Paris pushed modern dressing forward. Dries Van Noten experimented with colliding textures and patterns, while at Bottega Veneta, Tomas Maier transformed the workmanís uniform into sophisticated jackets and pants. Lanvin married the formal with the casual, and Prada deconstructed classic menís clothing. Gucciís embellished aesthetic contrasted with Dior Hommeís stark one, and Yohji Yamamoto found inspiration in British checks. Each of these motifs has its practical application—hereís a look at the seasonís standout trends.

Some designers—like Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent and Kean Etro—applied bold strokes of color, while others embraced idiosyncratic prints. At Jil Sander, Raf Simons sculpted austere coats and suits from a marbled fabric. Dries Van Noten, who described his collection as "unconventional traditionalism," deftly mixed prints and textures, and Miuccia Prada took a sledgehammer to customary menís attire with skintight, flesh-colored sweaters and triangular pieces of fabric that clung to modelsí bodies like bikinis.

The reinvented tuxedo was a provocative presence on the runway. Far from the pedestrian version, it ran the gamut from avant-garde (Dolce & Gabbanaís sharp navy jacket covered in an imperceptible layer of organza) to nostalgic (Lanvinís mismatched, textured jackets and cropped trousers). "Itís more formal, more dressy, more crisp," said Lucas Ossendrijver, menís designer at Lanvin, of the collection. At Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Bailey dismissed the tuxedo jacket altogether and put gauzy V-neck sweaters over silk shirts and bow ties. Tomas Maier, Bottega Venetaís creative director, went his own way. At first glance, his strong-shouldered jackets and pleated white shirts appeared traditional, but below the waist were baggy pants that provided a striking counterpoint. "A manís wardrobe has become much broader," Maier said. "Things that were not possible before are possible now."

Tartan and other traditional prints were an unequivocal trend. British designers Paul Smith and Alexander McQueen used the former liberally in their collections, and Kris Van Assche worked contrasting checks into patchwork shirts. Yohji Yamamoto indulged his penchant for plaid and draped swaths of fabric in the print over his signature suits. You may not be wearing head-to-toe tartan come September, but that plaid tie might suddenly seem remarkably fresh.