Marcel Bruer: Wood-slat chair, 2nd version, 1923. Stained maple + horsehair weave
Looking at the menswear shows from Milan and Paris there’s a graphic, linear quality to the clothes, tempered with a softer handle to the fabrics. There is also a latent feeling of “craft werk” about the way noble tweeds, marls, cahmere drape, thick mohairs and wools have been married with the unnatural, technical aspects of weather proof nylons and fly away techno fabrics. Proletariat. Urbane. Graphic. These qualities recall the aesthetic of the Bauhaus movement – the principles of craft, beauty and workmanship. Top: Jil Sander. Bottom: Louis Vuitton, Neil Barrett [www.wwd.com]
The oblong collages at Jil Sander were distinctly modernist, playing on the idea of discreet decoration and also recalling the abstract forms of Miro and Barbara Hepworth. Artsy. Another key motif was the dissecting of the top half of the torso with a lateral seam that ran from shoulder over chest, allowing for interesting juxtapositions of texture and colour – plaid with a flat wool at Louis Vuitton. Neil Barrett went a step further with a verging-on-tricksy, vertically challenging approach. One half back, the other dark grey. A pared down version of Oskar Schlemer’s costumes for the theatre at the Dessau Bahaus, perhaps?
Yves Saint Laurent [www.wwd.com]
Stefano Pilatti’s efforts for Yves Saint Laurent have been widely criticised. Understandably so, perhaps, but I get the feeling that he was trying to take menswear somewhere new and somehow things got lost in translation. I bet come next season the ideas would have settled into something stronger and desirable. The Eastern promise of the Yves Saint Laurent collection [see also Kris Van Assche for Dior, Ricardo Tischi for Givenchy] seemed to have been inspired by the all-in-ones favoured by Johannes Itten.
All in all, this was a generally strong, thought-provoking season with a plethora of new silhouettes and ideas for next fall.
Bauhaus archiv, Magdalena Droste, Taschen 1998