Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt.
PARIS--With its combination of hard utilitarian uniforms, tailored jackets and soft silk, the Lanvin menswear collection, now in it's fifth year, would please any type of man.
At this season's show, the first few models imbued a sense of militancy. Looks included a short-sleeve zippered jacket paired with a tee shirt and UPS-brown pants, a black short-sleeve tunic with black pants, a python tunic worn with a collarless leather/cotton coat, and a navy zippered jacket with matching pants. These were followed by ensembles of dyed silks--fabrics that are staples of the women's collections--which were washed for a lived-in feel. There was a long marigold zippered coat with pajama pants, as well as a cotton coat, zippered top and shorts over pants in yellow and blue nylon.
Between these contrasts was a series of new tailored jacket silhouettes. Especially notable was a shrunken, red cotton single-breasted suit--the jacket did not close with buttons but rather a piece of black silk. When worn without buttoning, the jacket has an hourglass look that flares at the hips. Other interesting cuts included a single-breasted slim pantsuit with a gathered shoulder that pulled the sleeve up from the body of the jacket, making the sleeves more pronounced. There were purple-and-gold drop shoulders on a single-breasted cotton suit, and a light grey suit with a light brown tunic. I also liked a double-breasted no-shoulder jacket and a cropped jacket, both worn with charcoal tunics and black pants.
Many of these tailored suits were paired with short tunics--now essential for any man's spring wardrobe--and never looked too formal. An outstanding look was the shrunken black cotton jacket worn with a colorfully printed blue silk tunic, charcoal cigarette pants, leather shoes, and a gold-and-black wooden necklace gracing the model’s torso.
The day after, in a vast showroom on the bank of the Seine across from Gare Austerlitz, I witnessed the incredible amount of work put into this collection, from treating fabrics to achieve the desired broken-in feel specific to each garment up to the finished product. What looks like just a short, leather-front tunic is, in fact, extremely thin lamb leather bonded with nylon to reinforce the delicacy of the soft skin. And the layers of washed and dyed silk don’t produced a uniform color; the dye is stronger in the front than the back, giving the soft jacket an individuality rarely seen but so essential in menswear.
**All photos via Imaxtree.