All the latest news from the menswear shows.
At least half the fun of fashion is the package it's wrapped up in, right? Maybe it's more than half. This was elaborately celebrated yesterday by shock-and-awe menswear shows from Bernhard Willhelm and Thom Browne.
Maison's Kitsuné's Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki are a foxy pair. Their music label celebrated its first decade last year, clothes arrived a little later on, and, since then, Kitsuné's ascent in the wardrobes of stylish, young Parisians has been lightning swift.
It's a rare season when fellow Belgians Walter Van Beirendonck and Raf Simons are on the same wavelength, but within a few hours of each other yesterday afternoon, they offered two modern homages to Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, full of color, flow and panache.
This season, menswear worked all the angles: futurism, the elegant now, and retro sport. While Dior Homme's clean, uniform suits and symbol-patterned knitwear imagined a sleek superhero, Hermès and up-and-comer Damir Doma played with ski style.
Designer Yosuke Aizawa's utility and technologically driven sportswear brand White Mountaineering has been on the international style radar almost since its inception in 2006. Its first show was a coup for Pitti as the brand still only sells to a handful of stores in Europe and in the US, where it's carried at Bergdorf Goodman and the Webster in Miami.
Pitti Uomo in Florence is fashion's early riser. In the midst of January pre-collections, this first big show run of international menswear is already in high season.
Extraordinary travel is Louis Vuitton's stomping ground, and so what better place to explore menswear's current mountaineering obsession than the world's most exclusive peaks: the Himalayan heights and forests of the kingdom of Bhutan. One of the most exotic and undisturbed pieces of nature, official permission is required for a visit.
No matter how much style equality men and women have today, the double standard remains: women can indulge, but too much for a man is just not on. And neither is too little. Angelo Flaccavento, the Italian fashion journalist known for his beard, pince-nez and 19th-century exuberant restraint, has addressed the subject squarely by plunging into the racks of his favorite brands at Pitti to select a man's ideal wardrobe.
One of the great things about Paris menswear is how the mood can veer from sweet youth to the dark arts over the course of one day, and how, in talented hands, both seem equally attractive.
There is always a certain reverence at Valentino for precise tailoring tradition, be it from Roma or London, but Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli never fail to shake up this cinematic vision.
The final day of the Paris men's shows was a rollercoaster, starting with an idea-packed collection from Lanvin and ending in a question mark at Saint Laurent.
Junya Watanabe focused on tailoring this season, but he managed to insert his workwear passion by styling jackets like handymen's overalls, complete with tool pockets, topstitching, and stress patching. Classic menswear fabrics, boiled to shrink and wrinkle, are covered with a tapestry of patches, a celebration of hardscrabble elegance worn like honor badges.
Kenzo is no new name to menswear, but its Creative Directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony are still in the early stages of their mission to bring the brand's bright colors and patterns up to contemporary speed, so the sense of anticipation was high last night at Florence's Mercato Centrale di San Lorenzo to see the Fall/Winter 2013.