10 Things We Learnt From Paris Fashion Week


ShortList’s style director, Adrian Clark, gives you the scoop on his defining moments gleaned from the autumn/winter 2014 catwalk shows, concluding in the French style capital yesterday


1. Carven’s executive-slouch

Guillaume Henry, creative director at Carven, is one of the most underrated designers operating in Paris. While he may not command the press attention of some power brands such as Dior, what he loses in publicity he makes up for in quirky continental spins on classic wardrobe essentials - at competitive prices. For autumn, Henry has secured a new silhouette for tailoring, with a slouchier, more unstructured silhouette.


2. Cerruti’s wet-look slicked-back hair

Taking an austere and slight military approach to his renaissance collection for Cerruti, Aldo Maria Camillo (ex Valentino design team) pursued a clean-cut grooming brief followed by many other designers in Paris. A slicked-back side parting proved to be a major trend in the French capital epitomised by Camillo. To achieve the look at home, we recommend using L’Oreal Paris Studio Line Indestructible Extreme Gel, £3.56 for 75ml: 0800-0304 032, which should be applied to damp hair, combed neatly and styled into sharp shapes.


3. Dior’s Quadrophenia meets military-lite

Kris Van Assche pulled out all the stops with a stellar collection for Dior Homme on this year. A lighter approach to the military trend (witnessed throughout Milan and Paris this season), the collection of field jackets, parkas and multi-pocketed vests trod the line between utility and youth sub-culture - worn with slim fit suits, skinny ties and mod haircuts. Hold tight for yet another Quadrophenia revival.


4. Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci’s basketball-luxe

Without question, it's the high production values and creative sets that separate Paris from Milan fashion week. There was no better example of this than the scene directed by Givenchy’s creative mastermind Riccardo Tisci: an Olympic-sized basketball court, complete with wire mesh cage separating the audience from the runway. The same inspiration followed through to the collection, with sportswear traced in lines borrowed from both the court markings and the basketball itself.


5. Hermes goes back to black

An antidote to the kaleidoscopic palette of colour that has dominated in menswear this season, Hermes went back to black for a collection that restricted itself to raven tones, placing emphasis on the texture of the fabrics and the silhouettes. The only flash of colour was the signature house orange, lining the soles of shoes, while tailoring had sheen. Focus was placed on a key item for the season (shown by many other designers), the textured teddy-bear bingo coat.


6. Lanvin owns Paris fashion week

Each season there's one stand out performance in Paris, and for autumn the crown firmly belonged to Lucas Ossendrijver at Lanvin. What Lucas understands, in the way designers like Hedi Slimane don’t, is that to move fashion forward for the contemporary man you need to latch onto memorable and instinctive sub-cultures of the past, giving them a sense of future - rather than (like Slimane) simply raiding Kensington Market for ideas and recreating them verbatim. The collection ticked every box with great use of colour, retro teddy-boy references and slim languid tailoring.


7. Louis Vuitton’s horizontal striped coats

Kim Jones has really found his feet at Louis Vuitton. The luxury menswear dipped its toe in trend-led fashion: for autumn, coats were the emphasis at Vuitton, with horizontal bold stripes (seen everywhere this season, such as Ferragamo, Valentino and Saunders) updating classic fits in mohair. In fairness, it wasn’t only the coats that deserved of praise, as this was Jones’ most accomplished and LV-relevant collection to date.


8. Paul Smith’s tribute to Jim Morrison

With Moroccan carpets scattered across the runway of the Bourse and ‘The Doors’ piping loudly as its soundtrack, it was obvious from when the first model appeared in leather jeans and a tailored coat, just who Sir Paul Smith's muse was. As the collection unfolded, carpet weave pea coats, lurex knits, and those afore mentioned skinny jeans all took their inspiration from Jim Morrison; the models' use of shaggy, rock-god hair was also paramount. To achieve the post-coital look at home, try using L’Oreal Paris Studio LineMatt & Mess Sponge Putty, £3.56 for 150ml: 0800-0304 032, for that out-of-bed style, its light formula allowing medium hold without weighing longer hair down.


9. Raf Simons collaborates with Sterling Ruby

This year saw Belgian designer Raf Simons collaborate with American artist Sterling Ruby. The runway collection they designed together was shown under the "Raf Simons/Sterling Ruby" label in lieu of the "Raf Simons" collection for one season only. This unique collection, born from a long-standing friendship and mutual desire to experience a creative process together, translated into a complete men's wardrobe combining the aggressive formal aesthetics of artist Sterling Ruby with Raf Simons' constant search for innovation in men's fashion.


10. Valentino has cache with camel

My views of the coming autumn cannot really pass without bringing attention to the fact that camel is a colour that shouldn’t be overlooked. Valentino used it beautifully, in dressing gown coats and cashmere separates, showing it with both jeans and tailoring. One of the first important shows of Paris fashion week, Valentino set a precedent with its chic take on menswear and its contemporary reworking of ethnicity.

(Images: Rex)