Sure, it was Paris Fashion Week Men’s, but what does that even mean? You’d be forgiven for thinking the biggest trend of SS20 is the dismantling of gender itself. Because more than ever, menswear is channeling a vibe that is basically, well, womenswear. As flippant as it sounds to refer to gender identity as a fashion trend, it’s worth remembering that, as an industry informed by visual codes, presentation, and perception, fashion is a fertile ground for igniting discussion.
The current wave was put into motion in SS19, starting with accessories. Handbags, nice ones you’d actually want, started appearing on menswear runways in volumes, not unlike those found in women’s collections. This is great news for brands that have historically made their largest profits in leather goods, and great news for men who want to carry shit around without leaning on a cross-body bag (too obvious), a chest-rig (too played-out), or a rucksack (too schoolboy).
Raf Simons, liberated from his dip into Calvin Klein’s commerciality, gave us long raw-hemmed tunics in daisy yellow and purple for SS20. When layered with various chunky knits, as Simons is wont to do, they delivered feminine, dress-like silhouettes. In fact, at this point, they’re simply dresses, and with heaps of drug references and subcultural visual cues, they looked fine as hell.
Elsewhere, Rick Owens added his signature glam-rock touch to the genderless discourse with a pair of sky-high platform heels that pushed his already-spindly models about 6 inches higher off the ground. Meanwhile, Ludovic de Saint Sernin showed silky wraparound pieces in his wet and wild collection, which posited typically feminine silhouettes and fabrics as a congruous extension of male sexuality.
Many brands integrated their men’s and womenswear this season, with said creative director Chitose Abe, for example, highlighting how similar the brand’s men’s and women’s pieces actually are.
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