An extraordinary mens blog for the ordinary man
Bonjour Paris, the latest stop on the travelling circus of the Menswear shows, following on from Milan. People sometimes don’t give Paris the credit its due, citing that none of the big money players show here or that no trends are created from Paris. This just isn’t true if you look at the schedule we see some of the biggest Fashion names in the world, Paul Smith, Louis Vuitton, normally Yves Saint Laurent and Dior Homme. Then we have some of the most creative brands in Fashion, Martin Margiela, Bernhard Willhelm, Dries Van Noten and Raf Simons. So without further ado lets kick off with Hardy Amies, a quintessentially Britian name renowned for dressing amongst others over the years, HRH The Queen ! However there was nothing feminine about this collection debuting in the French capital. Creative Director Claire Malcolm showed a sterling collection of understated luxe, at times reminiscent of vintage Bond, James Bond, but managed to achieve the perfect balance of retro and contemporary.
On to Mugler, who is now under the creative helm of the man that seems to never sleep and is constantly spanning the globe either as Lady Gaga’s creative stylist, contributing Editor of Vogue Hommes Japan, VMan or Fashion Director for the High Street brand Uniqlo, Nicola Formichetti literally doesn’t seem to stop or sleep 24/7. He seemed to be, amongst a number of Paris collections who were inspired by the sea. Although it wasn’t that obvious from the clothes, the sea reference was in the colours and materials used. But once again, usually for Mugler, it had a bias to formalwear and once again we saw a futuristic, space inspired range.
Raf Simons, the golden boy, who was key in the fashion house musical chairs earlier in the year between Yves Saint Laurent, Jil Sander and Christian Dior, showed his signature collection which was classic formal Raf. I wasn’t overly keen on the shorts or the asexual element, but the tailoring, colour palette and mixing of causal and formal was masterful.
Louis Vuitton, the linchpin in its parent company LVMH (the other being Moet Hennessy) has to be the lux of luxury brands and what Kim Jones, sent down THE most amazing catwalk, for their Menswear SS13 show was nothing short of brilliance. Once again we saw references to the power of the sea, more literal this time, but nonetheless a beautiful and unbelievable wearable collection. Kim is really settling in at the House of Vuitton and although a cliche, seems to be going from strength to strength.
Riccardo Tisci, for the French heritage powerhouse Givenchy, searched deep into his memories of growing up in Southern Italy and the great part played by the Catholic Church in his upbringing. Roman Catholic iconology of the Virgin Mary in differing interpretation appeared on many of Tisci’s garments as well as main of the models appearing in almost Priest like tailored uniforms. Like Jones at Vuitton, Riccardo Tisci seems to be enjoying calling his home Givenchy.
Kenzo, was the favoured choice of the Uber Blogger Navaz Batliwalla of DisneyRollerGirl.net, “I loved the energy and staging of the Kenzo show. Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have reinvigorated the brand, revisiting the original ‘Jungle Jap’ for 2013, incorporating sporty but tailored shapes and bold, wearable prints. The styling and accessories were wonderful too; as retailers these guys know what sells and Kenzo is shaping up to be a very desirable and identifiable brand”.
Over at Dior Homme, Kris van Assche, showed a Navy & Naval collection of rope detailing, gold buttons and braiding. The other reference du dour at Dior other then, once again the sea and nautical nods seemed to be the bomber jacket in its many forms often in an almost 1970’s bover boy kinda way.
We started with a British house in Hardy Amies and we finish with one in Paul Smith, an Englishman in Paris, who started on a good note, well in my book anyway, with the soundtrack to his entire show being supplied by the dulcet tones of Bernard Sumner and Mancunian genius of New Order. Sir Paul offered a super sharp, in every way, and colourful collection, which no doubt will prove as popular with his fans from Nottingham to Nagoya.