Paris Menswear Week for transformation and East-meets-West hats

PARIS — As Paris Fashion Week bids farewell to the menswear season, the final day of shows features collections from Maison Margiela and Sacai.

But fashion insiders won’t have time to rest. Haute couture collections, including the powerhouse Dior, will be on display from Monday in the French capital.

Here are some highlights from Sunday:


It was East meets West for acclaimed Korean designer Woo Youngmi, whose show was more than meets the eye.

The West’s current obsession with Korean pop culture inspired Madame Woo to look at the changing relationship between Korea and the West over time.

Delving into history books, she came across a picture of the Korean Pavilion created for the Paris Exhibition in 1900. The fashion house described it as “a magnificent building built in the style of South Korean palaces, but recontextualized within the Haussmannian surroundings of Paris.”

This was the starting point for the thoughtful collection, which featured romantic silhouettes that fuse fin de siècle French and English Edwardian styles — through riding coats, baggy suits and riding boots — with urban styles such as cargo pieces and archival pieces from Woo’s early Collections. 2000s.

She also reinterpreted the jewelry worn by the rulers of the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla in a contemporary, decorative sculptural form.


Transformation was at the heart of Sacai’s disruptive, fashion-forward collaborative show.

The basic premise was that only a small change in one detail can transform the entire visual form. The black sand that covered the entire floor of the hall in the Carreau du Temple — perhaps signifying the sands of time — made a point when the slightest movement of the guests’ feet changed its shape.

Japanese designer Chitose Abe used zippers to show shifting silhouettes, taking the same garment zipped up or down, and wrapping it around the body in abstract ways.

There was a sense of endless chaos in the three-dimensional shapes created by tying coats to the backs of clothes in a mostly black and beige window display. The soundtrack and the way the models walked in interlocking formations, sometimes accidentally almost bumping into each other, added to the mood.

The trench coat was taken apart and dramatically fanned open to create a sort of reptilian hood trailing on the back. Coat sleeves hung limply, without functionality, or were tied to create endlessly varied shapes that had fashion insiders reaching for their cameras.


It seems that the age of e-mail and growing environmental awareness have not left much of a mark on the outdated invitation system of the fashion industry.

Season after season, gasoline-guzzling couriers criss-cross Paris to personally deliver the ever-complex, often handmade, exhibition invitations.

Top houses compete for the craziest or most imaginative idea, which often bears a clue to the theme of the catwalk collection.

The invitation that Issey Miyake sent before the exhibition that played with making complex shapes was a folding origami puzzle.

Marine Serré’s was a series of nostalgic key chains from the 1960s — a mini bottle of vegetable oil and a black chain. Covering it was a handwritten message: “My grandfather who was a collector taught me how to find beauty in abandoned everyday objects.”

Louis Vuitton’s was, amazingly, a life-size movie set that invited guests to a movie theater whose set was co-designed by director Michel Gondry.

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