Bed j.w. Ford has touched down in Paris. “I’m very excited to be here, it’s a very precious opportunity,” said Shinpei Yamagishi via a translator backstage as he explained that, this season, his resolve was to imbue his menswear with what he considers a liberated way of dressing found in womenswear.
“I’ve always admired the freedom women have in terms of clothing and style,” he said. “As a man, I always thought that it would be fun if I were able to enjoy that.” To his credit, Yamagishi did not fall back on frilly dresses and skirts to make this statement: rather, he said, he wanted to focus on the approach to dressing. This collection was as much about cutting clothes with a light and subtle hand as it was an exercise in conspicuous styling—both of which Yamagishi managed well.
The fabrics set the stage here. Yamagishi enlisted shiny tweeds, sequins, and colorful stripes. Particularly charming was a beige wool suiting with subtle Lurex pinstripes and its more overt black evening counterpart. There was a decisive but soft elegance to this collection, a language Yamagishi handles well, particularly with tailoring. A long coat with its back vent reaching the waist and a run of slim double-breasted jackets were highlights here, as was the designer’s take on the classic Chanel jacket (pairing it with shorts and cargo pants was clever and indicative of Yamagishi’s mindset for the season).
It’s interesting to see menswear designers today trying to achieve liberation for men by embracing femininity. It’s as much of a tall order as it is an arbitrary concept. After all, for as many societal expectations as men face in how they dress, women experience that twofold. But Yamagishi was earnest in his outlook here, and rather than tackle complex conversations about gender politics, he wants men to have fun with how they dress, and sometimes it can be as simple as that.