Paris Menswear opens with arty tailoring, and a new star
Finally, after a three-day digital Paris haute couture season – where one got to see surprisingly few clothes – the menswear season opened in the French capital on Thursday, with lots and lots of stimulating new fashion. And one really great Paris debut from fledgling house EGONlab, which highlighted the overall mood of tailored artiness.
Where many couture houses concentrated on mood pieces and quick teasers, menswear designers created full-blown videos with complete collections, shot with panache and featuring spanking new soundtracks. Shazam recognized few of the video soundtracks on Thursday, also opening day of the five-day and 68-brand French menswear season.
The day began with prodigious panache from Etudes, by the inventive trio of Aurélien Arbet, Jérémie Egry and José Lamali. One extended, 11-minute tracking shot through Paris - verdant alleys; gritty cobblestone stairways; disused railway tracks or graffitied tower-blocks were filmed in the hilly north of the capital. Shot by Indie filmmaker Grégoire Dyer à la Orson Welles in the 20th arrondissement, for a collection entitled Yes Future.
Opening with oversized white laboratory coats and followed by voluminous parkas; striped shirts with Keith Haring images; acid-dyed denim pants; and crisp, pale grey wool boxy suits worn with bovver boots. Plus, some great patchwork shirts of photos of birds and sunsets, taken from images by Roe Etheridge. Who, in turn, shot the look-book of the collection. In a word, arty street wear shot by an art photographer. All told, a thoroughly smart way to use digital media to present a collection.
One also got to witness some great cricket stripe blazers and linen suits from CMMN SWDN, whose video was shot inside an all-white studio dissected by bales of straw. Add in dandified, leather, second-skin shirts with Kurbits floral prints culled from Swedish artist Carl Larsson and varsity dressing gowns for a cool style statement for summer. All inspired by the time by husband and wife designers Saif and Emma – spent in lockdown inside a cottage on the Swedish coast.
Full marks to EGONlab for a first-rate video, named Renewal and shot in collaboration with Kisol. Based in the Marais, EGONlab is one of the most interesting new labels in Paris, one of those who merge utility clothes, military detailing and punchy graphics to great effect. Their debut presentation on the official Paris schedule – which they called The Myth of Renewal – had a fine, utopian air – and starred sculpted matinée idol tuxedos; survivalist harness waistcoats; strict hunting jackets and Arcadian print shirts. EGONlab also collaborated with Sergio Tacchini, with jokey sweatshirts and baseball jackets finished with cat cartoons. A marque with real design chops and street cred’. Expect to hear lots more about EGONlab and their two creators – Florentin Glémarec and Kévin Nompeix. Talk about a great first appearance!
The morning ended with Wooyoungmi. The talented Korean, however, presented a rather modest video of long-haired youth marching around a red-walled stage or standing on chairs. Featuring double-breasted, fine wool suits; patch pocket men's denim cargo pants and off-kilter, A-line dresses or khaki army shirts for gals, the overall effect looked far too modest. Back to the digital drawing board for Wooyoungmi.
Inclusivity was the theme at Blue Marble with a mixed cast of posh, hippie skateboarders shot in and around Paris. Where one could witness great tie-dye Henleys; gutsy track pants; matelassé coats and sensational silk shirts in prints worthy of Mati Kareen. All ending with a march down to a lakeside marina, which felt like a triumph. Modern, psychedelic chic at its most appealing.
Ironically, it was left to the day’s biggest star designer – Jonathan Anderson - to show the only teaser. Or, rather, a “photobook” of the Spring/Summer collection he had already unveiled last week online, from his London studio in his “Show in a Box” on July 2. Today’s 35 seconds, instead, consisted of handsome, shirtless, curly-haired artist Carlos Maria Romero lying on top of a series of images. Patiently pinning the photos, fabric swatches, sketches and dried flowers into his own personal order. All of them taken from the boxes that JW Anderson had mailed to editors and VIPs the previous week. Confusing, yes, but kind of cool too.
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