So we’ve finally arrived in Paris, which was my last stop in Europe before heading over to New York. What is striking about Paris are all the venues and locations I’ve been able to experience. The architecture is just stunning and unfotunately you won’t see much of that in the pictures, but I’ve seen old banks, schools, palaces and God knows what. The French are creative when it comes to that. Regarding Spring/Summer 2018 there were some highs and some lows. Here’s what I thought.
Agnès B stands for quality and stepping into their showroom this time I was expecting nothing less. Their collection is a blend of that wonderful French summer chic, but also incorporates my favorite elements, smart/casual. Agnès B took us on a time trip back to the elegant summers of the thirties and the inspiration mounted in what Jay Gatsby would wear if F. Scott Fitzgerald would have been French. I’m not sure Jay would have dressed like this, especially after seeing the DAKS collection in Milan, but nevertheless an inspiring collection.
Angus Chiang is a Taiwanese designer and sitting on the runway for this show I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that this was like being in Taiwan high on acid. The collection is inspired by cycling around the island and many of the apparel details with their various colorful signs and street vendor’s slogans took us tripping through the island. Nevertheless, I love color and introducing the fishnet trend to men is just pure love. Not sure I’ll pull that one off myself though.
Avoc is a Parisian label which creates inclusive fashion for a gender-neutral future. You can see the inspiration coming from architectural lines, structured materials and references to decorative arts and pop culture. This is as close to ready-to-wear clothing it comes and many of the styles are dreamy. I’m in.
Chin Mens seems to love history as much as I do. Standing on a staircase with beautiful pillars and the sun gazing on the poor models (the middle one being my buddy Reubs) created the atmosphere from which the collection named Underlinens also draws its inspiration. This might far fetched, but actually isn’t. Hear me up. During the Victorian era, women wore an extensive amount of underwear. Back then they were categorized into two kinds, underlinens and structural garments. The latter created the prominent Victorian silhoutte, whereas the underlinens served as a protection for the valuable corset and dress from your body. That lead to the designer to reconsider the intimate relationship between clothing and our skin. The collection reinterprets the underlinens in a masculine and contemporary manner where some (not all) pieces could easily be made inte everyday wardrobe staples.
Dior, that iconic house which creates garments you couldn’t even think about wearing. Well, think again. Here the freedom of innocence prevails and marks the fusion of sport and suit and that pretty much sums up my style, if I’m to have any in particular. Somewhat unfortunately we saw a nod to the Supreme x LV collaboration even here, but I’ll oversee that as Dior finally created something that appealed to me. Now I won’t feel like a stranger in their store anymore and I think that’s a first, ever.
Haider Ackermann held a show with a collection that pretty much spoke to every fibre of my being. Monochrome palettes of beautiful colors, stripes and even polka dots. The lilac suit is stunning as is Haider Ackermann’s incredible cut and drape work which included his signature silhouettes, such as the low-rise tapered pants and suit jackets. The show itself was almost hypnotic with an intense drum beat, intensifying the closer to the finale we got and I’m still in a state of admiration for this brand.
Hed Mayner put up a show in once again a beautiful location. Couldn’t get enough of those during PFWM. And as we haven’t seen Jordy in a while I thought I’d put both of his outfits for you to see, haha. The inspiration to the collection comes from things dear to me: Spirituality, tradition, vulnerability, power and nobility. Hed Mayner balances the strength and vulnerability to deliver a timeless modern luxury to menswear. Thumbs up!
Henrik Vibskov is THE designer from our neighbors in Denmark, albeit there might be lots of other good ones from there as well. I had high expectations for the show and wasn’t let down, although I have to admit the AW17 collection I saw in Copenhagen in February was stronger. During that show one of the performers fell asleep and that actually inspired the team to create the collection named Wake up!. What I love about this however is that he’s introducing stripes, ruffles and everything hot in women’s fashion to us men and I for one will definitely for the red striped, layered outfit to the right.
Icosae put on a show that surely brought back a lot of nostalgia for someone my age (pre-jurassic) as there were flashback both to Green Day and My Chemical Romance. This actually was a lot more London than Paris, but that made me even happier as Paris needs to get edgier. The pieces were sharp and sleep with structured jackets, sateen shirts and trousers with studded hems. Punk was all over this show and one cannot but love the hoodie with the inscription “The fool, the lover, the poet” to your left.
Julius is not just a fashion label, it’s a project which allows Tatsuro Horikawa to mix music, visual and graphic art in a unique and original way without outside restriction or control. To me, THIS was the show. The look in the middle is me every day in the week and the futuristic uniform which reminds me of something post-apocalyptic movies feature on your left is just pure love. Yay to discovering an amazing brand.
Namacheko held a show in a beautiful courtyard that some of you maybe saw glimpses of on my Instastories. The brand was founded by brother and sister, Dilan and Lezan Lurr of Kurdish decent and the collection somewhat surprisingly (we have a lot of Kurdish immigrants) was inspired by the comparison between Dilan and Lezan as Kurds, and Dilan and Lezan as Swedes.
Officine Generale‘s designer Pierre Mahéo has admittedly said he ran out of ideas for creating this collection and I can totally relate to how hard it is to produce new, interesting content all the time. He took some time off and rested at the Hotel Il Pellicano in Italy with its rich cinematic history and finally got back the spark of creating. You need to be out of your context to be able to absorb influences, he said. He also encouraged many of the models to smile if they felt like it, and sitting at the end of the runway, when passing me and almost back into safety of the fitting room, most of them actually did. A delightful small detail, but ever so delicate.
Pellat Finet put yet another nostalgia trip on my pallet. This was California in the Nineties on acid and the collection was titled “Happy Days” which at least made me smile when I saw these reminiscents of my youth walk by. There was bright and skimpy swimwear paired with sporty pants, shorts and skirts and a few cannabis leaf motifs that the label took a stand with. I don’t do cannabis, but I wouldn’t mind the weed print on that jacket at all.
Walter van Beirendock is a member of the influential ‘Antwerp Six,’ now head of fashion of their alma mater the Royal Academy Antwerp, designer Walter Van Beirendonck has long been a driving force for change in the fashion industry. He continues to show collections that are graphically strong, conceptually challenging and technically innovative. As part of the Antwerp Six, Van Beirendonck established the city of Antwerp and its academy as fashion centres in the 1980s. Van Beirendonck has nurtured many top talents in today’s fashion establishment, including Raf Simons and Kris van Assche. Yes, I get all that, but this show was to me totally over-hyped and the Legolas goes Pride looking models walking down the runway just didn’t do it for me, and you know how much I love edgy design and playing with color and materials.
White Mountaineering gave us a show that left a smile on my face. Sure, we saw the denim-on-denim familiar to us from Milan (yay) on the runway again, but also pieces that are inspired by the serenity of the Japanese archipelago. This is sportswear at its best and what can I say, I do happen to love blue.
Y/Project is last, but certainly not least. It’s a show I had anticipated the entire week and certainly didn’t let me down. It’s wild and even crazy at times and take staple items, toss them into limbo and create something unusual, unexpected, but ever so delightful. You can’t tell from the pictures, but this seriously is something else. The details are immaculate and the pattern cutting is insane to be honest. In a good way that is.
So what’s your take on Paris? Boring, what you expected or mind blowing? I’ll just say, wait until you see what New York had to offer.
Pictures courtesy of IMaxTree and myself.