Grant Woolhead's Paris Diary: Day 3, 4 & 5

1.20.2014

By Grant Woolhead

Out fashion director Grant Woolhead wraps up the Paris collections in style

Pictured, clockwise from left: Utility vest at Dior Homme; Balmain; Fashion For Men; A.P.C. by Kanye; fur slippers at Acne. 

The fur slippers at Acne
This season has been fur, fur and more fur for men. At Acne's presentation, creative director Jonny Johansson produced a solid collection that played with proportion, from the extreme skinny to the oversized and voluminous pant, to the mid-calf crop. I really liked the fur slippers (pictured, above), kind of the men's version of what Phoebe Philo at CĂ©line did for women a few seasons ago. It gave the looks a playful edge and offset the functional utility elements of the collection.

Berluti's gentlemen
With the help of Antoine Arnault, Berluti's creative director Alessandro Sartori continued to define the Berluti man as the most elegant of the Paris shows. The wooden set didn't have the awe-inspiring impact of Paris's National History Museum or the Tuileries Gardens, two venues he used in the past, but the clothing and casting for his first show produced for the brand continued to be as luxurious as ever. The wonderful color palette of deep chocolate browns and rusts (also a big theme of the season) on the oversized outerwear worn by a cast of older and charismatic gentlemen was definitely some of my favorites of the season.

Dior's utility look
Creative director Kris Van Assche showed a really great collection for Dior by hitting all of the big season trends: fur, oversized outerwear, parkas. My favorite look however was a simple combat utility ves (pictured, above). Utility vests have become a big trend and we've seen variations of them at Prada, Rick Owens and Dries Van Noten.

Balmain's African militia
Usually the art work of Peter Beard is more of a summer reference for designers, but animal prints and military influences being key for Olivier Rousteing's Balmain, it was fun to see such extravagance used for a fall collection. These are not the type of clothes that you would go to the store to buy a pint of milk, but who cares about that? This is definitely for the rock star in us all. Click here to see all the looks.

Olivier Rousteing's dinner at Anahi
Balmain's young creative director threw an impromptu dinner at Anahi, a long standing Fashion Week mecca for designers and PRs. This Argentinian restaurant on rue Volta serves fantastic steaks, mojitos, and ceviche. Much fun was had by all (pictured, right).

Milan Vukmirovic's Fashion For Men
I went for dinner with creative director-designer, photographer, stylist and streetstyler extraodinaire Milan Vukmirovic. He gave me the second edition of Fashion for Men, a hard bound coffee table book that makes a lovely collectibe for menswear enthusiasts.

Kanye West for A.P.C.
Jean Touitou decided to do a more personal presentation in Paris and talked to a small group of press about the men who influenced his designs, such as Yves Saint Laurent (the man himself, not the label), Kurt Cobain, or Marc Jacobs and his pre-gym '90s look. Touitou also pulled out the big guns by having Kanye West design a full line of clothing for the brand this season, which Kanye admirably presented himself. Kanye's delivery and excitement for the collection came across as both humble and gracious, and his selection of looks was the most interesting: oversized pocket combats, rouched back parkas, and elongated knitwear in tone-on-tone looks. His obsession with details was evident, making the collection very cool and wearable.

Dries Van Noten's poetic ravers
Dries Van Noten usually presents one of the shows that set the tone for the season, as Prada does in Milan. He didn't disappoint in Paris. The collection was a mix of poet-meets-raver, quite British in its sensibility, with ruff collars, tie die, fur scarves (again) and MA-1 bomber jackets.

Ry X "Berlin"
I was on my way to the airport and my taxi driver was playing a beautiful song by Australian indie musician Ry X, entitled "Berlin." There was something melancholic and dreamy about driving through the dark streets of Paris in the early morning hours. Listen to it below:

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