Paris Fashion Week remains a significant highlight on the global fashion calendar – there are so many elements that make it an attraction but getting a rare glimpse of the designers in the flesh is perhaps the biggest. While some are known to show their faces at the end of their shows, some prefer to be more reclusive. We’ve curated a selection of designers who influence through their own personal style as well as the aesthetics they create. Whether their own attire reflects the upcoming season or show, or they tend to present themselves in a refined, classic way, these talented individuals are inspiration personified.
1. Damir Doma
Damir Doma continues to grow and evolve with great distinction and his own style is reflected in his attitude. His interest in combining elements from materials to themes is seen not only in his collection but also in what he is wearing here. A simple knit defined by an original tribal-esque pattern combined with leather tracksuit pants make this a comfortable look.
2. Dries Van Noten
Highly respected, Dries Van Noten is known for applying new and interesting facets to traditional menswear tailoring. Seen here in a basic all navy look with a collared knit and chinos, the tonal element is contrasted with a grey scarf and a light brown pair of leather chukkas. Simple is best.
3. Kenzo - Humberto Leon and Carol Lim
Having not only established Opening Ceremony amongst the elite, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have now applied their own unique ethos to renowned fashion house Kenzo. Having bridged the gap between high and low with a significant philosophy, the pair do it to great effect personally by taking items from the Kenzo fall/winter 2013 collection and making them their own.
4. Kolor – Junichi Abe
Modest and charming like his clothing, Junichi Abe steps out to greet his audience in a simple role neck knit in charcoal and straight cropped wool trousers in light brown, accented with a pair of vintage running shoes. While Abe’s collections combine classic silhouettes with a more progressive nature, his own look is subdued and unassuming.
5. Kris Van Assche
Kris Van Assche was one of a handful of designers to define sneakers with suiting for the fall/winter 2013 season and he has executed himself to great effect. Best known for his refined aesthetic, he puts a black cable knit over a light grey shirt and matches this with charcoal suit trousers and a pair of sneakers, making for a great look and one that will almost certainly be adopted by the masses come next fall.
6. Lanvin – Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver
This duo not only injected energy to a fading legacy at Lanvin, but also assisted in transforming menswear, in particular tailoring, in recent years. Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver of Lanvin bestow a personal style that is first of all defined by a sophisticated suit, but then contrasted with more casual elements like hybrid sneakers and layering under the jacket. These two have made the suit a daily uniform.
7. Rick Owens
While many may believe Rick Owens’ influence may be fading, I remain optimistic; it is a look that will continue to influence for years to come. Seen here in an asymmetrical zip down jacket and low waist shorts over tights and a pair of signature sneakers, in all black, the look is relaxed and comfortable.
8. Saint Laurent – Hedi Slimane
Punk, grunge, rock, we all known Hedi Slimane’s signature styling and its inspiration and he has presented himself really well as he emphasises his impact on his return to Saint Laurent. A slim aesthetic is reinforced in black with a rider jacket over a basic shirt atop denim and boots. As long as he has music we will always have Hedi Slimane.
9. Walter Van Beirendonck
The Belgian designer is known for the extravagant, yet when it comes to show time the designer is often understated. Adorning one his signature crew neck fleeces from the collection on show, Van Beirendonck matches this with timeless indigo denim and black shoes.
10. Yohji Yamamoto
Pairing a double breasted suit with work boots may not seem that far fetched although there is something unique about the way iconic Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto has presented himself. Whether it’s the red scarf, the key chain, the hat, I can’t quite pinpoint it but it may well just be the long hair and beard. At the very least he is giving Walter Van Beirendonck competition for the best facial hair.