Paris Men’s Fashion Week goes psychedelic and globetrotting

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PARIS — Paris menswear week was in top form on Wednesday with a second day of shows touting a dynamic season and presentations featuring brands including Dior, Vuitton, Issey Miyake and Givenchy, which returned from the pandemic.

Here are some highlights from the Fall 2023-Winter 2024 shows:

BLUEMARBLE EXPLORES IDENTITIES

Bluemarble counts celebrities such as actor Timothee Chalamet and singer Justin Bieber among its aficionados. Some amused fashion editors in the front row asked if designer Anthony Alvarez was making a statement with his fall fare about how religiously the French brand has become following.

Its stunning display inside the American Cathedral was a typical melting pot of streetwear, couture, and cross-cultural and country references.

Alvarez, who was born in New York and has Filipino, Spanish, French and Italian roots, uses his myriad identities as a style touchstone. The brand name itself is global, borrowed from an iconic photo of Earth taken in 1972 by the crew of Apollo 17.

Faded blue jeans and bright yellow loafers paid homage to that decade on Wednesday. A cuddly heather gray knit emblazoned the brand’s name and paved the way for a myriad of multicolored, shaggy retro looks that turned out to be part Woodstock, part mythical Yeti.

But there were also clever moments, like the mask patterns that appeared on baggy sweaters and suggested questions about the nature of one’s true identity.

BIANCA SAUNDERS COOL RESTRAINT

A fresh, minty vibe permeated Bianca Saunders’ third show in Paris.

He stems from a minimalist, often oversized aesthetic, able to dart effortlessly between cultures and subtly channel his British and Jamaican origins.

Flashes of color, like a bright neon blue t-shirt, met an otherwise streamlined collection that was cool precisely because of its understatement.

The first look, a version of a tailored suit, brought clean, sanitized lines to project minimalism, or as the house says Saunders “addresses the tension between tradition and modernity.”

Other moments were fun and thoughtful, like a giant rock gray coat worn on a mannequin with bangs that fell over her eyes.

The Andam Saunders award winner, one of the few female designers of menswear, is a welcome addition to the Parisian calendar.

BLACK SAINT LAURENT CANALS

The house that redefined women’s fashion with men’s tuxedos in the 1960s has taken the opposite route this season.

Designer Anthony Vaccarello brought the long, dark elongated silhouettes of Saint Laurent’s women’s wardrobe to a fluid and aesthetically accurate fall display.

Still, the heavy-on-black 46-piece collection was light on new ideas at times.

Floor-sweeping “Matrix”-style leather coats with Vaccarello’s exaggerated shoulders found their way alongside slicked back hair and sunglasses, but also tuxedo coats and collars tied in exuberant bows reminiscent of the era of the New Romantics.

A shiny black leather bow contrasting with a matte black wool coat was a typical style for the Belgian designer, but one of the highlights of the show nonetheless.

The front row was standout and included French actress Beatrice Dalle wearing an oversized tuxedo coat and peeking out from under black shades.

Jenna Ortega, the star of Netflix’s hit ‘Wednesday’ show, was pictured arriving in a black hooded column dress.

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