Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ken's Eye View: Paris Menswear Fall 2015

What I always find interesting is how, after the other fashion capitals have pretty much set the trends for the upcoming season, Paris makes it's own statement, even if it means going off the deep end. Paris is the place where designers like to experiment. It is the market where new ideas are born, pushing fashion forward. And while I was most comfortable with a lot of what I saw in Milan, this season, Paris has a lot to say!

Like the other two capitals, grey is THE color of the season. And as we saw elsewhere, there is plenty of texture and tone all up and down the grey scale. But since this fashion week is all about the Fall-Winter season, it stands to reason the coat would take center stage.
 Clean, broad, and clean, this is an elegant garment.

But again, there is a great deal of texture and tonal mixes in this garment.

 Next to grey, blue is a key color as well. Often we see it teamed with black. Another underlying story is the wide variety of trouser silhouettes. Note the larger leather pants with the jean jacket. Also, notice how the coat is also cut in shorter lengths...otherwise known as the "car coat."

Color is not completely out of the picture. We thought soft corals, camel and sand dune tans were the perfect way to transition from summer to autumn.

 The traditional suit is still on the scene, but designers decided to break a few rules. Here we see a jumpsuit from Hermes, a three-button plaid suit from Dior in contrast to a cropped jacket and vest offered by the same house. Givenchy plays with layering chalk stripes. A slate grey car coat is tossed over the shoulders of a split level eggplant sports jacket and narrow trousers.

But as the work force becomes younger, look for more "casual Friday" looks. These are less formal than a suit, but remain elegant, all the same. The boys loved the scarves tied around the necks of the Hermes models. They also love the look of layered trousers or short pants worn over patterned knee socks like those worn by Yohji Yamamoto's other label, "Y-3."
The super wide silhouettes, that younger men have grown accustomed to, takes on a new dimension. Not afraid of layers, prints or even the unconventional look of a great big poncho tossed over a sweater, short pants and socks, this is a look for men who love comfort and aren't afraid to experiment to find a new look.

But after years of supersized fashion, a hint of things to come came from the house of Saint Laurent as designed by current art director, Hedi Slimane. Inspired by today's rock stars and yesterday's lounge crooners, Slimane's trousers are super skinny. Many of his jackets also have shrunken proportions, though his car coats sport lots texture.
In recreating the skinny jeans for this look, I used t-shirt material to drape it to the doll's legs in the same way I did when I created the pattern for stockings for my Barbies. The "leather" jeans are, in fact a stretch vinyl. His coat is a simple coat pattern, but using an embossed (felt-back) vinyl I found in my local crafts store. I only needed 1-1/2 squares.
Here, the entire "lounge" look is present. The "leather" pants don't look so sleazy when the jacket is cut from a contrasting material. Velveteen, suede, wool or a flat faux fur...

There was something so intriguing about those Saint Laurent jeans with the zips down the front. Here, I began with the jeans pattern. I cut the original pant pattern front into angled horizontal pieces using my stretch vinyl. They are layered onto a backing cut from the original pattern. Each piece is top stitched in place. The "zippers" are really silver yarn crocheted with a simple chain stitch, cut then sewn in between each section. The back is left plain, cut in a single piece out of stretch vinyl.

They are wild. They are crazy. Your guys probably won't want to wear them. But because this is Paris....

Then again, the extremes exist to give you an idea of what's out there. The takeaway here is that you can use a vibrant print or pattern or surface treatment for, let's say, a jacket worn over jeans or a simple pair of trousers!

You can use Indian brocades for a special evening coat. Or take a cue from Downton Abbey for Ken's mourning coat before you land back into this century with a classic dress coat over Monsieur's tuxedo.

The girls have been very busy during Couture week in Paris. Their report will be next up!

Follow us on Twitter: @FashDollStylist
We're also on Pinterest:
Or come chat with us on Tonner's #dollchat on Tuesdays, 9-10 pm (New York time)


  1. Most of the men's fashions are awesome!!! My favorite is the Issey Miyake look. And the Dries Van Noten coat. Your guys rock the looks you gave them! xx

  2. Thank you Night Owl. Menswear is really exciting right now. I suppose we have to thank the rock/rap star artists who tend to go over the top with the way they put themselves together. Years ago, trends were about 1-button or 2, double or single breasted, or how the trousers break over the shoes. Now, there are so many new options which is what seduced me into making clothes for Ken! Big hugs.

  3. Fabulous fashions. My guys will definitely getting more fashions!

    1. Thank you KMQ. I'm sure your guys will be VERY happy to hear that!!

  4. Thank you April, a wonderfully informative post! You did a great job with the guy's fashions, I'm amazed by the zipper jeans!
    There were a lot of diffrent things on the catwalk this year. My fave is the Givency Chalk striped suit, I like the effect of the overlapping a lot!

    1. Thank you, Billa. The zipper jeans almost didn't happen. When I really began to explore possibilities, I thought it would be way to much work for meager results. However, the fact that I included that photo in the lineup, I was sure everyone would wonder how you'd go about duplicating them especially with no zippers that small. I will say that your excellent menswear on your blog encouraged me to walk that extra mile to find a solution! I also made sure there were suits in the reports you might find interesting for your guys!!

  5. The possibilities of stretch leather may eventually motivate me to tackle jeans that are shaped as jeans (rather than denim with an elastic waist).

    This is really neat stuff. I'm biting down the thought that some of the livelier Givenchy would look amazing on Flavas Tre, who is positively, definitely slated for sale, not to keep. Perhaps some of my gals want menswear styling.

    1. At the end of the day, the stretch vinyl was a wonderful substitution for leather when it came to the jeans. Real leather (which I considered) would have been too thick. As far as jeans, denim really is too thick as well. So my tip is to use a silk twill fabric instead. And no, don't make pull up jeans for the guys (or the girls), my dolls' jeans close with a hook & eye. (For the classic jeans pattern see my July 29 post, "True Blue." ) And yes, my girls borrow from the guys' wardrobe all the time.


We love hearing from you. Your comment will be published shortly.