Saturday, January 19, 2008

paris - men's fall/winter 2008 - day one


in the small ethnic, and slightly eccentric niche that designers such as romeo gigli, etro and dries van noten has made for themselves, it would be safe to say that van noten is probably the most succesfull of the lot. quite an accomplishment coming from a designer that grew up in belgium, a country not exactly known for its multicultural society. however being one of the designers who launched a guerilla collection in london in 1986 as part of the now legendary antwerp six, van noten has infused his designs with his trademark mix-mash of prints and a naive sense of playfulness that has earned him legions of fans all over the world. the departure of this collection is that van noten seemed to have toned down some of his trademarks. leaving one of his single statements to act as an anchor to the looks he presented such as the paint splatter on the trousers that resembled butterfly wings or the patchwork print jackets. there was also a new sense of youth to this collection. a continuing trend that first surfaced with last summer's collection. it seems that van noten is slowly changing the course of his menswear line into a younger more relaxed direction, and at the same time adapting his trademark touches in the process.


the world of yohji yamamto has always been immensed in a hopefull post apocalyptic landscape he unleashed to the world since showing in paris many, many years ago. the world "original" gets passed around so often these days that it's become a cliche. yohji yamamoto however is one that is fully deserving of that title. there was a sense of continuation from his last spring collection here with the army touches and the plays of volume and asymmetry. although those are touches that are trademark yohji (actually a trademark of most japanese designers), what made this a yohji show was in the expressive masculine tailoring. he has said that he wanted to return to a more robust appearance in menswear so he exaggerated parts that hyper stylized the male form. that meant a stronger shoulder, a less tappered waist to provide a boxier silhouette with a gracious leg to make the over all appearance more full and less rackish. he also played with traditionally male icons such as plaid, military, and eighties power dressing done in all the brilliant tailoring techniques he is reknowned for. the ultimate example of his ingenious tailoring was in the looks that closed the show. swaths of plaid were draped and tucked into jackets and vests that betrayed no clue as to where the plaid ended and the jackets started. just like his magic. it was there and the beginning and it shows no signs of disappearing.


the tortured outsider is a character that designer takahiro miyashita seems to have great affection for. kurt cobain for one, seems to be his recurring muse. hardly a suprise since miyashita belongs to that generation that was deeply affected by grunge and its ripple effect that touched every corner of popular culture. as monumental as a youth movement grunge was, the suicide of its brightest voice has also made grunge a sentimental moment in time for those who experienced it first hand. as much of an inspiration cobain is, to be frank, there's only so much plaid we can take season after season from the same designer. so he was wise to touch on other mediums affected by grunge such as the cinema, and in this case gus van sant's seminal film my own private idaho starring river phoenix. the young actor who died tragically of a drug overdose years before his prime. the most obvious result of these influences is that miyashita's collections are always a reflection of the complexities and uncertainties of youth, similar to what raf simons is doing. whereas cobain and phoenix were characters who lost all hope, miyashita sees them as an example in order to divine it from. whether be it through monastic touches like last season's crosses, or the protective layering and warmth of shearling and lumberjack coats and comfortable moccasin boots done in richer colours. something that was quite a departure from the desinger's usually sombre colour palette. and this time he even referenced the vintage attire aspect of grunge with all the thrift store/seventies touches. an act to maybe take the viewer back to a time when things were simpler. one can almost deduce the idea that miyashita is designing to provide a certain level of protection and comfort for his customers. something that he maybe wishes he could've given kurt or river.


No comments:

Blog Archive