The unofficial theme of Paris Fashion Week Day 2 seems to be stunning finales. Earlier today was the surprise and bittersweet finale walk of Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton and Dries Van Noten caps off the day with a stunning and seemingly never-ending parade of outerwear, most with abstract prints.  There were oversized raincoats, blousons, and bombers. It was a beautiful cascade of artful outerwear for the man who (a) has an endless budget, if he wants all of them and (b) wants to stand out from the hum-drum of black coats in winter. As for the none-outerwear portion of the collection, there were fringey cowboy shirts, elongated sleeves on silky shirts, delicate cut-out trousers and some great macrame knits and even a macrame trench - as if there wasn't enough outerwear options!



RUNWAY: Dries Van Noten FW18

It's been a very busy week at Louis Vuitton headquarters in Paris. Not only was it Paris Fashion Week but it was announced that Kim Jones, the maison's men's style director, would be departing the storied French label and this FW18 collection would be his last. Whether or not the team knew of this departure long before or not, the symbolism of the circular runway was not lost. Jones, who has been with Vuitton for 7 years, has come full circle. He transformed the men's line into one of the most buzzed about collections every season and not just because it was Vuitton but because the clothes were cool.

If one has been following Jones' career at Vuitton, it is widely known that his collections are often inspired by his travels and his swan song was likely his most personal since many of the textural patterns seen are actual photographs he took while traveling; that landscape pattern on a trench? A photo Jones took while in a helicopter.

This collection was also the most rugged of his tenure. Though there was a suit or two to be seen, most of the collection was heavily influenced by rugged adventures from hiking to hunting. This isn't your grandfather's hiking boots or hunting gear, this is Louis Vuitton gear, the price of which is likely to be astronomical. There were some great accessories that are also sure to be a sell-out, like those camo-and-LV-monogram leggings or the sumptuous bags with Vuitton embossed on them. There were also some great and luxurious coats and shorts, done in Vicuna and cashmere, respectively. Just because they're rugged clothes, it doesn't mean it can't be expensive and luxurious.

...And finally there was that finale with two of the world's most famous models helping to close the show: Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss (Dominik Sadoch officially closed the show). Moss has given up modeling and instead focuses her energy and resources on her modeling agency but when your good friend Kim Jones calls asking for a favor to send him off into the sunset, you answer. The Vuitton trenches both supermodels wore are sure to be collectibles, as will the jumper Jones wore. It was a spectacular finale causing a raucous standing ovation for Jones whose next move has yet to be announced but our money is on the plum job at Burberry. The final bell of Jones' era at Vuitton has rung and what a final bell it was.



RUNWAY: Louis Vuitton FW18

Bare bones design and bared bones were on display at Rick Owens' FW18 collection that offered plenty of concept: there were dystopic clothes that seemed like they were woven from different pieces, pants so high they nearly reached the chest and plenty of raw fabrics, creating a milieu around the wearer, like one might see on a cartoon after a dust-up. There were, of course, some great austerely tailored coats towards the end but the collection trended towards entropic designs, with purposeful haphazard designs, the equivalent of a fashion oxymoron.



RUNWAY: Rick Owens FW18

CMMN SWDN, founded in Malmo, Sweden's third largest city, cast boyish models to wear oversized clothes, making the collection seem like they weren't quite old enough to wear them. Sleeves went past their hands, coats looked ginormous while a retro vibe ran throughout, as if these models found clothes their fathers wore back when they were at university or just starting out in their careers in their 20s, still quite a few years older than the models themselves, sharpening the aesthetic of the season.



RUNWAY: CMMN SWDN FW18

Only in its third collection, Namachenko's collections are far from a household name but the austere tailoring shown here, with hints of gender fluidity and strong color palette, make a good case why they soon might be.



RUNWAY: Namachenko FW18

Facetasm's FW18 collection was a melange of fabrics, cuts, and textures. Crinkled denim, woolen coats, net face masks, retro baseball uniforms and more all proliferated the runway in this jumble of a collection that somehow worked. It also had an air of reminiscence to it, like an adult referencing back their favorite pieces of clothing as children all worn together.



RUNWAY: Facetasm FW18

Latex, subversion and perversion were buzzwords at Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck's FW18 show. There were coats with cutouts for the mouth, nipples and penis (or vagina), as for some of the hoods and caps, they resembled gimp masks while a sea of shiny latex accentuated the sexual theme with words like "PIG" or "TOP" plastered on clothes. Van Beirendonck's collections are often more than what meets the eye and this outre sexualization of his collection seems to be his reaction to the outre sexualization of society: people "leaking" their own sex tapes to become the next Kim Kardashian or posting thirst trap pics on Instagram or sharing nude photos of themselves with anyone who asks for it. Though the designer makes no judgement on those individuals, it's a pervasive part of our society now and Van Beirendonck is only reflecting back what he sees.



RUNWAY: Walter Van Beirendonck FW18

Valentino's Pierpaolo Piccioli knows a cash cow when he sees one and so that's why Valentino's now-signature Rockstuds appear on stunningly tailored overcoats and camo makes a cameo in nearly every collection, irrespective of the season. This season, there's the collaborative collection of puffers with Moncler that's sure to drive foot traffic to try on these shiny puffers, especially the ones that are Valentino-red. Though commercial success is important for a maison's survival, so is relevance. There was nary a suit to be seen on the runway and that's purposeful since Piccioli knows that traditional tailored clothing is on the way out. His solution this season? Tailored sweats. Many, though not all, of the pants seen on the runway are oh-so-comfortable sweatpants that one can wear to work because they're neat and tailored but then to the gym or a night out. Lastly, it wouldn't be a fall/winter collection without talking about the coats, which were stunning and offered something for everyone from rockstars (those Rockstuds, natch) to businessmen (austere Chesterfields) to arty men with cash to spare, did you see the intricately embroidered coats, some in a tiger print or in floral? Piccioli has blossomed since taking over the creative position at Valentino as a one-man show.



RUNWAY: Valentino FW18

Y/Project's Glenn Martens recently won the ANDAM Prize, the same prize that put designers like Martin Margiela and Anthony Vaccarello of Saint Laurent on the map. In his first men's collection since the win (it was in July 2017, just after the label's SS18 show), Martens jumps out of the box with a collaboration with UGG, featuring everything from comfy and furry slippers to thigh high boots, which already has the fashion set's tongues wagging. As for the clothing, Martens continues to play with proportion and fit, highlighting paneled denim, double sleeved sweaters and oversized accessories.



RUNWAY: Y/Project FW18