Olivier Rousteing's latest outing for Balmain offered an incredibly expansive collection of heavily embellished designs with high-end skins like crocodile making cameos throughout. The menswear here had dramatic proportions and offered layered looks that must have weighed more than many of the models. The price tags of these pieces will undoubtedly end up in the tens of thousands while the most exclusive, like the aforementioned crocodile skins, into the 6-figures. Rousteing and Balmain have legions of fans clamoring for a piece of the action, evidenced by the rabid consumption of Balmain's collaboration with H&M a few years ago, and this collection will further that desire but with these sky-high prices, who among the millions of followers can actually afford any of it? This menswear collection is Rousteing's largest and grandest, the workmanship exceled but a lack of editing was abundantly clear, even for maximalists, this was a bit much.



RUNWAY: Balmain FW17

Sporty elements invaded Hermès' super-luxe FW17 collection that offered almost every ultra-expensive fabric and exotic skin available from cashmere to crocodile to calfskin to velvet to astrakhan...you get the idea. First, the accessories: oversized haut-a-courroies in mixed fabrics showed the brand's renewed emphasis on bags while calfskin dual-zip fanny packs signaled that the once unfashionable bag-for-your-hip is now de rigueur once again. The clothes were deceptively simple and pared back as usual, but sporty elements invaded the collection from a crocodile or fur band across the chest and arms of a few coats to a little bunching at the waist of the streamlined pants. Tiny changes like these worked well with Veronique Nichanian's proven formula of chic sportswear for the ultra-mega rich.



RUNWAY: Hermès FW17

Soft tailoring in oversized proportions and a gender bending look lent Wooyoungmi's FW17 collection into new territory, away from the buttoned up and proper tailoring they're known for. Here, there were rounded shapes seen on the coats, giving them a feminine touch while tartan patterns littered the collection from oversized trousers to suits.



RUNWAY: Wooyoungmi FW17

What is "HarDior"? Dior Homme's Kris Van Assche said it's the marriage of sport, street and tailoring. You can see this clearly in the mountaineering accessories seen on suits, which were roomier, allowing for more arm movement. One cannot look climb a mountain in a Dior Homme suit if one's arms do not have full range of motion. Elsewhere, the label, like virtually every label showing this coming season, tried to reconcile tailoring with what they hope or expect men want to wear, either at their corporate jobs, such as the ones at LVMH, or what similar men who work for the Facebook's of the world would wear should they need or want to dress up. The result here was hit or miss. The supercool sneakers did not work with the looser fit suits, some having reflective bands on the side like trackpants, while the more glam and super-luxe looks like a leather trench or sleeveless fur coat got it right for its celebration of excess.



RUNWAY: Dior Homme FW17

We live in a digital world, one where each iteration of the next smartphone offers more and more pixels, creating an even more vivid picture. So, upon seeing Sacai's pixelated camouflage patterns, the collection's kitschy take on culture shined through. As did the Japanese label's collaboration with The North Face, a curious happenstance since Junya Watanabe offered a collaboration with the same brand yesterday. One would think that Watanabe or Sacai would secure an exclusivity contract, at the very least that no other label would offer a collaboration within the same fashion week and season. Nevertheless, Sacai's puffer offerings offered texture and a military inspiration so the two collaborations are quite different. The rest of the collection was a cacophony of layers and mixed fabrics to create chic layered looks.



RUNWAY: Sacai FW17

Riccardo Tisci has long looked to America for inspiration for his collections: stars, stripes and Americana have consistently popped up in Givenchy's collections. So what does the Italian designer do for FW17 when Givenchy's show time happened to coincide the Inauguration of America's new president, one who got less votes from The People and, by his own admission, was aided by the help of a foreign, hostile nation? Tisci stayed positive and looked at those who have been disadvantaged the most, especially in the last two years during an election process that seemed unending. There were nods to Native Americans, racial minorities, LGBTQ and, of course, powerful women as evidenced from the strong SS17 couture collection that was shown at the end of the show and has now become a tradition on this runway.

Boldly striped shirts and Totem pole faced knits added a whimsical air to the collection while colorful toggles on a coat resembled rainbows while stripes and a starry knit rounded out the collection that was intentionally lighter in tone, not as heavy and brooding as collections past. Stay positive, says Tisci, who may or may not positively leave Givenchy and join Versace, should the latter's IPO come to fruition.



RUNWAY: Givenchy FW17

A changing of the guards, per se, happened at Berluti. Gone is Alessandro Sartori (now at Ermenegildo Zegna) and in is Haider Ackermann, who showed his eponymous menswear collection just two days prior. It was a curious choice for Berluti's owners, LVMH, to choose the Colombian-born designer. His tailoring aesthetic is much looser and is almost diametrically different than that of Sartori, who has designed Berluti from its expansion from footwear to ready-to-wear. Sartori's style has defined the Berluti look. As most people know, the menswear industry and male customers are not one for drastic changes. Change must be incremental and minute.

However, Ackermann put any reservations to rest with a very cool and rock n' roll tinged collection featuring sumptuous fabrics, dramatic coats and luxe accessories, including crocodile bags and a plethora of leather boots and shoes. The tailoring was still a little loose but in a cool way that rockers can easily pull off while the embellishment that Ackermann prefers in his namesake label was tame here, if at all present. It was a great debut and one that quickly and easily reset the Berluti man's look without scaring its current customers away with a totally new look and feel.



RUNWAY: Berluti FW17

Fluorescent-hued wigs, bolero jackets, and a rebellion against tradition was what Rei Kawakubo proffered for her FW17 collection for Comme des Garcons Homme Plus. Glitter also played a role in the collection that seemed to upend gender and trailoring norms, as did skirts, flouncy blouses and a finale of shirtless models.



RUNWAY: Comme des Garcons FW17

Tailoring is king at Cerruti 1881's FW17 collection. The label is known for its sharp collection of suits and ties but for this coming season, it seemed like they, too, sensed that traditional dressing is going by the wayside and offered a coterie of utilitarian and egalitarian denim looks at the end. The rest of the collection offered a myriad of ways to dress up, from houndstooth-plaid (yes, it's a thing now) to velvet to touches of fur, all accentuating the streamlined silhouettes of the traditionally handsome models.



RUNWAY: Cerruti 1881 FW17