Miharayasuhiro

August 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

How memories fragment was the gigantic theme that Mihara Yasuhiro took on board for his Miharayasuhiro Spring collection. He had a deeply personal motivation. British stylist Bryan McMahon, who died at the beginning of the year, worked with Mihara for years. In fact, the designer called McMahon his mentor. “I come from the country of the kimono and the original street style,” he said. “Bryan brought classic tailoring and elegance to the brand.” So Mihara wanted his new collection to stand as a memorial to all their collaborations. Given that these included some of the most memorable menswear productions of the past decade, that promised something special, even more so when Mihara brought in fashion editors Kim Howells and Luke Day, two of the people closest to McMahon. So the collection unfolded as a patchwork of Mihara and McMahon, whose hat and beads accessorized some of the models.

Mihara’s sterling characteristic has always been the way his clothes can carry a story. They are aged—torn, laddered, frayed—in ways that suggest life-changing experience. The designer agreed that the natural status of the Mihara man is probably refugee. He said he felt like one himself. Probably McMahon did, too. That was in the clothes today: the double layers, with the top layer distressed to reveal the fabric below; the denims with the Freddy Krueger slashes; the tie-dyed knit parka with threads pulling; the pieces patched together to create unusual proportions. There was more to the patterns this season—leopard, paisley—which might have had something to do with McMahon’s own eleganza. It loaned the incongruous edge, which is another Mihara signature. And kudos as usual to the footwear, particularly the half-silver/half-suede desert boots.
—Tim Blanks
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Hermès

August 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Véronique Nichanian has always created pieces with print at Hermès. It is, after all, a print house, as she acknowledged at tonight’s presentation. But she never showed those clothes. And now she agrees that men might have come around to color and print much sooner if they had ever been offered them. So what we had here was a making-up-for-lost-time situation, and Nichanian was making the most of it.

Hermès prints are legendary: almost psychedelic in their vivid color, eye-popping in their detail. Which made the route taken by Nichanian quite radical in that corporate context. The dominant graphic was a fractured print she called Fragments. She played its abstract blockiness against a blurry ikat called Flores or a digitally influenced number named Glitch, and a detailed print of flora and fauna dubbed Les Jardins d’Arménie. Recombinations of the four were used in the same outfit—shirt, trousers, bandanna. It wasn’t as in-your-face as it sounds. The prints were all within the same tonal range, so no eyeballs were harmed by combining them. Still, this was Hermès, heartland of wealth that has no inclination whatsoever to announce its presence, so there was definitely a frisson of otherness. A more traditionally luxurious terra firma was regained with a crocodile sweatshirt in a shade of deep green Nichanian decided was “eucalyptus.” But she matched it with a pair of poplin jogging pants in the Glitch print, overdyed with said eucalyptus. This was an old Hermès and a new Hermès meeting in an interzone of casual luxury.

In the end, that may be the primary achievement of Nichanian’s decades-long tenure at the house. She has quietly defined a category that other designers in the luxury arena are now scrabbling for. Suits with sandals was one of the season’s big statements—Nichanian has already been there, done that, moved on. Her crocodile creations are obvious apexes in the pyramid of desirability, but a cardigan in knitted nubuck is scarcely less riveting. And a windbreaker cut from the canvas used for yacht spinnakers is arcane—and humble—enough to satisfy those for whom hide is hideous.
—Tim Blanks
Runway Feed

Ami

August 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

A school bell sounded as a loud crush of teens spilled from classrooms above into seats opposite the audience, a straggler in a red knit cap triggering applause. This was the start of class and Ami‘s Spring men’s collection.

Designer Alexandre Mattiussi said he’d been watching the American TV shows Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills, 90210, as well as the French teen-pulp hit Premiers Baisers. High school, high-camp melodrama! You can imagine him absorbed in hours-long Netflix marathons. The Breakfast Club, that oft-cited source of teen self-discovery, also came into play. “Really, I just wanted to have fun,” he enthused after the show.

Indeed, this was a joyous, energetic ode to teen spirit. Schoolboy stripes in sporty team colors set the raucous tone, punctuated by heart prints and smiley-face badges on baggy basics. Ever present was that classic campus uniform of the two-buttoned blazer over a starched cotton button-down, here untucked, and shorts. T-shirts came in bold two-tone combos and track shoes in “Sour Patch” colors, said Mattiussi, who’d clearly done his homework.
—Lee Carter
Runway Feed

Lanvin

August 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

There were two doors on the catwalk of the Lanvin show today, one big, one small. They were, on the one hand, representative of the Lanvin logo—one door for the mother, the smaller one for the daughter. On the other, they had some personal significance for Alber Elbaz. Backstage before the show, he said that the best words of advice his late mother ever gave him were these: “Be big in your work but small in your life.” Humility—unlikely as it may sound, it was the quality that tickled at the edge of Lucas Ossendrijver’s new collection. “Men don’t change every season, even every year,” said Ossendrijver. “What changes is their lifestyle. We always set luxury too high. Now men are on their bikes or on the metro or using Uber. They don’t wear a suit, or if they do, it’s different, with sneakers, and sleeves pushed up.” So that was where the collection was coming from: still with Lanvin’s decadent elegance but infused with an active, urgent spirit.

It was most obvious in clothes that looked like they were falling apart with their sense of pace. The topstitching on the side seam of a pair of pants was coming undone, the saddle-stitching on leather jackets was unthreading. It was an audacious effect in a collection that is famously priced high, but it conveyed a nothing-to-lose quality that was much more appealing than acute preciousness. For example, Ossendrijver talked about how the finale of the show, originally intended as eveningwear, morphed into something much more chaotic: a vest collaged from overlays of exhaustively hand-stitched squares (the result had a fuzzy, furry hand) under a leather-patched pajama-cum-biker jacket under a pristine white tux jacket. A crazy quilt. The tailoring elsewhere was subjected to similar glamorous indignity. A perfectly nice white coat had its sleeves slashed off, its back replaced with cotton voile.

Elbaz’s stated goal has been making luxury relevant. He’s looking for the middle ground between fantasy and reality, “how to find the middle without being mediocre,” as he puts it. There were all sorts of looks today that men might dismiss as fashion indulgences, but there was plenty more that answered a need for accessible individuality: suits more generously cut, exaggerated but masculine coats, even the blousons with their zipped-up hoods. That middle ground is much closer than Elbaz thinks.
—Tim Blanks
Runway Feed

Y-3

August 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Yohji Yamamoto quite literally dove into his Spring concept for Y-3. “I found a tropical island in the south of Japan called Miyako-jima,” he said before the show. “The sea there is like heaven. So I thought, Let’s go to the beach.” Specifically, he said, “I love diving,” noting that he dives freestyle, without the use of equipment. “On one dive I sank very deep. I felt like a baby. It was my therapy.”

Yamamoto, 70, translated the experience into a nostalgic yet accessible surf theme, merging a modern understanding of the sport with a vintage fifties vibe. To a soundtrack that alternated between ukulele strains and more stock rock, models ambled around surfboards and sun-faded wood planks in Yamamoto’s trademark black-on-black cottons and nylons, nicely infused with bright floral prints and sunset colors.

In his main line, Yamamoto has recently begun experimenting with shock-fluoro brights in a welcome turnabout, but for Y-3 he kept the color pops to tropical flowers, such as hibiscus and bird-of-paradise, in crowded compositions of pink, purple, and yellow. These used to be called Hawaiian prints, as in Hawaiian shirts, which were all the rage in the fifties. Here, they thrived in a modern, sublime way—as a long slicker, for example, or on slip-ons and skinny ties. Other colors made the cut, too, like a soothing sea-foam green. And who’d deny ivory linen makes a superb accompaniment to matte black?

Yamamoto is occasionally called out for not expressing his Y-3 collections more cerebrally, like in his eponymous line, and it’s true that the Y-3 logo and Adidas three stripes were fairly ubiquitous here. But it’s worth remembering that at Y-3, he’s working with a massive, multifaceted sports label with global branding needs that go far beyond the niche and abstract. This outing was an overture to that market, and in those terms, it worked great.
—Lee Carter
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Paul Smith

August 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Sir Paul Smith is known to take his party hosting very seriously, busying about and hovering over shoulders to make sure his guests have all they need for a proper frolic. The same meticulous pursuit of leisurely perfection seeped through his Spring men’s collection, staged under the soaring glass dome of the Bourse de Commerce, where a site-specific garden of potted cacti and succulents had been installed, replacing the piles of Oriental rugs in the same space last season.

He explained the plants backstage. “My young designers, who are only 20 to 25, are so interested in cultivating their own gardens,” he said. “I think it’s so delightful that the young generation wants to do that. The news is so full of horror. When people ask my advice, I think of them and say, ‘Just relax. Tend a garden.'”

The greenery, which made it into the collection as a fern print, was but one facet of the sprawling show. Smith typically melds eclectic cultural sources with idiosyncratic colors and textures, creating a well-traveled, well-informed Pop sensibility. He did the same here in a disparate assemblage of near-louche scarves, desert shades, friendship rings, subtle paisley (if paisley can be subtle), at least two kinds of fringe, papery leather, a chevron motif, purplish plaids, and kitschy prints—all converging to create a lively and decidedly outré rejoinder to the chaos of the world.

The two pieces of a traditional suit—no vests here, somewhat surprisingly—had been pulled apart and paired with other, more casual items of the modern man’s wardrobe: pajamas, tunics, track pants, shorts, sweatshirts, Harrington jackets. The liquid loungewear aspect may not find its way into men’s wardrobes as easily as the humorous knits or the dusty dégradé. But it’s an option, should any of Smith’s customers be in the market for proper frolic attire. Besides, he says, “I was brought up on Pop Art and rock ‘n’ roll. I will always be irreverent.”
—Lee Carter
Runway Feed

Martin Grant

August 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Martin Grant doesn’t think fashion is all about him. He only recently took to Instagram. He’s hopeless at name-dropping, though it is well documented that friends like Cate Blanchett and Lee Radziwill have supported him from the outset. And when Cameron Diaz appeared in The Other Woman wearing his dress, the designer did not fire off a single e-mail. Grant figured that those who know, know. It’s about the clothes.

He doesn’t talk up inspirations, either, but he allowed that Resort is about more chic, refined daywear. One key piece was what Grant called the “car door”: a mid-thigh-length, raglan-sleeved coat in washed duchesse satin and neutral colors (black, white, navy, mocha, or bronze). “It’s the perfect nothing, but it’s everything,” the designer remarked. Worn with Grant’s high-waisted slim trousers or even just jeans, it definitely could go almost anywhere.

Favorite graphic flourishes, notably optical checks and polka dots, cropped up on bias-cut skirts, wide trousers, and crisp blouses with a smart triple-cravat detail. One sleeveless black cotton dress featured a dot so large there was room for only half of it. Semicircular silhouettes had more or less swing depending on the fabric: There was a peacoat with a swing back, a shorter “car door” in cotton, and a sleeveless blue viscose dress that balanced sportiness and sexiness. Meanwhile, another Grant signature, the smart little trench, appeared this season in a complexion-flattering shade of nude.
—Tina Isaac-Goizé
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