Ending on Monday, the S/S 2010 men’s fashion collections in Paris moved away from rock-chic toward more casual wear.

While fashion week offered a variety of old and new fairs, 48 shows remained on the schedule, which started on the evening of Jun. 24 with Yves Saint Laurent.

Designer Stefano Pilato set a trend in showing cool T-shirts combined with comfortable yet formal trousers in wide cuts and high waists. Dark and austere colors defined the show as well as many others this fashion week, including Raf Simons, Juun.J and Paris newcomer Tim Hamilton, the American designer. The main color trends, however, were white, black and sand. Those venturing to show bright colors included a handful, such as Issey Miyake, who returned to the catwalk this season, Thierry Mugler, Comme des Garçons, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Paul Smith and Walter van Beirendonck. Most designers also showed more reticence in choosing pale colors (Stephan Schneider, Kris van Assche, Kenzo, Julius, Cerrutti) and earthy shades such as Dries van Noten, Wooyoungmi, Damir Doma, Louis Vuitton and John Galliano.

At Dior Homme, designer Kris van Assche broke with the style of his predecessor Hedi Slimane by showing ample and comfortable trousers and a flowing silhouette, which dominated also a lot of other collections. The dominance of rock-chic with super-slim trousers seemed to be over and yielded to a more comfortable look with baggy silhouettes, shorts, flimsy jackets, shirts and floating summer-trench-coats without linings, as seen at Hugo by Hugo Boss. Softness of materials, raw edges together with a revival of crinkled fabrics played an important role in next season’s menswear. T-shirts, often in the style of muscle shirts, were ubiquitous at Dior Homme, Paul Smith, Rick Owens, Miharayasuhiro, while shirts and vests were mostly sleevleless at Hugo and Lanvin. Another important trend was layering in an Indian or Arabian style in the form of djellabas and kurtas. Very often this styling was combined and reinforced by multilayered trousers or jackets (Kris van Assche, Hugo, Rick Owens).

In addition to the runway presentations, various trade shows focused on menswear took place in Paris from Jun. 25-28. There was the premiere of Under Le Louvre, organized by the Who’s Next team. The fair, held in three halls in the Carrousel du Louvre attracted about 90 brands that ranged from fashion to denim, sportswear, shoes and accessories for men and women. Among them were established names such as Barbour, Gaspard Yurkievich and Edwin, but also fresh names such as Andrea Crews and Feiyue. The opinions on this first edition were widespread – some visitors and exhibitors liked the mix of brands whereas others missed a certain kind of homogeneity. They also anticipated a bigger turnout from visitors, especially buyers. “We missed the big buyers here, especially since they are in town for fashion week,” said Fabio Sasso of the Italian menswear brand Leitmotiv.

Yet the arrangement of booths were well-received. Every hall featured colored circled carpets that held space for every brand. These spaces were designed individually by each brand. “Every space has the same size; that is very fair. So we, as a small label, have the same possibility of presenting ourselves as the bigger names,” said Roland Arnassalon of Raag Jeans from Paris.

The French edition of the New York-based show (capsule) hosted also hosted about 90 contemporary and directional brands in its Marais location. Feedback was overall positive: “We made eight new clients. That’s amazing. Big buyers from Harrods, Selfridges or Colette all showed up,” said Jonathan Anderson of the London brand J. W. Anderson.

And last but not least, the men’s editions of the well-established new luxe and directional fashion trade shows Tranoï and Rendez-vous opened their doors for buyers with a convincing mix of well-known and fresh labels.

—Barbara Markert and Sabine Kühnl