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Thread: Fall/Winter 2020 Paris Menswear Report

  1. #1

    Default Fall/Winter 2020 Paris Menswear Report

    by Eugene Rabkin

    "Paris, France – Once again the fashion horde descended on Paris, the city of great beauty and inconvenience, to see what the best of menswear designers would offer. Hobbled by a transit strike, the city reminded the fashion bubble denizens that there is a real world outside with people who shop at supermarkets and cook at home and who have to take the metro. Complaints about traffic were the talk of the week, largely alien to me since I learned to use the rental electric bikes last summer – my greatest Parisian discovery since that Japanese-owned coffee place I’ll never tell you about.

    My own adventures began at Undercover, and one could hardly ask for a better start. Jun Takahashi treated us to a spectacle of a dance performance he dreamed up with Suspiria’s choreographer Damien Jalet. It was based on Akira Kurosawa’s film “Throne of Blood,” a rendition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth set in medieval Japan. There were three scenes, and the final one, with arrows raining down on the protagonist was most awe-inspiring. As were the clothes, brilliantly layered, medieval costumes turned into modern day wear. This was no easy task, Takahashi told me after the show, but he felt that the dance performance somehow allowed him to try. This interpretation was particularly evident in the leather jackets that were quilted and embellished to resemble samurai armor. And what’s a leather perfecto today, if not modern armor? There were hoodies with yukata string closures and raincoats with kimono sleeves and collars. Another stand out for me were the two priest coats, in black and white with embroidery on the back.

    Two auteurs are better than one, I thought, sitting at the Rick Owens show the next day. On the runway Owens makes no concessions to anyone or anything – not the demands of the fashion zeitgeist, not the consumer preferences. Here is a designer who could sell a thousand logoed hoodies a year, if he wanted to. Instead, his collections get more and more challenging, more thought-provoking, more… Owensy? Just when you think the platform boots couldn’t get taller, they do. Just when you think the shoulders couldn’t get stronger, they do. This collection, called Performa, was inspired by Owens’s (and Michele Lamy’s) experience at the eponymous art fair. This was less obvious from the clothes; more obvious were the David Bowie influences. One of the most famous capricorns (one of the least famous is writing this article), Bowie blazed the trail of pop culture subversion in so many directions, that in retrospect it’s surprising to think that Owens hasn’t gotten to him sooner. But Bowie perfectly fits the very welcome glam rock direction Owens has taken in the past few seasons. There were references to the Alladin Sane era of Bowie in the one-legged knit leotards, and to the rocker’s famous costumes designed by Kansai Yamamoto in the linear embellishments of tailored jackets. It was all so welcomingly different from anything else one sees, that one couldn’t help but root for it."

    Full article of Part I here.

    "Paris, France – At the Sacai show Saturday I was thinking whether a designer who sticks to a formula will sooner or later tire her audience out. For now, at least for me, Chitose Abe’s answer is a definitive “No.” Her design direction is a recipe with ever changing ingredients that keeps the dish tasting both delicious and fresh. The key here is that her technical mastery of construction is so complete that it has not yet failed to impress. So it was with this collection, for which she imagined turning an outfit into a single garment. The first look was women’s, and consisted of a peacoat merged with a bomber bottom and trouser legs slashed open and turned into a peplum; the three together made a coat. Varsity jackets were welded to peacoat bottoms, double-breasted coats had nylon MA-1 inserts and so on. The pleated dresses sported custom bandana motifs by an artist Dr. Woo. Of note was a collaboration with Ten-C, the technical outerwear brand that used to be designed by Paul Harvey.

    That weekend the Paris transit strike continued unabated, which made getting to and from TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist’s show a particular adventure. But it was all worth it. Miyashita put on a show that was deeply personal and touching. In part it dealt with his own mental health issues and much of the clothes resembled straight jackets made of wool gabardine or corduroy. Coupled with tall riding boots and shorts, they formed a refreshingly atypical silhouette. There were prints of quotes by Charlie Chaplin. The complexity of design could only be fully appreciated at the showroom. These garments were radically new and they will surely challenge the wearer.

    After the show was over, my task was to get from Montparnasse to the Marais to see the show of Geoffrey B. Small. The temperature dropped, the Metro was shut down, and the traffic was atrocious, with Ubers costing 40 euros. Half-frozen from my glamorous half-hour bike ride, I made it after all, and I was not disappointed. Small’s collection was dedicated to Ric Ocasek, the late singer of The Cars and a fellow Bostonian. But the show was anything but mournful; there was levity in both the clothes and The Cars soundtrack. This was a welcome turn for Small, who tends to be radically serious in both his approach to clothes-making and his worldview. His vision of rock-and-roll style interpreted solely through tailoring, without a hint of leather or denim that would be natural to expect made for a unique take. Ocasek often sported a pair of aviators, and for this collection Small collaborated with the eyewear label Rigards on custom aviator sunglasses made of titanium. At six grams they were the lightest glasses I’ve ever handled."

    Full article of Part II here.

  2. #2


    great write up as normal

  3. #3


    Artisanal writing................
    “You know,” he says, with a resilient smile, “it is a hard world for poets.”
    .................................................. .......................

    Zam Barrett Spring 2017 Now in stock

  4. #4


    Saberi should continue making clothes from natural materials with handcraft techniques, sturdy garments that are built to last

    by Eugene Rabkin

    great words

  5. #5

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