1. Louis Vuitton
In the second collection from Louis Vuitton with Virgil Abloh as men’s creative director, the French maison sent a pop music-influenced collection that satired the style of Michael Jackson down the Paris runway
Abloh’s mis-en-scene—a recreation of New York’s Lower East Side—opened with a grey double-tailored coat in canvas worn with wide trousers with split fold at the front, while a second double-tailored jacket saw a bomber back sewn onto a traditional blazer.
Monogram quilted puffers in leather or cashmere came covered in glitter, and world flags on statement pieces such as pleated skirts worn over trousers—signalling Louis Vuitton’s stance on diversity and gender fluidity this season.
2. Thom Browne
New York native Thom Browne showed a theatrical men’s collection in the French Capital that played on what it means to dress like a man in 2019. The edgy tailor, known for his light grey tones, sent out suiting appropriated into evening gowns, with dresses made from heritage materials such as English hunting wool, Harris tweeds, Shetland wools and military cashmeres.
Boundary-pushing still was Browne’s use of bubble wrap, as seen in the series of Mary Quant-esque fitted gowns worn with mittens and Egyptian Pharaoh hats, of course.
The first? Birkenstock. Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli teamed up with the ubiquitous German brand for its universality, delivering Valentino-stamped sandals to be sold in limited stock worldwide.
The second? Japanese conceptual fashion designer, Jun Takahashi of Undercover fame. While the winter line was trés noir this season, Valentino went to town with the Asian designer sending out spaceships, flying saucers, '90s rockers and Ludwig van Beethoven prints—the latter seen on beige mohair sweaters, intarsia coats and jacquard trenches.
Fendi’s head designer, the unmistakeable Karl Lagerfeld, was the inspiration behind the Italian label’s latest men’s collection.
Known for his penchant for jackets, Lagerfeld—as a result of the invitation by Fendi’s men’s head to create something new—designed a series of tailored outerwear including a six-button, double-breasted jacket with patch pockets and narrow lapel, the star of the wintry show.
Other tailored pieces included super-fine wool blazers, cashmere coats and a suit that sat like liquid nylon on the lanky model. Lagerfeld also scripted a new, double-FF handwritten logo, which donned cowboy-style boots with contrasting rubber soles. That’s a ‘giddy-up’ from Fendi this season.
It was the ‘monster mash’ that came down the runway for Prada this month. To the backdrop of spotlights and giant retro lamp bulbs, men marched in elegant suits with ankle-grazing pants, gentle jacket shapes and coats with effeminate cinched waists, wrenched together by double-strand belts.
Elsewhere, safari blazers reworked into puffer jacket materials in dark blue and black were key items with utility pockets on the sleeve. But the horror show element was in the prints—anatomical hearts, Frankenstein heads and gothic roses this winter’s Prada-approved prints.
6. Dior Men
Dior Men via designer Kim Jones (formerly men’s head at Louis Vuitton) was all about precision suiting, cool accessories and casual wear that’s comfortable. Not to mention the stellar stage design, which was a conveyor belt.
At Dior, models rolled by on the production line, suited in slate grey, brown-purple and coal, and cut with classical cues and dressed in matching scarves. Footwear was masculine, with U.S. army-style boots. Textures like fur-print, velvet and suede were key styles across jackets too, and as contrasting sleeves for leather blousons.
The printed sweater also made a return with intarsia prints that featured everything from fruit to tiger stripes.
Virgil Abloh backed up his MJ efforts at Louis Vuitton with a new collection for very own label Off-White. Entitled ‘Public Television’—referencing how the media influences too much—Off-White’s new line emphasised voluminous tailoring, as seen in the oversized classic blazers and casual coats worn over gargantuan faded blue jeans, which indeed screamed: “death to skinny jeans” for men.
Winter jackets came as waxy leather blousons with big jigsaw-piece prints, as well as standout long coats and enlarged puffer jackets that floated. In true Off-White style, handwritten patterns starred on everything from boots to tops to pants.
See also: 5 Minutes With Virgil Abloh Of Off-White
Hedi Slimane’s Celine debut for women divided fashion critics, so his men’s collection was hotly anticipated. On the final day in Paris, Celine’s man rode the New Wave music vibe this winter, riffing on the rocker style known to Slimane’s creative streak, only this time with a late '70s London feel.
Among the black and metallic biker jackets and animal printed topcoats, the more classic peacoat and donkey jacket—with broader shoulders—emerged. Pants were slim and high waisted with leather trousers making an appearance too. Overall, it was a black and grey ensemble with pops of colour through to lighten up what’s often a dreary winter’s day in Europe.
Glenn Martens, the designer of Y/Project, staged his Pitti Uomo show inside the sacred Chiostro Grande di Santa Maria della Novella in Florence.
Lightweight leather jackets and ruffled flight jackets made for the ideal outerwear options, while a series of suits, topcoats, and a tuxedo with a pulled-apart peak lapel, meant Y/Project could stake its claim as a reputable men’s brand, and one to watch in the coming years.
Sacai’s designer Chitose Abe sent out a winter collection that showed the cut and sew technicalities behind the Japanese designer's clothes, and Abe’s ability to channel streetwear in a cultish way that is distinctly Sacai.
Key pieces included statement script hoodies with “Bar Italia London”, named after the Soho-located drinking hole known to Abe. Leopard print trousers and a ‘living coral’ coloured herringbone material livened up outerwear, delivering a fresh injection of pattern pivotal in menswear this season.
Sneakerheads may rejoice, as the revered Nike X Sacai sneaker collab looks set to return to stores this year. Specifically, three revamped Nike silhouettes, all of which arrived in muted hues and technical detailing.
See also: 5 Minutes With Chitose Abe Of Sacai