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The menswear fashion moments no one saw coming

Thigh-high Uggs! Karl's new beard! Dinosaurs at Comme! Lube!(!)

The AW18 menswear shows wrapped up on Sunday as Kenzo brought the season to a close, but, with the Haute Couture shows already underway, there’s barely time to digest what we saw over the course of the last three weeks. What is at the forefront of our minds, however, are some of the more unusual things that formed part of the AW18 schedule. From joined-at-the-hip models in Milan and a resurgence of 90s-style tribal motifs in Paris, to a number of shock appointments and departures, and a new look for Karl Lagerfeld – here’s a rundown of the most surprising things we saw at the menswear shows.

SLIGHTLY MORE DISTINGUISHED MODELS AT DIOR HOMME

Perhaps surprisingly, given Kris Van Assche’s aesthetic draws heavily on youthful subcultures, a series of older models joined Dior Homme’s lithe young ones on the catwalk in Paris this weekend. As part of a statement on age being a state of mind, their slim tailored suits and leather briefcases were accessorised with salt-and-pepper hair and a smattering of laughter lines, which we thought set off the collection v nicely. The tribal head-shavings were left to their younger counterparts, though – probably for the best.

JOINED-AT-THE-HIP MODELS AT MOSCHINO

Is that… Is that Violet Chachki making her way down the runway in a tuxedo that’s joined to the hip of another model? Yes, yes it is. Fresh from her appearance in Dilara Findikoglu’s SS18 ‘Satanic orgy’, Chachki took to the catwalk again as she closed the Moschino show wearing a double-tuxedo, as part of a show that explored gender fluidity, fetish and kink.

DEMNA TAKES ON THE TABI

This season’s Vetements show was an out-and-out homage to Martin Margiela and his enigmatic Maison, the house at which Demna Gvasalia cut his design teeth and the one he’s often noted to have drawn a lot of his inspiration from. This season though, the Georgian designer sent an almost like-for-like copy of Margiela’s iconic Tabi boot pacing around the Parisian antiques market that made up his AW18 catwalk. A bold move, and one that divided its audience. But as Demna told us post-show, “everything is appropriation – even Margiela’s Tabi was inspired by a traditional Japanese style.”

KIM JONES ANNOUNCING HIS DEPARTURE FROM LOUIS VUITTON

And actually departing just days later, after his AW18 menswear show, in a move that left us well and truly #shook. The designer – who basically invented the idea of luxury streetwear – went out with a bang though, inviting friends Naomi and Kate to join him on his final walk down the hallowed LV catwalk. What’s next? We hear there’s a job going at Burberry, Kim. Any news on that?

THIGH-HIGH UGGS AT Y/PROJECT

Not a sentence we ever thought we’d write, and we’re still slightly in shock tbh. The rest of the collection – which comprised chunky knits, relaxed denim and and some stand-out oversized trench coats – we can get behind, however.

GOSHA’S MODELS FORMING A POST-ROCK NOISE BAND

Gosha Rubchinskiy’s models stormed round the rooms of the Yeltsin Centre in Yekaterinburg this season, as his trio of shows held in Russian cities came to an end. Dodging around each other in slightly chaotic fashion, some escaped the scrum to pick up instruments that were laid out in front of a huge set of speakers, and played loud, distorted sounds as the show continued. Also pretty unbelievable were the temperatures in Yekaterinburg. Minus 24. No big deal.

NAOMI CAMPBELL HITTING THE RUNWAY AT ROTTINGDEAN BAZAAR

...in a way. As part of a characteristically offbeat show that saw ensembles crafted out of price stickers and artist Julie Verhoeven dressed as a dartboard, Rottingdean Bazaar sent a cardboard cut-out of Naomi down the catwalk, in the arms of 'it-girl and horrible boy' (his words) Harrie Bradshaw. Name a more iconic duo, etc.

UNDERCOVER’S 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY HOMAGE

Jun Takahashi’s AW18 collection drew inspiration from 2001: A Space Odyssey, with oversized hoodies and t-shirts emblazoned with ‘Human Error’ and ‘Computer Malfunction’ motifs throughout. There was one piece that stood out from the rest, though; a bumbag iteration of the classic film’s murderous computer HAL.

UMBRELLA HATS AT FENDI

Juggling an umbrella and of all your necessary items can be tricky, but Fendi tackle the bag/phone/coffee conundrum once and for all for AW18. Presenting a pretty unlikely take on a typically tourist-orientated accessory, the umbrella hat was updated in the Italian label’s signature monogram motif and was – dare we say it – actually kind of chic.

DINOSAURS AT CDG HOMME PLUS

After sending triceratops-adorned sneakers down her runway last season, Rei Kawakubo took the idea to the next level for AW18, as her deconstructed tailoring and loose silhouettes were finished with a series of dinosaur headpieces. Created in collaboration with artist Shimoda Masakatsu, each was handcrafted from stuffed cotton panels pulled across a thin metal frame, and appeared like a prehistoric relic, rendered in calico.

90s-STYLE TRIBAL PRINTS

As seen on jackets, scarves and shaved into hair at Dior Homme and dotted throughout the collection at Vetements, the motif that defined the 90s is back with a bang. Cropped cargo pants and skater chain optional.

LUBED-UP MODELS

At not just one, but two shows; Cottweiler and Moschino. Given Jeremy Scott was exploring all things kinky at his AW18 fetish party extravaganza, that he lubed up his models to squeeze them into his latex creations isn’t all that surprising. Cottweiler’s approach was slightly more conceptual, though; inspired by their recent cave-diving trip in Slovenia, models’ hands were dipped in vats of lube until they resembled dripping stalactites. Interesting to look at? Definitely. Practical? Probably not.

HEDI SLIMANE IS TAKING OVER CÉLINE

The announcement that Hedi Slimane will take creative control of the house following Phoebe Philo’s departure next month hit the headlines as we woke up on Sunday. Opinion is split over the appointment, but with fragrance and a menswear line on the cards, it’s an interesting move that we’re keen to see develop.

KARL LAGERFELD’S NEW LOOK

The Chanel designer isn’t one to mix things up when it comes to his look, but this season saw him arrive at Dior Homme sporting a beard. Karl, we’re totally here for it.

And now, the question on everyone’s lips: just what will the womenswear shows have in store for us? Watch this space.