Spend enough time in Paris and you'll notice that jogging has become de rigueur—mainly among men. On weekends they loop around the impeccably landscaped parks, seemingly gung ho to sweat out the week's excesses. And while shorts over sport tights are the most popular way to outfit oneself, heaven forbid this attire be worn beyond the walk home.
Yet if Bill Gaytten has his way, guys will be pairing dress shirts with athletic leggings and sneakers come fall. As John Galliano's creative director, the designer has been moving the label's menswear more and more toward the youthful intersection of the street and sport categories. He does this cleverly by applying top-shelf fabrications to high-fashion silhouettes: foamy sweatshirts with overly rounded shoulders, satiny windbreakers and tunics like eveningwear jerseys. Gaytten also tilted the stripes on a dress shirt so that they run diagonally and create the effect of movement. Nothing, however, shifted the intensity upward as much as the knit leggings, skinnier than skinny jeans. Whether solid black or brightened by a whoosh of athletic green, they were the main message below the waist (seconded by sneakers with candy-colored, gently convex soles—not unlike the ones designed to tone the thighs). Only those who won the ectomorph genetic lottery should proceed.
It wasn't all survival of the fittest, though. The Stephen Jones fedoras read as a defensive strategy should anyone accuse the collection of skewing too sporty. Leave the organza-paneled shirting aside and the tailored jackets were classic to the core. The colorful hand badges had no particular function except to signal direction (that way to the finish line!). Indeed, Gaytten is not the only one exploring territory that is equally retail conducive and Instagram bait. That the program notes emphasized competitiveness is no small irony. But the guys who side with Galliano can feel confident that their uniform is sharp enough for any occasion as long as they stay seated.