Despite being a finalist for the LVMH and ANDAM prizes this year, Israeli designer Hed Mayner was the picture of composure backstage after his spring 2020 show.

“There was maybe a little more pressure for the show today,” he mused, adding that the overall feeling was pride at having been selected for not one, but two leading French fashion competitions.

The collection, all in neutral tones and clean lines, was a relaxed affair. Shirts were worn backward, the collars floating above the models’ bare backs. Slits ran along the side of jackets and light coats, while pants and tops were held up with drawstrings, which swayed as the models walked the runway.

“We wanted it to have a breezy feeling,” said Mayner, pointing to a crinkled bronze viscose caftan. “Things are loose and open to create a fluidity in the clothes and have the feeling that air is coming through.”

Bunches of hay were tucked in shirt pockets or drawstring bags slung over shoulders to highlight the collection’s focus on natural fabrics: dry linen jute, stiff patinated cotton, and pure wool. Clogs were wooden.

Mayner chose to focus on the square shape for the collection, highlighting its “primitiveness,” adding boxy wool ponchos over tailored silhouettes. “The tailoring is very complex and specially cut, while this one piece is very pure,” he said of a white shirt and pleated trousers, mostly hidden by a square panel of pristine wool blanketing the silhouette.

This outing focused more on a feeling that on actual identifiable garments. A way to stand out?

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