The men’s shows in Paris had two big highlights: the first was that Lady Gaga’s go-to stylist, Nicola Formichetti, presented his first runway show for the Thierry Mugler brand, and the second highlight was the major power failure in Bercy, where the Givenchy show was being held. The latter caused a huge show delay and set the fashion Twitterati ablaze (“CathyHorynNYT: After 70 minute wait, Givenchy delayed because of power failure at Bercy. Fun!”).
Thierry Mugler (left) and Givenchy (right) Paris Fall 2011
When it came to the Mugler show, opting to anoint Formichetti to bring a new energy to the Mugler brand was a wise decision: the stylist pushing-the-envelope aesthetic is perfectly in line with the provocative designs Mugler is known for. For his debut Fall 2011 collection, the designer opted to mix the practical, namely sharply tailored suits, with the over-the-top (think rubber aprons), resulting in a solid, balanced collection that stayed true to Mugler’s roots while offering commercial potential.
3.1 Phillip Lim (left) and Yves Saint Laurent (right)
The Mugler approach of balancing commercial with wearable was seen throughout the Paris shows. Phillip Lim, for example, made his menswear fashion week debut in Paris and his 3.1 Phillip Lim collection featured cozy knits, layered classics, and tailored-to-the-body separates, some of which were done in popping, saturated colors and vibrant prints. Similarly, Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent and Kris Van Assche at Dior Homme took inventive approaches to suiting for more fashion-forward options to traditional looks.
Dior Homme (left) and Hermes (right) Paris Fall 2011
Also worth singling out were the gorgeous layered and tailored to the body looks at Hermes, the wide array of man purses and satchels at Louis Vuitton, the vibrant hues at Raf Simons, the youthful feel of many of the looks at the Valentino show (a theme since Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli took over at the brand), the fedoras at Lanvin, the return of the vest and the man skirt at Jean Paul Gaultier, the mixed-up proportions at Dries Van Noten (i.e. wide, casual trousers paired with a fitted blazer), and the canine inspiration seen at Givenchy.
Raf Simons (left) and Valentino (right) Paris Fall 2011