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Paris catwalks: the best shows from the autumn 17 menswear collections

Balm men fw17 2482

See the latest from the autumn 17 menswear catwalks in Paris, including Balenciaga, Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Haider Ackermann’s debut at Berluti.

Elevated urban trends from Balenciaga

Balenciaga aw17

Balenciaga aw17

The blending of street styles and classic tailoring has been evolving as a dominant trend in the menswear catwalks, and Demna Gvasalia’s autumn Balenciaga collection gave this trend an elevated sophistication befitting the brand’s tailoring heritage. Sweeping, maxi-length tailored coats opened the show, before streetwear influences became more dominant, creating an exaggerated volume to the looks. Sweatshirts were ironically emblazoned with slogans including ‘Kering’ (Balenciaga’s parent company), and the overall collection had a tongue-in-cheek elegance and distinctly modern aesthetic.

Givenchy’s playful street drama

Givenchy aw17

Givenchy aw17

Gothic drama has often been the headline for Givenchy in recent years, but with this offering Ricardo Tisci took a lighter, more playful approach. While the colour palette remained dark, dominated by navy and grey, there was a sense of energy shot through in the details. Bold striped knits, whimsical ruffles on plaid shirts and kabuki-inspired, almost grotesque, monster sweatshirts were highlights. There was still a sense of dark street glamour to the collection – longline suiting and leather played key roles – but this season had a much more playful tone.

Louis Vuitton’s slouchy silhouettes and Supreme collaboration

Paris mfw11

Paris mfw11

There’s always one thing at fashion week that sets social media abuzz, and for the Paris menswear shows, that was Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with skater brand Supreme. The Supreme logo was emblazoned on holdalls, cross-body bags and worked into shirting, adding a relaxed 1990s cool to the catwalk. While the collaboration may have stolen the headlines, the rest of the collection was not to be overlooked. Designer Kim Jones presented a super-luxe take on a relaxed, slouchy tailoring. Drop-crotch trousers, undone shirting and relaxed trench coats were highlights, as was the reappearance of the LV emblazoned scarf, slung casually around the neck

Volumised classics from Dries Van Noten

Dries van noten aw17

Dries van noten aw17

Staple shapes were given a voluminous update as Dries Van Noten played with proportions on the autumn catwalk. Double-breasted blazers, greatcoats and duvet-esque puffa jackets appeared in amped-up proportions with wide shoulders and extreme lengths. This was highlighted by the slim trousers paired with each look, giving a top heavy, triangular silhouette. Buttoned-up shirts and high necks were redolent both of the Britpop 1990s and Moddish 1970s, and there was a minimal bohemian feel to the llama-emblazoned oversized knits.

Tailored futurism from Dior Homme

Dior aw17

Dior aw17

Crisp, slim suiting was the dominant silhouette at Dior, where once again reworked tailoring played a key role in the collection. Kris Van Assche’s take on the trend, however, added a sense of 1990s futurism with a palette of black accented with bright orange, turquoise and deep red. Exposed detailing, from seams to zips and fuzzy, frayed textures lent a deliberate undone look, while the minimal and sharp lines of the suits hinted at a more modern feel. Holographic sunglasses and bucket hats added to the sense of the future retro, and sweeping floor-length capes lent some imperial drama.

Lanvin’s crisp 1990s utility

Lavin aw17

Lavin aw17

Lanvin’s autumn offering gave a utility edge to tailored shapes, presenting unexpected proportions and contrasting sharp and relaxed silhouettes. Work boots, dog tag necklaces, plaid and parkas gave a 1990s grunge feel and other 1990s references appeared in block colour windcheaters. Contrasting lengths were paired together, as cropped knitted vests and jumpers were set over loose tunics. Coats and jackets were particularly strong this season, ranging from puffa parkas and ski jackets to leather trench coats and oversized duffle coats – both of which are emerging as key outerwear shapes for autumn from the Paris shows, appearing respectively at Dior Homme and Givenchy.

Paired back opulence at Ackermann’s Berluti debut

Berluti aw17

Berluti aw17

For his first season as creative director at Berluti, Haider Ackermann presented a range of sleek designs in a luxuriously muted palette. Jewel tones and glossy velvets added a subtle opulence to crisp shapes, and items made a powerful statement without the overt showmanship of many other designers. The general simplicity of the shapes, from bombers to trenches and slim suiting made the collection feel commercial, but it did not lose more daring edge. Highlights included a plush burgundy velvet suit paired with a simple T-shirt, a blue fur collared khaki coat and tonal re-interpretations of the suit, featuring shimmering bomber jackets paired with tailored trousers.

Balmain’s dizzyingly decadent signature

Balmain aw17

Balmain aw17

Layer upon layer of glistening, luxurious excess created a dizzying display of opulence at Balmain. Pre-fall womenswear looks were shown alongside the men’s looks and both shared an almost brash grandeur that was classical, excessive Balmain. A rocky undertone came through in snakeskin leathers, studded bombers dripping in jewels and oversized bikers. Proportions were exaggerated by layered shearlings and quilted robes. Intricate golden embroidery set over elaborate prints and velvets gave an almost regal tone to the collection – Olivier Rousteing pushed his signature aesthetic to new extremes.

Valentino’s northern soul

Valentino aw17

Valentino aw17

The designer behind Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli, looked to the north of England, specifically Liverpool, as the unlikely inspiration for his solo menswear debut for the Italian fashion house. While part of this inspiration came through working with graphic designer Jamie Reid on two new slogans for the brand, the northern soul of the town seems to have seeped through the heart of the designs. Heritage styles such as trench coats, leather jackets, cable knits and shearlings were combined with a warm, muted colour palette and heavy use of checks, giving the looks a distinctly British feel. Topping each look was a cap, emblazoned with the slogan: “Beauty is a birthright, reclaim your heritage”, giving a nonchalant, street corner chic.

Haider Ackermann’s fiery luxury

Haider ackermann aw17

Haider ackermann aw17

While the namesake designer was also busy making waves at Berluti this week, his main label nevertheless continued in full force. In contrast to his refined debut for Berluti, this was a story of excess and experimentation, providing a riot of deconstructed shapes, layered textures and clashing prints. Tartan dominated the opening looks, creating a grunge feel, which was continued in the burned motif that crept up the sides of later looks, appearing to eat away at luxurious velvets and satins. Playful and daring, these designs held a gritty sense of deconstructed luxury.

Duvet volume at Rick Owens

Rick owens aw17

Rick owens aw17

While other designers experiment with proportions, Rick Owens has mastered containing truly dramatic contrasts in his designs. Models were overwhelmed by huge billowing duvet coats, layered under puffed scarves for even further volume. Sleeves grazed the knees and wide-leg trousers billowed under slim leather coats. Such contrasts were held together with fluid outlines and a muted palette, and while black was still dominant, mossy greens, blush pink, copper and powdery turquoise added a lightness to the heavier, more experimental designs.

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