As Paris men’s fashion week comes to a close Sunday, one trend for spring summer 2018 and could not be clearer — bare legs.
Fashion clearly feels that the time is right for men to get their legs out for the girls — or for other men who like to admire a well sculpted calf.
In a week in which a heatwave across Europe saw British schoolchildren and French bus drivers don skirts in protest at not being allowed to wear shorts, the momentum behind taking the trouser above the knee — or further still — seems unstoppable.
While many women and some in the fashion police have long looked down their noses at men in shorts, bare legs may soon be the least of their worries.
For as well as shorts, socks and sandals, which many thought had been safely confined to the style wilderness, are also back.
Here are the three top trends for the Paris men’s catwalks:
– Shorts suit you, sir –
Legs — including hairy ones — were everywhere on the men’s catwalks from the edgy newcomers Angus Chiang and Namacheko to Dior where Kris Van Assche matched micro shorts with tailored black suit jackets to show the maximum of thigh.
Rick Owens lead out his collection with a model wearing only short shorts and boots, a leather saddlebag strapped to one thigh for extra he-man effect.
So high was Paris on thigh that it is almost easier to list the labels who didn’t include shorts, as such style references as Louis Vuitton (leather scuba shorts and jersey surf pants), Dries Van Noten (formal and boxy) and even Yohji Yamamoto (three-quarter length) all succumbed to the trend.
Lengths varied widely with Loewe going daringly high with micro shorts and Speedo-like pouches while the Taiwanese Chiang and the Japanese label Facetasm swung between kilts, tube shorts and culottes.
But for glamour, nothing compared to Comme des Garcons’s glittering red, yellow and purple and golden pink evening shorts. Lame maketh the man, as Shakespeare might have said.
– Sandals with socks –
Style crime no more, socks with sandals are no longer the abomination they once were, if this week’s shows are anything to go by.
Louis Vuitton — which with Paul Smith and Vetements also tried to smuggle Hawaiian shirts back from the wardrobe that taste forgot — sent out nearly 20 models in sandals and socks, while 22/4 went still further matching every one of its 30 looks with socks and slipper sandals.
Uber-cool Vetements had socks and sauna sandals and Haider Ackermann (who also designs for Berluti) dared socks and flip flops, which looked classier than its sounds.
In a worrying development for those who have held the line against that most dorky of looks, Ami, Wooyoungmi and Etudes went into total taboo territory with white socks and sandals.
– Sports hosiery –
The shotgun marriage with sandals was only half the story of the irresistible rise of the sock this week.
Tennis, baseball and all kinds of sporty socks worn mostly halfway up the shin was the other big takeaway.
The rise in sportswear has been the biggest creeping trend on the men’s catwalks for some time, and it really gripped Paris by the ankles this time.
Sporty socks were often combined with more traditional tailored jackets, per Facetasm’s Hiromichi Ochiai, who cleverly contrasted them with smoking jackets, tailcoats and aristo silk dressing gowns.
But when it came to statement socks, Danish maverick Henrik Vibskov left the others standing. It was hard to take your eyes of his colourful pairs that combined comforting Scandinavian hygge and high concept design with playful Japanese-style silk worm and flower motifs.