There was colour galore at Paris menswear shows on Friday, with John Galliano channeling the hues of the rainbow for Maison Margiela, and Cerutti 1881 featuring flashes of gold. The Alexander McQueen fashion house mixed in flashes of red to an otherwise dark display of menswear.
John Galliano studied the science of the rainbow for a colourful and typically quirky collection. A clinical white venue, populated by myriad staff in their signature white lab aprons, led the eye down to a bright yellow runway. Its large oval shapes brightly evoked the rays of sunlight and suggested the inspiration for the fall-winter display.
From a vermilion coat with sloping shoulders to a sunny yellow bubble jacket, narrow blue pants and a belted, deep saffron knitted coat — the collection looked as if Galliano had separated each of the colours refracted in a rainbow. Science and the laboratory have been a touchstone for the brand for years.
Tongue-in-cheek garments of practical use in the rain were mixed in with the 30 couture-infused designs. There were transparent rain caps that gave a 1950s edge, and a see-through PVC belted rain coat that was on-trend in its play on texture, layering and transparency.
Silhouette-wise, large lapels and slightly cinched waists were dominant. As fashionistas left the grand Hotel des Invalides venue, the world outside warmed up too: The winter drizzle suddenly stopped, giving way to rays of sun. Lauded designer Galliano has been called many things in his career, but a weather forecaster must be a first.
There was more than a flavour of London in Alexander McQueen’s sophomore Paris show. The Saville Row suit and tie — with an archetypally British red-check sweater — was the starting point for a display shown in an industrial, disused office space. It was clear that this buttoned-up vibe would give way to more creative explorations when in the next look, a black business-like parka jacket — wrapped around the waist — billowed out like Asian samurai pants.
A suit in chocolate had wide shoulders and unusually-shaped tapered sleeves, which added an edge to the classic garment. And references to the ‘80s — such as a shimmering snake-patterned Glam Rock coat and an oversize red-check scarf — injected some fun into a collection, which tipped more toward the commercial than the house’s womenswear does.
In a sign of the growing importance of both menswear and Paris to the fashion industry, Alexander McQueen is now — with the house’s second men’s runway show in the City of Light — a firm staple of the calendar.
Founded by the late designer Alexander McQueen in 1992, the house had shown menswear designs in previous seasons by appointment in Milan and London before it made its Paris runway debut last season. The CEO since 2016, Frenchman Emmanuel Gintzburger, had been tasked with expanding the fashion-forward brand. This move puts the men’s designs in line with the lauded womenswear collections that are shown in Paris during ready-to-wear week in the spring and fall.