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Paris men’s fashion week: spring 16 trends

Bringing the European menswear catwalk season to a close, Paris designers served up a number of new trends and confirmed some of those already seen in London and Milan

From left: Kenzo, Lemaire, Umit Benan, Valentino

From left: Kenzo, Lemaire, Umit Benan, Valentino

Form and function

Buyers take note: utility has emerged as spring 16’s key menswear trend, and is sure to influence next season’s high street offer. Seen in London at shows such as Lou Dalton and Christopher Raeburn, and in Milan at Missoni and Canali, the trend was confirmed in Paris where it was seen at shows including Lemaire, Umit Benan and Balmain. Buyers should look out for workman-style unlined jackets with patch pockets, safari shirts and cargo pants in a palette of khaki, green and navy. Those catering to a more directional clientele may wish to buy into the subtrend of boiler suits, which were seen at Hardy Amies (in London), Bottega Veneta (in Milan), Kenzo and more (in Paris).

From left: Carven, Dries van Noten, Issey Miyake, 3.1 Phillip Lim

From left: Carven, Dries Van Noten, Issey Miyake, 3.1 Phillip Lim

Short and smart

From short and sporty to long and loose, we’ve spotted all manner of shorts on the spring 16 runways. In Paris, the tailored short suits seen at Dries Van Noten, Raf Simons and 3.1 Phillip Lim offered a smarter way to wear the trend. Though these oversized, baggier styles may not appeal to everyone, the slim-fit short suit seen at Carven is a wearable twist on summer tailoring.

From left: Dior Homme, Givenchy, Sacai, Raf Simons, Saint Laurent

From left: Dior Homme, Givenchy, Sacai, Raf Simons, Saint Laurent

Check, please

While stripes ruled the runways at both London and Milan, checks were the preferred print at Paris. At Givenchy and Sacai, checked pieces were layered on top of each other to create a 1990s-style grunge vibe. Continuing in the same vein, Saint Laurent’s frayed tartan shirt had a thrift-store feel to it that should prove popular among younger, more fashion-conscious shoppers.

From left: Givenchy, Lemaire, Juun. J, Louis Vuitton

From left: Givenchy, Lemaire, Juun J, Louis Vuitton

A case of the blues

Denim is a menswear staple, so it is unsurprising to see it turn up on the Paris runways. What was unusual, however, was to see it in such volume and used in so many different ways. At Givenchy, a denim-on-denim look consisted of a longer workman-style jacket and a pair of dungarees, while at Juun.J the wide-leg dark denim trousers are a bold take on regular jeans. At Louis Vuitton, designer Kim Jones used indigo silk denim to create trousers and jackets with a slight sheen.

From left: Dries van Noten, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Lemaire, Raf Simons, 3.1 Phillip Lim

From left: Dries Van Noten, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Lemaire, Raf Simons, 3.1 Phillip Lim

In the bag

While skinny jeans and trousers still had a presence in Paris, the baggier styles that have been growing in popularity over the last few seasons undeniably dominated here. At Raf Simons, trousers with hems pooling at models’ feet were paired with knitted tank tops to create a retro, 1970s-inspired vibe. At 3.1 Phillip Lim, the look was more modern, with loose-fitting tailoring in cornflower blue and white paper bag trousers slightly cropped at the ankle.

From left: Balmain, Hermes, Saint Laurent, Valentino

From left: Balmain, Hermes, Saint Laurent, Valentino

Soft touch

First seen in London at the likes of Richard James and Belstaff, suede appeared at a number of Paris shows and looks set to be a key fabric trend for spring 16. Cut from the thinnest, lightest suede, Balmain’s draped top and Hermes’ luxurious take on the classic T-shirt demonstrate the material’s versatility, while Valentino’s classic bomber jacket is a great transitional piece.

From left: Balmain, Dries van Noten, Saint Laurent, Valentino

From left: Balmain, Dries Van Noten, Saint Laurent, Valentino

Wild things

Tying into spring 16’s trend for safari style, animal prints popped up at some of the key Paris shows, including Saint Laurent and Dior Homme, and was taken to the extreme at Valentino, whose designers showcased a tactile cowhide jacket. Though it won’t be for everyone, the trend for animal prints is playful yet wearable, thanks to its largely neutral colour palette. 

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