Warning: Constant WP_DEBUG already defined in /usr/home/huckleberry/domains/messmag.com/public_html/wp-config.php on line 84 Our Highlights from the Paris Fashion Week Menswear AW 23 shows – Mess Magazine

Photograph courtesy of David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Dior Men’s Winter 2023-2024

“April was the worst month, breathing lilacs out of the dead land. Mixing memory with desire.”

Kim Jones’ Dior Menswear show was both unnerving and breathtaking. A monolithic grey box on the Place de Concorde, and inside, vast screens ran across its outer walls, flickering to life to show a dramatic reading of TS Eliot’s The Waste Land by British actors Robert Pattinson and Gwendoline Christie (both were also in attendance) which provided the show’s backdrop. Both of these elements combined gave the show a dystopian, existential feel. Initially we might feel disorientated, able only to fixate on Pattinson’s ominous words “The burial of the dead”. Until the mood changes to one of optimism, and upon Christie’s words “summer surprised us”, the first male model crosses the stage.

This virtuoso rhetoric makes more sense as impeccably tailored pieces start to make their way down the runway. “Mixing memory with desire”, Pattinson says. The experience is enigmatic yet beautifully rendered art – an authentic reflection of Park Jimin, who encapsulates the brand perfectly as its newest global ambassador. The layer of sound over the scene adds a classic touch and lends the collection a contemplative air, which Jones said was drawn from the ‘great rivers of London and Paris’, the ‘eddies and flows of the water… in which flux, movement, ease and fluidity are central’. Jones has taken inspiration from a concept previously seen in the work of Yves Saint Laurent; incorporating historical couture silhouettes into the mix, as represented by the ribbons, strings, cut off jackets, bucket hats and off the shoulder sweaters. Together, they encompass a sleek, cool and neutral vibe. The collection is subtle yet stands out. The cuts and the colours all freely flow. It is a fluid piece of storytelling.

Daniel Arsham Objects IV Life Ch. 003

This show was a personal favourite of ours. During Paris Fashion Week, Daniel Arsham marked his debut presentation at the helm of his fashion label, Objects IV Life. This isn’t the first time that Daniel Arsham’s work has surfaced at Paris Fashion Week, but it is his first standalone show. Arsham’s show was an explosion of creative expression. Appearing to undertake a more symbolic route in the execution of the show with creative destruction at the helm, the artist transmutes this imperative interest into a physical act, breaking open plaster-cast sculptures to reveal a series of denim pieces beneath them with models caked in the resulting detritus. The scene represents optimism rising out of both decay and collapse, the creative impetus being Arsham’s own memories of his home being flattened by Hurricane Andrew when he was 12 years old.

In terms of the pieces themselves, as Arsham announced on his instagram, the show featured “12 looks and the introduction of new bags and outerwear as well as updated scarves and boots.” Alongside this, we can also acknowledge the influx of archetypical chore jackets, mossy knits, powder-blue puffer jackets, and steel-capped boots. The presentation is the perfect exhibition of Arsham’s own monochromatic art paired with functional and elevated workwear. It celebrates the timeless beauty in functional pieces, amongst a scene of veritable chaos and despair.

LOEWE Fall/Winter 2023 men’s runway collection

“I used to dream of doing nothing. Every day. Seven days a week.….My dream came true.”

These are the first words playing over the top of a high-tech synthpop beat as the models enter the stage. It seems quite a reductive statement to make when showcasing high-class fashion typically associated with materialism and self-image. Perhaps this is the political message about existentialism that Jonathan Anderson intends to make here. He captures a very ‘real’ outlook on everyday mundanity, stripping things back down to their original form. The looks used in the show are not ostentatious. On the contrary, they are almost minimalistic, captured particularly by the perceivable ‘bareness’, in both the external and internal of the semi-nude models.

The show is a reductionist act — a stress on materiality that brings the silhouette into full focus. Parchment, velvet, copper, steel leather, satin, wool: the materials depicted in old master paintings. Capturing a moment and a movement in real time, using traditional means in non-traditional ways. Shapes are molded, bent, frozen, and tailored. A statement on pieces—the structured coats and jackets, the trench coat, the shaved shearling coat, the cardigan, the crewneck top, the slim suit—and undergarments.

J.W. Anderson said about the latest menswear collection for LOEWE,‘I think we’re going to head into a season of reduction and stripping things back.’ He has moved into an almost atavistic age of the old masters. It is antiquated yet nuanced. Capturing movement in real-time, the materials used throughout the collection are: oversized jackets hammered from pewter and copper, spiked metal angel wings, shirts that appeared to have been molded from paper and parchment.

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