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PARIS — Bring on the elements: The fall 2018 men’s season was all about outerwear, with buyers lauding the selection of puffers, trenches and performance wear.

Checks and corduroy also cropped up in full force, signaling a new emphasis on textured materials. Technical gear continued to gain ground this season, illustrated by the popularity of hiking boots and their urban cousins — bulky sneakers.

Louis Vuitton’s show garnered attention as the last presentation from Kim Jones. Buyers cited Thom Browne’s winter wonderland setting as one of the most memorable.

“It feels that there’s a lot of change in the air, with the government shutdown and the announcement of Hedi Slimane at Céline and an introduction of men’s wear, it makes for a very interesting men’s week from the beginning to the end,” said Roopal Patel, senior vice president, fashion director, at Saks Fifth Avenue. “I think that mood and spirit of the fashion that we are starting to see in Paris is really reflective of the times.”

Here, what retailers had to say about the Paris shows, which wound up Sunday night:

Karen Vernet, director of men’s fashion, Printemps:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Haider Ackermann, Maison Margiela, GmbH, Études Studio, Paul Smith, Rick Owens, Acne Studios

TREND SPOTTING: Very important comeback of the tailored inspiration, even at Off-White. Streetwear is still present but mixed with other big trends, like sportswear/tailoring. Tailoring is reappearing as a major trend piece in the wardrobe. Beautiful fabrics, new overall tartans, beautiful leather for trousers and jackets, knitwear, and flashy colors mixed with sober, winter colors. Streetwear is more authentic with workwear details, corduroy, leather pieces.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: All sorts of coats, shearling jacket, cowboy boots, jewelry

BEST VENUE: Thom Browne

OPEN-TO-BUY: Increase in OTB

TALENT SCOUTING: Henry Alexander Levy (Enfants Riches Déprimés), MISBHV

SAY BYE-BYE TO: Logo total look, tracksuit

Bruce Pask, men’s fashion director, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Mike Amiri’s debut presentation was the perfect representation of his West Coast rock ‘n’ roll style. It was terrific. I thought Dries Van Noten’s marbleized print outerwear finale was spectacular. Brioni’s first presentation here under Nina-Maria Nitsche was perfectly luxe, beautifully crafted and rich, a perfect direction for the brand.

TREND SPOTTING: Performance and tech continue to dominate the men’s wear landscape with fashion takes on the parka, lots of technical nylon fabrications, and recreational references to trekking with sherpa, shearling and camouflage.

Utilitarian and uniform references and items in the classic olive color are pervasive. Proportions continue to shift with larger, off-the-shoulder oversize shapes in jackets and outerwear, and fuller pants and jeans looking fresh and interesting. The chunky runner sneaker is dominant and we’re also seeing a Seventies influence in footwear with ankle boots and squarer toe shapes.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: The “Truth” hoodie from Sacai’s collaboration with The New York Times, anything marbleized from Dries Van Noten, Balenciaga’s new split Triple S sneaker.

BEST VENUE: Thom Browne’s transformation of the Ècole des Beaux Arts into an indoor winter wonderland was totally magical. I also loved Kenzo’s live movie filming during their show, and the group dance finale was truly touching.

Candice Fragis, buying and merchandising director, Farfetch:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: It’s hard to choose just one. Some of my favorites include: Ami, Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Wooyoungmi, Lemaire and OAMC.

TREND SPOTTING: Layering was a key trend  fine knit turtlenecks under shirting, sweatshirts or hoodies.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: Cross-body bags migrated from Milan to the Paris collections as the must-have item of the season.

BEST VENUE: Pigalle’s show at the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse.

OPEN-TO-BUY: I’m sure budgets will be higher; we are seeing so much growth in the men’s wear market.

TALENT SCOUTING: CMMN SWDN, Heron Preston, Yang Li and Ètudes stood out for me.

Simon Longland, general merchandise manager for men’s wear and sports, Harrods:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Vetements, Berluti, Balmain

MUST-HAVE ITEM: The hiking boot was already on my shopping list in Milan, and it has been officially promoted to the top after Paris. I loved the Timberland collaboration at Off-White. Outerwear is always the key winter purchase and brands are exploring new, structural fabrics.

TRENDS: Similar to Milan, the great outdoors and a sense of adventure and expedition reigned supreme — mostly at Louis Vuitton. Designers continue to play with the idea of sportswear as formalwear. AMI and Valentino styled all looks with a form of sneaker and contrasted tailored outerwear with a track pant or hoodie. Winter White is back and it was great to Berluti, Margiela and Off-White embrace this. Sneakers with suits has been a major takeaway. I think many men will appreciate this movement.

BEST VENUE: A tie between Vetements and Valentino. The bustling, market setting of Vetements really provided a magnificent stage for the clothes to stand out and was a great change from the normal fashion show setting. Valentino, provided the grandeur that we expect from Paris, from chandeliers and intricate wall art to spectacular ceilings.

Alix Morabito, fashion editor, Galeries Lafayette:

TREND SPOTTING: Winter whites light up a lovely neutral palette ranging from camel to gray, and including khaki. Flashes of warm colors like orange, yellow and red are energizing runways. Greens in all variations are also very present, reflecting our need for nature. People are wrapped up in thick knits and long puffer coats. Checks and corduroys are prevalent, provoking nostalgia for nice fabrics. Smart jackets are back, that are easily mixed into casual and sportswear of recent seasons.

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Y/Project, Jil Sander, Off-White, Haider Ackermann, Lemaire

TREND SPOTTING: Duffle coat.

BEST VENUE: The antique market for Vetements.

SAY BYE-BYE TO: All black.

TALENT SCOUTING: Not new but young Y/Project and Avoc

Mario Grauso, president, Holt Renfrew:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: We loved Valentino and what was perhaps the most elegant luxurious athletic/formalwear that you could wear on the plane, for dinner or anywhere. Berluti had the most over-the-top outerwear in the most beautiful array of colors you may have never considered wearing but should.

TRENDS: Winter white, sneakers and more sneakers, shearling and the luxury athletic trend.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: The double-face with studs at Valentino, the shearling from Hermès, nylon from Berluti and the hiking boots from Louis Vuitton.

BEST VENUE: Hermès’ 17th-century monastery.

OPEN-TO-BUY: We will need to figure out a way to cover all the amazing things we saw in Paris with the prices the way they are.

SAY BYE-BYE TO: Just having one or two new winter coats because you’re going to want at least half a dozen.

Roopal Patel, senior vice president, fashion director, Saks Fifth Avenue:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Balenciaga, Valentino, Thom Browne, Alexander McQueen, Off-White, Dries Van Noten. Balenciaga

TREND SPOTTING: There’s a lot of Eighties and Nineties influences, a lot of British men’s wear influence. Everything from tartan plaids to houndstooth checks were everywhere. Lots of punk influences, utility and military, sport.

BEST VENUE: The Vetements show at Paul Bert.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: The platform sneaker that we are seeing everywhere.

OPEN-TO-BUY: Our budgets are very strong. We consider men’s wear to be the new women’s, and we’re supporting the brands that we’re passionate about.

SAY BYE-BYE TO: I want to say turtlenecks, but men love turtlenecks so it’s not really a PC thing to say.

Federica Montelli, head of fashion, La Rinascente:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Off-White, Valentino, Dries Van Noten, Thom Browne and OAMC

TREND SPOTTING: Mountain/alpine references, as well as a “voyager” mood.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: Oversize puffer jackets are here to stay, blazers with wide and deconstructed shoulders, leather pants, and oversize coats in rich and heavy textures.

BEST VENUE: Thom Browne had an amazing showing in a classic venue at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts. Another great show production-wise was Kenzo with its live “cinema” story.

OPEN-TO-BUY: We are further expanding our brand mix into streetwear-inspired collections and all designer collaborations, both in men’s ready-to-wear and accessories.

Laura Robertshaw, men’s wear buyer, Liberty:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Dries Van Noten, Lemaire and Wooyoungmi

TREND SPOTTING: Oversize blazers, floor-length outerwear, checks, bottle green and puffer coats

MUST-HAVE ITEM: Check wool overcoat from Wooyoungmi and marble silk jackets from Dries Van Noten.

BEST VENUE: Maison Margiela at the Hôtel National des Invalides, with amazing grounds and entrance.

SAY BYE-BYE TO: Hype brands led by trends which have a short shelf life.

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Marni, Berluti, Craig Green, Lemaire, GmbH, Wales Bonner, Haider Ackermann

TREND SPOTTING: White pants, shearling, nylon

MUST-HAVE ITEM: The technical, stacked sole sneaker.

BEST VENUE: Berluti and Lemaire.

OPEN-TO-BUY: The color brown.

Tom Kalenderian, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s wear, Barneys New York: 

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Mike Amiri delivered his strongest collection this week, refining the codes of the brand to a new level. It’s amazing the way he combines luxury and rock culture in a very eclectic and personal way. Maison Margiela presented a memorable first men’s collection by John Galliano that had me on the edge of my chair.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: Cross-body pouches are replacing bigger bags, not much larger than a phone. It reflects the paperless culture we have become where a smartphone is the universal tool for Millennial culture.

BEST VENUE: Vetements

OPEN-TO-BUY: The Paris collections are very strong and will command a greater portion of our budgets.

TALENT SCOUTING: We picked up Martin Grant’s first men’s collection. Super chic and luxurious, as you’d expect from him.

SAY BYE-BYE TO: Unnecessary embellishments. If it’s bling, it has to be cool.

TREND SPOTTING: Velvet makes a strong return; done best at Saint Laurent in jewel-tone cut velvets.

Justin Berkowitz, men’s fashion director, Bloomingdale’s:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Louis Vuitton, Junya Watanabe

TREND SPOTTING: The concept of outdoor utility, especially technical outerwear styles, was a common theme. It felt freshest when twisted into something new, or combined with the unexpected, be it a touch of military, Americana or luxury fabrications. Streetwear’s influence continues on the shape of garments — namely, oversize silhouettes. Volume, whether in coats, knits, shirting or trousers, has been another major story of the week.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: Statement outerwear, in one of the many forms we have seen this week.

BEST VENUE: I thoroughly enjoyed Ami’s ode to Parisian youth hanging out on the city’s rooftops and Thom Browne’s wintry wonderland.

Chris Kyvetos, buying director,

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Rick Owens, Comme des Garçons Homme Plus, Acne Studios, Maison Margiela

TREND SPOTTING: Checks and tartans, political slogans.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: Martine Rose five-pocket dad jeans

BEST VENUE: Louis Vuitton

OPEN-TO-BUY: Increased for Paris

TALENT SCOUTING: Martine Rose, Pihakapi

SAY BYE-BYE TO: The oversized bomber jacket has had its day.

Brian Sit, buyer, men’s designer collections, Hudson’s Bay:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Rick Owens, besides his always theatrical presentation and architectural shapes in garments, his footwear was a highlight. Wooyoungmi, I can always bank on to deliver sophisticated tailored pieces that are commercial and beautifully constructed. I appreciated their departure from an often masculine color palette to a softer sartorial color scheme including camels and dusty rose. Jil Sander took ‘inner’ beauty to a whole new level. It was a very intellectual approach to redefining luxury by utilizing expensive materials and construction techniques that can only be appreciated by the owner of the garment.

TREND SPOTTING: Winter white, you can wear white after Labor day! Street-sartorial, these two ideas are no longer mutually exclusive, as seen in Juun J and Balmain this season.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: A voluminous coat. Think Max Mara for men.

BEST VENUE: Vetements – Paul Bert Serpette; it was fitting with the collection’s klepto-chic theme.

SAY BYE-BYE TO: Gender-dressing. Everyone is showing unisex options, as seen in AMI and Vetements.


Kelly Wong, director of fashion, Lane Crawford:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Sacai, Dries Van Noten, Haider Ackermann.

TREND SPOTTING: shearling/heavy fleece.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: parka, long overcoat.

BEST VENUE: Dries van Noten.


SAY BYE-BYE TO: Ugly fashion.

Jeffrey Kalinsky, vice president, designer fashion, Nordstrom:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Dries Van Noten, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga. They all were very strong with lots to buy and even more importantly, lots to sell.

TREND SPOTTING: The trend in men’s wear was this feeling of glamor, either sophisticated glamor or very glitzy glamor. Of course, still the predominant trend is streetwear influences. All of the streetwear we’ve been seeing is going to be very meaningful still going forward.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: I don’t know you call those bags, they’re not fanny packs because you really wear them on your arm, but that seems to be a must-have item from any brand.

BEST VENUE: There wasn’t a bad venue, but I didn’t attend any show where the venue was something to talk about, either negative or positive.

OPEN-TO-BUY: Our budgets are certainly open to up. This is the place to spend money.

SAY BYE-BYE TO: For women’s wear, sometimes I feel there are some things I wish would go away. For guys I don’t really feel that way.

Lee Goldup, men’s wear buyer at Browns Fashion:

FAVORITE COLLECTIONS: Facetasm, Haider Ackermann, Rick Owens, Maison Margiela, Sacai.

TOP TRENDS: The Nineties is still the biggest overarching trend — oversize garments and blown-out proportions were everywhere.

MUST-HAVE ITEM: Overhead parka.

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