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Givenchy SS16 Menswear Paris
Backstage at Givenchy SS16Photography Virginia Arcaro

ICYMI: Your Paris SS16 menswear cheatsheet

Naomi Campbell, Courtney Love singing TLC and a political protest – catch up on what you might've missed from the last round of shows

From Rick Owens’ runway disruptor to Courtney Love tearing it up with a cover of “No Scrubs” at the Givenchy after party – this menswear season has been full of noteworthy moments. The Paris shows have now come to and end, so we've complied a list of pivotal happenings from the last city, just so you don't have to.


One of the penis-baring models from Rick Owens’ AW15 show decided to up the ante of his own accord this season. Jeraan ex-model from the agency Tomorrow Is Another Day, took to the designer’s catwalk and unveiled a banner bearing the words: “PLEASE KILL ANGELA MERKEL…NOT”. Obviously, Owens was not too happy with the move and reportedly punched Jera backstage.


Alejandro Ghersi, who goes by the moniker Arca, is best known as the mastermind behind tracks for the likes of Björk and FKA twigs. On the last day of this menswear season, the producer ventured outside of music – walking in the Hood By Air show for his friend, Shayne Oliver. Joined by Telfar Clemens – the Dazed 100 star who describes himself as “Designer of all things” – the two provocateurs turned up topless. With bows in their clip-on fringes and the words ‘coy’ and ‘top’ spelt out on their foreheads in stick-on crystals, the duo completed Oliver's vision of “infantile glamour.”


From Chanel to John Galliano, hairstylist Julien d’Ys has worked with the biggest names in the industry. His most renowned work however, has been created in collaboration with Comme des Garçons and Rei Kawakubo. After working together for a quarter of a century, for this season’s Comme des Garçons show, d’Ys created piled bouffants in caustic yellow. Speaking on his creations, the innovator said: “The way I did the hair was so difficult this time, because I did each piece in my atelier by myself – it’s almost like doing a sculpture.”


At Raf Simons, plaid fabric was used to create overhanging hoods, which in some cases, completely covered the models’ faces. The designer’s boys stepped out on to an elevated industrial runway – serving as an anonymous, brooding gang. Across town, Rick Owens also decided to conceal the face during his show, using wigs created by stylist Duffy. Both designers visually discussed the notion of hidden identity and the rebellious, disturbing implications associated with it.


For his SS16 menswear show, Givenchy’s creative director Riccardo Tisci called upon close friend and long-term muse Naomi Campbell. The original supermodel took to the designer’s maze-like catwalk dressed in a G-string and bra combo, finished off with thigh-high boots and a bedazzled blazer. With strong references to Catholic symbolism running throughout the collection (think patches printed with religious icons), Campbell also rocked a rosary-style necklace.


Known for delving into post-Soviet subcultures, this season Gosha Rubchinskiy took it all the way back to 1984. “It’s because of the George Orwell book, and there are some references from the Soviet 80s, but it’s really about Moscow, Moscow now,” said the designer, who used boys from Russian based, alternative agency Lumpen. Set in one of the oldest basketball courts in Paris, the sports references were clear. Rubchinskiy presented a collection rife with windbreakers, PE kit-style shorts and round-neck vests – finishing off each look with his signature Reebok classics, printed with cyrillic lettering.


Juun.J presented a collection rife with pinstripes, open zip detailing and selvage denim in varying shades. Thanks to stylist Shon Hyungsun Ju, the brand’s models all sported the same overgrown bowl cut wigs, in white blonde. In response, we decided to chart the ten most iconic times boys have opted for the peroxide look.


Guests at this year’s Louis Vuitton show were treated to a live DJ set from disco legend Nile Rodgers. The co-founder and lead guitarist of the band Chic – who’s worked with everyone from Britney Spears to Daft Punk – spun out his classics for attendees, including “Chic Cheer” and Carly Simon’s “Why”. “Nile’s music is a metaphor for the collection,” said the brand’s creative director Kim Jones, who sent his boys down the runway in embroidered sportswear silhouettes, predominantly inspired by the Lahu tribe of Thailand.


Olivier Rousteing, seasoned Instagram user and head of Balmain, decided to make the switch from presentations to a full-on show for this year’s menswear season. For SS16, Rousteing looked to great explorers of the twentieth century to mirror the own new grounds he’s traversing at the house. Using suede, cotton and leather in brown hues, he echoed the desert, which “held such allure for these explorers.”


Known as former front woman of the band Hole and other half to Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain – Courtney Love is as iconic as they come. The singer, who pioneered the concept of underwear as outerwear, performed at Givenchy's after party. As Naomi Campbell and fellow models-turned-Dazed cover stars Kendall Jenner, Jamie Bochert and Mariacarla Boscono took to the runway, Love later entertained guests with her rendition of TLC’s definitive track “No Scrubs”.


At the Acne presentation, models wore long rib knit creations, billowy flares and overalls in an abstract cowhide print. To finish each look off, the boys paraded around in platform boots – either in all black or brown suede, some finished with a wood chip effect heel. To commemorate this gender-bending statement, we made a comprehensive list of glam rock icons who dared to don heels.


To say that Walter Van Beirendonck’s SS16 show was laden with graphics would be an understatement. Dubbed Electric Eye, the designer made two-piece suits in childlike prints – with cut out monsters affixed to the back of jackets. The most outlandish element of his collection however, came in the form of the oversized, wide brimmed hats. Designed by master milliner Stephen Jones, the headwear featured creature-like faces – made entirely of coloured feathers.


The director behind psychedelic trip Enter the Void premiered his new film Love at this year’s Cannes Festival. Clandestinely described as: “a sexual melodrama between a boy and a girl and another girl” – in reality, Gaspar Noe has created a 3D porn flick. Newcomer Klara Kristin, who plays the third wheel in the film, opted for a more demure role by walking for Saint Laurent this season. Rocking a folkloric ensemble with frilled socks and ankle boots – it was way more poncho than porno.


For his Y-3 SS16 show, Yohji Yamamoto wanted to return to a more sports-led aesthetic. “This collection should be motion and action,” the designer said, so he invited The TAO Dance Theater to put on a special performance. The dancers, dressed in all black ensembles, completed a synchronised routine centre stage. Yamamoto’s models walked the perimeter around them, with adidas’ signature stripes streaked through their hair. 


“In all disorder, a secret order” is how Kris van Assche described his SS16 collection for Dior Homme. His models walked down a runway lined with white roses in a collection that embodies this mantra. “Disorder” took the form of camoflague print, randomly places zips and the layering of brightly coloured T-shirts under shirts. These elements were incorporated into the Belgian's trademark tailoring-meets-sportswear aesthetic and culminated in a vision that was, at the same time, precise and playful.