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Thread: Paris Fashion Week Ramblings - Men’s F/W 2019, Part 1 & 2

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    Default Paris Fashion Week Ramblings - Men’s F/W 2019, Part 1 & 2

    by Eugene Rabkin

    Part 1

    "Paris, France - And so it was on again, amidst confusion as to what designers should be designing and whom they should be catering to. These are the two questions many designers used to not ask - because a creator doesn’t owe you anything. The creator owes everything to his creativity and should have a “fuck the people” attitude- you either get it or you don’t. Things used to be that way before it became a gigantic business, and fashion as fashion used to be better because of it - more diverse in the strength of individual voices, more daring. Now that corporations have taken over and design is often driven by merchandisers, things look increasingly bleak for creativity. And the original voices left are ever more important for fashion with capital F. Luckily we still have a few of those, though they increasingly look like unicorns. But I will gladly report that this season they produced collections of strength and beauty as befits their talents. This was surely one of the best seasons in my recent memory.

    I started at Fumito Ganryu, the former Rei Kawakubo protege, who debuted his namesake line without the auspices of Comme des Garcons last season at Pitti Uomo in Florence. And while that show left much to be desired, the one in Paris went from strength to strength. Ganryu’s ethos is in streetwear, but he is a real designer. As if to prove that the first look Ganryu presented was like a shot fired at the mediocrity of streetwear. It consisted of a hoody and a pair of sweatpants, done in that mundane American standard issue gray cotton jersey that normally makes me cringe, but the voluminous cut of the garments was a mark of a careful thinker.* Ganryu’s mastery of the cut continued through the show where things that shouldn’t work - like a blazer cut traditionally flat in front but loose in the back - did. There were brilliant quilted capes and super-oversized duffle coats that somehow remained elegant.

    That evening I waited with trepidation for another Japanese debut in Paris - that of Takahiro Miyashita and his brand TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist. The former Number (N)ine designer made waves last January with his first show, again at Pitti Uomo, which gave him impetus to finally show in Paris. That this show was a triumph is an understatement. The obsessive complexity of Miyashita’s work was on full display in the cuts and detailing. There was a parallel to his show a year ago in that mix of bondage and climbing gear that resulted in harnesses, carabiners and straps that was deliciously ambiguous. The zippers on many garments provided additional complexity, giving the garments, many made of polyester and lined with Primaloft, more slouch or structure, making them highly adjustable to suit the mood of the wearer. This is the tech wear I’d want to live in. There were hats that became masks when unzipped and more quilting, giving the collection a protective quality that Miyashita has been exploring in his past two collections. But this armor had fragility - because make no mistake, Miyashita’s work has always been fragile - which added to the humanity of this show that was set to a heartbreaking mix of Thom Yorke, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Massive Attack, and my immediate new favorite, Nostalghia. The show was inspired by a Native American poet Levi Pata, whose words were printed on the patches that covered the garments."

    Full article on SZ-Mag


    Part 2

    "Paris, France – As I am writing this, I’ve gotten a chance to read a couple of reviews by the few critics I respect, and I am finding myself in an unusual position of an optimist. Both Guy Trebay in the New York Times and Angelo Flaccavento in the Business of Fashion lamented the sterility and predominance of corporate fashion during this season, with conglomerates, in cahoots with celebrities and influencers, dictating to the fashion sheep what they should be buying. While I wholeheartedly agree, as I said yesterday, I did not find myself overwhelmed by this feeling. I think I know why – I simply don’t go to any of the shows from LVMH and Kering brands. They don’t like me and I don’t like them, and I am happy with the arrangement. I look at the pictures and I am rarely surprised – you know that they will serve up palatable, consumable, boring stuff with logos in lieu of design. The shows I choose to go to are those of independent designers, and thus my ratio of good to bad shows is probably higher than that of critics from major publications. What I find sadder is that critics like Trebay and Flaccavento are too few and too far between. Flaccavento expressed a wish to give up reviewing shows altogether, and I don’t blame him (thankfully, he’s too passionate of a writer to do so.) But back to the shows.

    It was Friday morning and the question not asked but answered was this – what do hipsters wear when they age? Junya Watanabe. “Silver Swagger” was the name of the collection, and Watanabe sent down the runway models aged fifty and up to the soundtrack that ranged from funk to Tom Waits’s “Black Rider” to Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger.” It was a hoot, and the already familiar signature of Watanabe’s slicing and splicing suddenly looked fresh. Somehow the combinations – a wool coat with leather biker sleeves, black wool pants with denim appliqué pockets, and, my favorite, a long tweed coat with black canvas inserts – looked just right. I am also thankful for Watanabe knowing that at 10 a.m. the audience needs energy to wake up, and he does the job just right (Yohji, take note).

    From Junya, it was on to Ann Demeulemeester, where Sebastian Meunier delivered a capable collection that was far better than those of his last two seasons. His man is still decidedly feminine, much more so than that of Demeulemeester herself, but he mercifully toned it down on the Seinfeld pirate shirts and exposed nipples. Maybe because it was a Fall/Winter show, the clothes felt like they had more substance. Finally there were welcome touches of asymmetry, though I could’ve done without the peach silk robes – leave that to Haider Ackermann. The inspiration for the show was once removed – Meunier envisioned what inspired the Antwerp Six when they were young – and the answer was a delightfully screaming Siouxsie Sioux."

    Full article on SZ-Mag
    Last edited by Ahimsa; 01-22-2019 at 09:47 AM.

  2. #2

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    I didn't know Faust had already written this. I'll have to take some time over the next couple of days and look at the collections again and read the review in more detail, but just as designers have become increasingly safe in catering to customers, so too have critics and fashion writers. They've lost any semblance of objectivity and instead pander to the banal and the lazy. I'm glad Faust hasn't done that (not that I'd ever expect him to). Looks like he's part of a small few in that corner.
    An artist is not paid for his labor, but for his vision. - James Whistler

    Quote Originally Posted by BBSCCP View Post
    I order 1 in every size, please, for every occasion

  3. #3
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Thank you, Sombre. There are like three of us left :(
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

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    I love your style of writing, Faust. All of your articles that I've gone through have been great reads.

    There are like three of us left :(
    Aside from Flaccavento and Trebay, who you mentioned, would you recommend any others? I would love to read more from writers in this vein.

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    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyDagger View Post
    I love your style of writing, Faust. All of your articles that I've gone through have been great reads.



    Aside from Flaccavento and Trebay, who you mentioned, would you recommend any others? I would love to read more from writers in this vein.
    Older pieces by Alex Fury - he is brilliant. I am not a fan of his writing in the past few years, but he is very smart and knowledgable, and I love that he's a young guy killing it and not some old grandee who decrees from above. Cathy Horyn is fantastic, though I haven't followed her closely since she's moved on to the Cut.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    Older pieces by Alex Fury - he is brilliant. I am not a fan of his writing in the past few years, but he is very smart and knowledgable, and I love that he's a young guy killing it and not some old grandee who decrees from above. Cathy Horyn is fantastic, though I haven't followed her closely since she's moved on to the Cut.
    Thanks for the insight and for the tips: I always find this "reports" very interesting.

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    Great article, Faust. Your summary is always one of my highlights after Fashion Week.
    Did you ever receive any backlash from a brand due to your honest reporting?

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    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmsix View Post
    Great article, Faust. Your summary is always one of my highlights after Fashion Week.
    Did you ever receive any backlash from a brand due to your honest reporting?
    Not backlash per se, but I've definitely received their displeasure. But, miraculously, most brands have been very diplomatic and let me do my job. I talk to them and I explain that I always approach criticism as constructive.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  9. #9

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    Great article, good read.

    BTW Faust, dropped you a PM.

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