From FKA twigs performing at Valentino and Kim Jones’ touching tribute to Judy Blame at Dior, to Virgil’s triumphant return to the fashion schedule
The first round of fashion season ended as fast as it came back around, encompassing everything from Prada’s horseboys and Alessandro Michele’s ‘baby-men’ (as well as a collab with punk pioneer Richard Hell), to Grace Wales Bonner’s British Afro-Caribbean celebration and Paria Farzaneh’s big Iranian wedding.
Elsewhere, New York-based brand Telfar descended on Florence for what many would agree was the show of the season, where designer Telfar Clemens not only sent the likes of Ms. Carrie Stacks, Boychild, and Hawa out onto the stage, but also debuted a brand new metallic version of its iconic shopping bag for AW20 (side note: add to cart).
The month ended last week in Paris, with Kim Jones’ touching tribute to Judy Blame and the Buffalo scene he helped shape at Dior, Craig Green’s PFW debut, and a couple of David Bowie-inflected collections courtesy of Rick Owens and Raf Simons.
Before our attention is quickly turned in the direction of the rapidly approaching extravaganza that is womenwear, here we round-up all the moments you might have missed at the AW20 men’s shows.
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN UNVEILED THE RED CARPET LOOK OF AW20
When it came to her AW20 McQueen offering, Sarah Burton drew inspiration from Yorkshire-born artist Henry Moore’s depictions of Northern England and, in the process, created a look we’re dying to see on the red carpet come autumn: the ‘molten metal harness’ which basically looks exactly as it sounds. With stars like Cody Fern, Billy Porter, and Timothée Chalamet a bit more open to taking risks with their formal wear, it’s only a matter of time before someone makes it their own in 2020.
COMME DES GARÇONS WAS CALLED OUT FOR CULTURAL APPROPRIATION
Comme des Garçons found itself at the centre of a scandal this season, after it sent white models wearing braided wigs down the runway at PFW. Having been called out via social media, the Japanese brand issued an apology to Dazed, explaining “It was never our intention to disrespect or hurt anyone – we deeply and sincerely apologise for any offence it has caused.”
GIVENCHY CHANNELLED INDIAN ROYALTY FOR SS20
Following a trip to an exhibition on 14th Maharajah of Indore at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Clare Waight Keller turned to the life of and style of the opulent 1920s prince for inspiration this season, debuting a collection which clashed the Yee-Haw Agenda with Couture-level tailoring as part of an intimate salon-style show.
LAETITIA CASTA RETURNED TO THE RUNWAY AT JACQUEMUS
After taking a ten-year break from the runway, French actress and supermodel Laetitia Casta made her comeback at the Jacquemus show. Trading the heat of the South of France for the La Défense Arena in Paris, the show marked Simon Porte Jacquemus’ first-ever co-ed show.
Casta was joined by a star-studded cast including Gigi and Bella Hadid, Joan Smalls, Doutzen Kroes, and Dazed 100 model Jill Kortleve, with the collection itself offering up a chic take on French elegance and modern streetwear in a palette of 50 shades of beige.
CELEBRITY DOPPELGÄNGERS WALKED AT VETEMENTS
The first Vetements show sans Demna saw the collection modelled by a host of doppelgängers, including faux versions of Snoop Dogg, Mike Tyson, Naomi Campbell, Angelina Jolie, and the most confusing of all, Kate Moss, who no one could work out was real thing or not. Aside from the lookalikes, the offering was more of the same, with a stand-out coming in the form of a t-shirt reading ‘NO SOCIAL MEDIA THANK YOU’, which the brand promptly posted on social media, because lol.
CHARLES JEFFREY STAGED A CULT-ISH CEREMONY
With invites featuring whips and black horses, attendees of Charles Jeffrey’s AW20 show were likely aware they would experience something out of the norm. What they were met with, however, was even more intense that one could fathom. Entitled, ‘Hell Bend You’ the collection was presented at the Battersea Arts Centre and carried 2019's Midsommar vibes into AW20, with the Loverboy designer looking to his Scottish heritage, and particularly a pagan ceremony he witnessed in the Orkney Islands, for inspo.
MARTINE ROSE SHOWED HER COLLECTION AT HER DAUGHTER’S SCHOOL
For AW20, designer Martine Rose opted to show in her daughter’s primary school in Kentish Town, where a typically diverse cast of models took to the runway – see: hallway – and invitees were time-warped back to their childhoods through sitting on tiny wooden benches.
FKA TWIGS PERFORMED AT VALENTINO
Pierpaolo Piccioli surprised guests (and the world) when he casually brought out FKA twigs to sing at his AW20 Valentino menswear show. Wearing a jewelled head-to-toe Valentino lewk (duh), the British singer was accompanied by a live pianist and cellist, as she performed songs from her latest album magdalene and models wearing flower crowns and tailoring took to the runway.
JEAN PAUL GAULTIER BID COUTURE FAREWELL
After 50 years as fashion’s foremost enfant-terrible, Jean Paul Gaultier announced his next Couture show would be his last midway through the men’s shows. Revealed through an Instagram video, the clip did, however, allude that this would not be the end, but instead hinted at a shift towards something new for the cheeky French creative. As one door closes, though, another opens, with Demna announcing Balenciaga will be back on the Couture schedule for the first time in half a century.
SISTER SLEDGE MARKED 25 YEARS OF DSQUARED2
DSquared2 turned 25 this season, so what better way to celebrate than to invite iconic trio Sister Sledge onto the runway to sing their floor-filling anthem “We Are Family” at the label’s AW20 show. Dressed head-to-toe in shimmering DSquared2 jumpsuits (what else) the sisters were joined by Dan and Dean Caten for a celebratory shimmy during the finale.
BIANCA SAUNDERS THREW A DANCEHALL PARTY AT LFWM
On the first day of London Fashion Week Men’s, when people were basically still trying to shrug off their NYE hangovers, rising designer Bianca Saunders transformed the BFC showspace into a dancehall party, exploring her Jamaican heritage and the legacy of the genre as part of an immersive presentation. Standing in rooms separated by velvet curtains, models wearing Saunders latest collection – all black sheer tops, satin shirts, and denim co-ord suits – threw some shapes to classic dancehall tracks.
PER GÖTESSON MADE A CASE FOR PENCIL CROWNS FOR AW20
As designed by partner Husam El Odeh, Per Götesson debuted one of the accessories of the season for AW20: a thorn-crown inspired pencil-studded headpiece. With a focus on community and belonging, the subversive designer cited queer 60s playwright Joe Orton (who once famously collaged his flat using pages torn from library books) as a key inspiration.
PARIA FARZANEH INVITED GUESTS TO AN IRANIAN WEDDING
With her AW20 collection entitled ‘Ceremony’, Farzaneh stuck true to the theme and staged a traditional Iranian marriage ceremony in an East London boys’ school. With the bride wearing a traditional white lace gown, the groom was dressed in the rising designer’s streetwear-inflected styles, with the collection as a whole offering further iterations of her signature Persian-inspired motifs.
XANDER ZHOU DEBUTED A PAIR OF NUDE PIXELLATED PANTS
Known for exploring the intersection of fashion and technology through his designs, for AW20 Xander Zhou presented an offering which honed in on ideas of censorship. This manifested in a head-turning pair of pixellated pants, which were closely followed by further pieces bearing pixellated motifs – which appeared to depict faces including that of hopeful presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
CRAIG GREEN AND SAMUEL ROSS SAID GOODBYE TO LONDON
Craig Green and A-Cold-Wall*’s Samuel Ross skipped LFWM this season, instead heading off to show in Paris and Milan respectively. At his MFW presentation, Ross offered up a refined collection which pared-back on the streetwear detailing he has become known for, while Green explored the concept of travel through a series of architectural, tent-like pieces.
VIRGIL ABLOH MADE HIS RETURN TO THE FASHION SCHEDULE
A couple of months after the SS20 men shows last year Virgil Abloh announced he was taking a three-month hiatus from fashion due to ill health. The statement reintroduced questions on the pressure of those in the fashion world, but this season Abloh was back not once but twice for his AW20 presentations at Off-White and Louis Vuitton. Both shows marked a distinct step away from his typical streetwear style, which is no surprise given the Chicago-based designer said the trend was going to die in an interview with Dazed last December.
RAF SIMONS AND RICK OWENS BOTH CHANNELLED BOWIE FOR AW20
Two Dazed faves referenced David Bowie in their collections this season, with Raf opting for an instrumental version of “Life on Mars” for his sun-soaked finale, and Owens debuting some serious glam-rock vibes through his knitted jumpsuits, platform boots, and exaggerated shoulder pads. In fact, Owens even alluded to Bowie’s influence in his show notes, referencing the musician’s go-to designer Kansai Yamamoto as a key inspiration for the season.