Two’s company, three’s a crowd. It’s getting pretty crowded in here…
Jil Sander [www.wwd.com]
Is this just a slight distraction from the matter at hand (the matter being real clothes for real men)? A ruse to be taken at face value, photographed a few times in I.D. magazine and then buried in that casket labelled “Implausible Ideas in Menswear”? Or is there more to this idée fixe than meets the eye?
This season has produced some stellar clothes so I wonder why so many designers couldn’t leave it just at that. I guess every show needs a showpiece but usually things like that are left to womenswear. Earlier I wrote a post about the emasculation of men in relation to this sudden onslaught of “man skirts’ [Skirms] but on reflection I’m starting to wonder if that has anything to do with it at all. Maybe we need to look eastwards at the cloaks of Tibetan monks, the severe tunics of Maoist China or, closer to home, the Vatican City and priestlike cassocks. I could even go further to suggest, controversially, the Taliban and Middle Eastern dress. Is this the brave new frontier, Le Shocking? We’ve been bombarded with so many images of the war and Bin laden that the most “edgy” thing a designer could do is propose a silhouette that hints at this. All those billowing blouses and dropped crothches seen at YSL and Givenchy.
Or maybe I’m reaching here. This really is just a flight of fantasy that will soon enough flit back into the design studio. Let’s see how many of these purveyors of the skirm practice what they preach. The proof of the pudding’s in the eating after all. Or should that be the proof of the skirt is in the wearing?
War or Peace: Draughty times ahead for the man about town
The Boys From the Bauhaus_ Merging craft and technology with a singular style. Western Industrial versus Eastern Promise. The way to go.
Louis Vuitton, Neil Barrett, Bottega Veneta, Maison Martin Margiela, Raf Simmons
YSL, Givenchy, Rick Owens, Jil Sander, Christian Dior, Raf Simmons (again)
Images: bauhaus archiv, magdalena droste, taschen, 1998
Marc Jacobs and Paul Helbers have raised the bar so bloody high. This is total, absolute luxury. The shows so far haven’t delivered such a precise, no nonsense line up of perfect, manly clothes. If you’ve gots the cash this is really where you should blow it. Inspired by the Wiener Werkstätte movement, formed in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century, the clothes have been drafted with the precision of an architect. However, there’s a certain nonchalance about the way they have been put together. Natural. The muted colour palette is a dream: coal, smoke, putty, camel, brown. The tactile is played off against the techno – calf skins, mohairs, velvets versus quilted nylons and hi-tech suitings. Great boots too. Did I say delicious?
Waltzing Viennese, I really think so: Josef Hoffman// Palais Societ, Brussells
catwalk images: http://www.wwd.com
Neil Barrett, Neil Barrett, Burberry
The biggest impression I’m getting from Milan is coats. Obvious, perhaps, seeing that its the winter collections and all, but there seems to be some extra love being given in the coat department. Great volumes, nifty details, luxe textures, good buttons, expensif colourways. Just delicious_
Pringle, Jil Sander par Raf Simons, Alexander McQueen
Last but not least: Puffa ULTIMO, jil sander
Cordon Bluff: Come home to Momma
Prada Menswear Autumn-Winter 2010 [www.wwd.com]
The opening section of the Prada show felt the strongest. Even though it felt like the label was treading water/ reissuing house classics it somehow came across as fresh and looked cute, a word seldom used when describing menswear. The play on proportions was subtle and it quietly twisted classics. See the collegiate blazers in camel paired with shrunken, almost feminine marl knits. Bookish.
There’s an ease about these looks that makes them feel relevant and desirable. So much of the other shows were a bit over-styled or too focussed on youth culture. There’s a late 60s/70s vibe about the collection. Sort of a renegade librarian. The abstract camo prints that played on the idea of formica hinted at Julia Child whose life was brought to celluloid by Meryl Streep last year. In fact, the whole show seemed like it could have been inspired by Julia’s imaginary boffin son, home from Yale for thanksgiving, hanging out in the kitchen with momma, circa 1975.