The final day of the menswear shows in Paris cemented a trend that has been percolating over the five-day event. Taking inspiration from what most people are wearing on a Sunday morning, the fashion powers have spoken.
For spring/summer 2016, men may finally be ditching skinny jeans and stepping out in their pyjamas instead.
Pyjama dressing for men has been gaining traction both on and off the catwalk in Paris, and this follows similar designs seen in Milan at Dolce & Gabbana and Versace. Here, Dries van Noten featured robes and short pyjamas, while satin-embroidered sets at Louis Vuitton had the feel of pyjamas straight out of a 1930s starlet’s bedroom.
If that sounds unlikely as a look for most men, the take up of pyjamas on the front row is a sure sign the crossover from fashion idea to wardrobe reality will happen. Magazine editors and stylists have been seen wearing the two pieces, including Gary Armstrong, fashion editor of GQ Style.
This is partly due to 30-degrees-plus heatin which the heavier fabric of jeans is uncomfortable but Armstrong, who has around five sets of pyjamas, including a pair of women’s ones from Joseph, says the appeal also comes from the ease of wearing two matching pieces. “It’s easy, the whole outfit is done for you,” he says. “I don’t like printed trousers but when it’s a whole look, it’s OK.”
Whether this will translate beyond the more anything-goes environment of the menswear front row is up for debate, but it worked in womenswear, where pyjama dressing has been fashionable since around 2012. With gender divides currently being broken down in fashion – skirts on men were on the catwalk at the Givenchy show on Friday – this could be seen as another example of men borrowing from ideas originally tried out in women’s wardrobes.
Damien Paul, head of menswear at matchesfashion.com, sees the crossover appeal of pyjamas for men as part of a wider trend. “It felt in step with the general movement towards undone dressing that we’ve been seeing for the last couple of seasons,” he says.
Armstrong agrees. “I think it’s been coming for a while with pyjama shirts,” he says, though he’s realistic about how it will play out. “I think most men might get into those, but a full set of pyjamas would be a stretch.”
The relaxed mood, and looser fits, can be seen beyond actual pyjamas, as the shows on Sunday demonstrated. Paul Smith, known for skinny, sharp tailoring, presented suits with wide-legged trousers and oversized slouchy blazers in a colour palatte of citrusy brights.
At their morning show, Lanvin had fitted suits, jersey tops and leather jackets but the collection, designed by Lucas Ossendrijver alongside Alber Elbaz, had the relaxed fit with those wide trousers and silky boxy shirts. The final model sent out on the catwalk wore a light trench coat that resembled a dressing gown.
After the show, Elbaz said the thought process was about “how much you can design and not overdesign, to take the street but not turn it into a fashion victim … to be relevant to the moment.” Elbaz’s contribution to this moment’s pyjama-dressing trend? His own outfit of silk-printed pyjamas and robe, of course.