Pin It

Dazed Overdose Paris Roundup

Robbie runs through the Paris menswear shows sounding out the highlights.

Following on from Milan’s black, somber, industrial overload, Paris was a welcome burst of color, from the likes of Romain Kremer and the rest of the Totem crew and of course John Galliano.

Romain Kremer opted out of following the general consensus of black and back-to-work uniformed mood and instead opted for giant pink liquorice creations in hour glass silohettes, made of pink fur and clear plastic . It was a perfect abstraction from the harsh economical realities that have bled through into the A/W09 collections, and instead was led by fantasy and humor, which was a much welcome breather.

A Paris highlight was Number (N)ine’s collection of poetic Nomads, with crystal encrusted leather veils and Tudor-esque costumes made from furniture upholstery fabrics and flock print curtains.

Continuing the communist power-dressing mood, Dries Van Noten, created a collection that looked tailor made for the venue it was shown in; an old communist convention building in the centre of Paris. Dries sent a humble uniform down the corridors of this 1970’s Kubrick style interior, making the models look as if they were office workers going about their day-to-day business in the building. Mint green suits and burgundy twin sets with wide leg trousers made up this uniform in this twilight zone show.

With a sound track of Grace Jones ‘Private life’ and rotating mirrored constructions dotted along the runway, positioned to make the models walk in and out of them to complete the circuit, Raf Simon’s created an atmosphere of retro futurism and a collection fit for any journey into space. A base star trekker uniform of beige and black suiting was finished with neoprene shrugs in acidic pink on a flawless crew of signature Raf Simons cloned boys.

Damir Doma showed in an elegant turn of the century decaying ballroom, a perfect setting for the signature romantic layered drapery.

Favorite accessory of the season, was seen at the Wintle show but was actually made by Rick Owens; a grey fur toy rabbit used as a small clutch, carried by Carine Roitfeld. Favorite show soundtrack also went to Wintle, it being Leonard Cohen’s ‘Everybody knows’ and the star Wintle look was the indulgent black astrakhan suit.

At the Rick Owens show it was a nice surprise to see gothic creations in a show format again. Futuristic teenage Goths stomped down the runway in black rubber knee length fishing wellies and back to front hair cuts, shaved to the skin at the front and swept towards the back of the head, as if they had been standing in front of a giant hair dryer beforehand.

Jean Paul Gaultier in his usual style managed to keep things light hearted also, using 1970s silhouette, inspired ‘Shaft’ style suiting, on a gang of models; male, female young, old, black, white and albino, all running skipping and jumping down the runway adorned with afro wigs to a reggae soundtrack.

Ann Demuelemeester dressed her boys ready for a ceremonial walk down the runway, decked out in their Sunday best, groomed for a religious occasion, in familiar tones of black and beige, continuing from last season. The new additions were the heavy over coats and beaten up top hats.

Galliano never fails to add some excitement in menswear as the shows are always one of the most exciting events on the menswear calendar and this one was not a let down. Set in an abandoned, rail station space, exposed to the elements with only the roof remaining, to get to the catwalk we had to walk down a romantic path with candles and red glitter leading the way. The show mixed familiar Galliano silhouettes and fantasy, mythological creatures including a section of deviant black and white fawn like creatures stomping down the runway one after another, like eerie characters from silent films of the 1920’s.

Rather unsurprisingly the most effortlessly beautiful menswear collection from A/W09 so far was Lanvin, who are at the height of their game. The genius behind Lanvin is both Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver’s ability to create a collection wearable enough to make you want everything in your wardrobe, whilst managing at the same time to tie it all together to make a beautiful theatrical show out of it. Styled once again by Another Man’s fashion director Alister Mackie, the show included some of the key boys of the season and some exciting new faces, effortless layering, trousers tucked into equestrian boots, colorful boy scout caps, silk neck scarves floating down the runway, tone on tone looks and signature fabric experimentation all accumulated in an empty factory space. In familiar Lanvin humour, it concluded with a reassuring wave from an Obama look-alike leading the procession, a tongue in cheek nod to the current air of Obama mania.

On the last day of Paris menswear we also saw Kim Jones debut at Dunhill. The collection was a refreshing take on this traditional suiting label draped in heritage, and it included subtle twists on tradition like sportswear inspired cuts on suit jackets, thin belts that fed through belt loops that were attached to the top of the waistband of trousers and Dunhill stationary used as accessories on hats and overcoats and worn by the familiar, burly Kim Jones model. All these elements successfully merged to combine a traditional menswear label with Kim’s unmistakable sense of style.

And Gareth Pugh was the Paris finale, creating a cyber gothic collection that was like an exaggerated extension of his own wardrobe that seemed to contribute to summing up the mood of the whole season on some of the most exciting new faces around.