacket trend isn't just for women.

Where comfort and high fashion collide, you're bound to have a winning trend. Balenciaga cemented the trend status of quilted puffer jackets for women last year, and they've continuing the crusade to bring the warm, weather-proof piece of outerwear to both genders in an updated luxury context. Elsewhere Dries Van Noten and Dior Homme went for long-line versions, Issey Miyake's were functional and classic, and Rick Owens flooded the runway with what basically looked like deconstructed sleeping bags. 

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Puffer jackets at Balenciaga and Issey Miyake.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Long silhouettes at Dior Homme and Dries Van Noten.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

At Junya Watanabe and Rick Owens.

3. Statement jewelry for men is a thing.

A huge disembodied gold hand around a neck at Y-Project; oversized letter pendants at Givenchy; punkish clusters of badges and safety pins at Dior Homme; and a scattering of brooches in the form of falling gold leaves at Off-White. Never let it be said that completing an outfit with a solid dose of statement jewelry is something that's just for the ladies.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Punk jewelry at Dior Homme.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Jewelry at Lanvin.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Givenchy and Off-White.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Statement jewelry at Y-Project and Balmain.

4. Girls are the ultimate runway accessory.

The men's runways are changing. They used to be the realm of, well, men. So why has practically every show been overrun with women? Call it the runway equivalent of a men's mag, but perhaps it's just because women are beautiful. Men love women. Women sell. 

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Girls on the runway at Givenchy and Balmain.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Girls at Off-White and Haider Ackermann.

But then again, it wasn't all sex and legs where the girls were concerned. Comme des Garcons had men in skirts, crop-tops and bobbed wigs. Berluti had women in tailored men's pants and no makeup. Could it also be a blurring of gender lines? An acknowledgement that the separation isn't as clear-cut as we all once thought? 

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Gender blurring at Commes des Garcons and Berluti.

5. Baggy pants are going to be big.

Pun intended (sorry). If the Paris runways are anything to go by, it's an opportune time for guys to ditch the skinny pant cuts and embrace wider legs. We saw tailored versions at Yohji Yamamoto, Dior Homme and Lanvin, while other designers like Issey Miyake and Ami went for casual wide-legged styles. 

If you prefer a slim, rock 'n' roll cut, fear not: There were plenty of those on the runway, too.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Wide-leg pants at Lanvin and Yohji Yamamoto.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Roomy pant cuts at Dior Homme and Off-White.

5 Things We Learned From Paris Men's Fashion Week

Casual wide-leg styles at Issey Miyake and Ami.

Photos via Vogue.com and Vogue.fr.