I always think of Paris Fashion Week's street style scene as offering two distinct things as standard. First, it's a great big chance for escapism because for A-list invitees, slipping into the latest couture extravaganza from a French fashion house is the norm. Then, there is a well-documented flip side: Super-casual effortlessness will always win out for everyone else attending, and it results in iterations on the archetypal French-girl uniform of jeans, blazers, mid-height shoes, tousled hair and so on and so forth. Even if you're not a native, you find yourself shifting into this gear when you're there, so it took me by surprise to see that this week's menswear presentations in the fashion capital provided a different array of editor, stylist, model and other insider looks.
The photographed outfits were, much to my amazement, absolutely dripping in Y2K flashbacks. While we're more than aware of this decade's omnipresence among Gen Z and their social and shopping platforms of choice—TikTok, Depop—no one could have guessed that the streets of Paris would act as the backdrop to this retro trend in all its colourful and controversial glory.
From low-rise trousers worn with tummy-baring tops to mesh fabrics, headscarves and cargo pants, there was very little on offer by way of more traditional French minimalism. Below, we chart the street style trends that lean heavily into the noughties and now have a very high fashion stamp of approval.