FW20 Buyer's Notes from Paris
There’s a lot of refinement and maturity happening in menswear design. Last season brought in a wave of minimalist design - less of the loud pieces and more standards in really nice fabrics with modern cuts.
But don’t let it fool you, that doesn’t mean that fashion has gotten stale. The emphasis has just been placed on the underlying construction - stripping away the bells and whistles disguise of extraneous design.
Last year, there was a return to the prep side of the late 80s. The Paris Show for FW 2020 continues this trend toward those core principles with a bit more of a 90s vibe and color palette.
This is what we saw:
Some different variations of classic knitwear that are less often seen like cardigans, sweater vests and roll necks are adding some great diversification to the mix. Cardigans, especially, are big. I think we can thank Mr. Rogers renewed popularity for this, but these cardigans have a bit of the Curt Kobain edge to them as well.
Suiting took a prime seat in almost every collection. Casual soft tailoring and a more minimal and clean approach. Probably a knee jerk to the end of streetwear, but it’s nice to see a more grown-up look at things; it’s also likely that brands themselves are maturing and feeling confident after putting in their tenure.
Technical and outdoorswear came up a lot in various collections. It’s been on the rise for a while, but it’s still climbing and yet to reach its apex. Brands like Nanamica, HOKA and ts(s) are still inventing new multi-function fabrics that are being worked into some unlikely, but totally approachable fits. Suiting that never wrinkles (even when packed into a ball), cozy upcycled plastics and of course some wonderful fleeces and winter ready coats that are now breathable enough to extend into spring.
NEW TO CANOE CLUB:
Arpenteur is an exciting new brand for us. Ultra clean - bordering on minimal - the simplicity is complimented with great fabrication that elevates the easy styling aesthetic to a luxury level. Timeless pieces that fit into any wardrobe with modest mastery. Really tightly executed.
Noma is another new brand that we are really passionate about. Operated by the fabric director for Engineered Garments, Needles and other brands in the Nepenthes family - this is a fabric first brand that isn’t afraid to experiment and push the artform. Some beautiful distressing, brilliant fabrication and really fascinating processing makes this small collection one that we’re really excited to spice up the mix.
Beams+. There really isn’t a single piece of the collection I wouldn’t write, but we had to edit it down a bit to get some other goodies. Their inspiration spans so many decades and really pulls out the best of style in any generation and makes it work for the modern wearer. Simply put: It really just works for anyone. We’re excited for it to become a big part of what we do in the future.
Comme des Garcons? The only one. It may not seem like a natural fit due to the first-to-mind press on the more avant garde stuff, but they do so much more. We will be holding their core items like PARFUMS, PLAY and WALLET, but it was the SHIRT and JUNYA collections where the brand really shines for us.
We were able to get a great collection for SHIRT that feels approachable and bold at the same time. People often gloss over their everyday pieces that work in nearly everyone’s closet. JUNYA adds some bolder options that are just too good to pass up and are unmistakably CdG with some collaborative pieces with Canada Goose.
FAVORITES AND COLLABS:
Corridor has great shirting as always, but what stood out was some of the new knitwear - including a floral pattern knit that I felt was the star of the show. Really love how the collection is rounding out with their emphasis on new production methods. +Plus, we’ll be doing a collaboration with Corridor coming out this summer. More on that later...
orSlow is a favorite amongst favorites. Excited to be stocking it as a big part of our core collection. Some great color additions to familiar favorites. There are also some great executions of fleece - building the best old-school high-pile we've ever seen outside of true vintage.
We are also looking towards a really great exclusive pant that we have wanted to return to the collection for years, but have yet to see come back around. Luckily, we are going to have a couple of collab variations of that pant and are stoked about getting them this upcoming fall.
Lady White has added some great seasonal colorways with a few new silhouettes that we love. Long time fans are going to be excited to see the edition of a standalone long sleeve version of the perfect tee that Lady White is known for.
Additionally, we’re working with designer Phil Proyce for an exclusive color available only at CC.
THE RETURN OF…
Engineered Garments has a more distinct vision this season, focusing less on a wide spread of silhouettes and narrowing it down a touch with a wider array of fabrics. There is a definite push towards suiting that brings the collection a little further away from casual than usual and refines the collection.
Harmony continues to impress with really striking wardrobe essentials like top coats and blazers, but is offset with some interesting, high-color knitwear that, though loud, fits in seamlessly.
Visvim brought some amazing new shoe styles - adding some slightly more subdued tennis shoes that are endlessly wearable with fabrications you can only find in Vis. Some bold styles with incredibly detailed fabric choices are why we come to them and this will be a solid delivery.
Especially exciting is this low top tennis shoe in a rough out suede that comes in three great colorways. I really could see these becoming a permanent addition to our footwear collection.
How a brand can make the ancient process of vegetable tanning into something modern and elegant is quite the feat. Hender Scheme makes it look so beautiful. There’s a bigger focus on home goods and accessories that we’re thrilled to see expand and we will continue to build out our collection of MIPs (super excited for the newest edition that is still hush hush).
Nanamica is rock solid and is offering exactly what we’re looking for in a slightly more technical approach to everyday wear. Great technical fabrics like gortex are blended in with daily driver silhouettes.
While a lot of the brands we’ve been seeing are refining and distilling their collections down to their core ideas, Howlin’ is expanding its look. Consistently delivering on knitwear classics, Howlin’ is adding some cut and sew stuff that has us impressed. Reminiscent of high-end, elevated 90s sportswear, you’ll see great corduroy and twill pieces that are extremely clean and perfectly tailored that have some styling flexibility.
As excited as we are for the weather to turn into the greener pastures of Spring and Summer, seeing what’s in store for Fall already has us ready to celebrate the harvest...