Styles get romantic in Paris menswear with verdant blooms

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Styles get romantic in Paris menswear with verdant blooms
Model Gigi Hadid, centre, wears a creation for the Off White mens Spring-Summer 2020 fashion collection presented in Paris, Wednesday, June 19. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS (AP) — The renewed interest in brand Off-White continued this season at Paris Fashion Week, after its founder and designer Virgil Abloh last year became the first African-American to head a major European fashion house, at Louis Vuitton menswear.

For his Wednesday show in Paris’ Le Marais area, Abloh sent spring wafting into the air.

Here are some highlights of men’s spring-summer 2020 runway shows.

OFF-WHITE GOES ROMANTIC

A verdant grass field dazzling with thousands of planted wild white flowers met guests in the 19th century former market hall the Carreau du Temple with decorative forged iron pillars.

The romantic theme introduced by the decor seemed to influence the menswear styles themselves in a collection that shifted the usual hard, urban Off-White aesthetic in a slightly more dreamy direction.

A crop-sleeved sweater evoked a gentleness with its multicolor knit and boxy shape, while the black combat pants that twinned the garment below were given a soft touch with speckles of white paint.

A sheer white anorak in loose, lightweight material seemed to float down the torso, and its long A-line evoked the shapes of a 19th-century dandy coat.

The piece de resistance? A giant arty patchwork scarf that evoked the work of Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt.

RIHANNA’S FENTY

Fenty, the new fashion house of popstar-turned-designer Rihanna, is rolling out its clothes online on a See-Now-Buy-Now basis to coincide with fashion week.

It’s an open question whether this kind of business model will garner the same attention as a conventional catwalk show, but Rihanna’s personal celebrity is expected to bridge that gap.

Rihanna is marking the release of the online collection entitled “Release 6-19” with special pop-up in The Webster in New York running Wednesday until the end of June.

Previews of the garments were sent by the LVMH-owned house to media and featured color-rich, sportswear-infused dresses with ruched detailing.

Oversize printed T-shirts that championed the Barbados-born singer’s immigrant story were also a centerpiece of the collection.

Rihanna this year also made history by becoming the first black woman to head up a major Parisian luxury house.

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PARED-DOWN AMI

The unisex collection by Parisian it-designer Alexandre Mattiussi was the first big hitter, Tuesday night, of the Paris menswear calendar.

Despite its lofty location, the grand Grand Palais, the spring-summer 2020 show was a study in tasteful minimalism.

Two neat rows of simple wooden chairs led to a bare runway. The clothes designs, which only sparingly used color, took up this pared-down vibe and ran with it.

Clean monochrome silhouettes emphasized the shoulder — be it the human shoulder exposed with garment’s arm lopped off, or a constructed, rounded or oversize shoulder that evoked the Eighties.

Indeed, the Eighties was a dominant theme, producing one of the best looks in the show — a statement fuchsia sleeveless jacket.

All the 54 looks were handled with sensitivity through a simple formula: Any bold item, such as a coat in zany monochrome gingham check, was paired with an unfussy black undergarment to perfectly toe the line between exuberance and elegance.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K