Paris concentrates this week on the best of fashion. The second day of the men’s fashion shows offered a fireworks show between the most diverse styles and worlds. From the chic comfort of Lemaire to the nice Martians of Walter Van Beirendonck passing by the playful psychopaths of Louis-Gabriel Nouchi, there was plenty to choose from on Wednesday.
At Lemaire’s, the guests had been warned: “Take your mittens”. To face the freezing cold in the large courtyard of the Jussieu faculty, which hosts the parade, it would actually take a little more. Welcomed by tea and coffee, a mini-hot water bottle and a blanket, the public warmed up as best they could, while the first models began to stride across this space open to all winds, swept by sharp drafts.
Station hall, large forecourt of a business district or university entrance? It doesn’t matter, it’s a place of life that comes alive before our eyes in a well-regulated ballet, with city traffic as a soundtrack. We meet, stare at each other, we greet each other. Some models lean against a railing, or lean against a column. They sometimes stop to chat on a bench, when they are not running across the square.
Muffled up in protective coats, tied at the waist with a belt, or in down jackets threaded over thick sweaters, dressed in woolen or leather pants, the models come and go incessantly. Men give each other a quick wave, their sketchbooks under their arms, while the women, in woolen jackets and skorts, clink their high-heeled boots on the cobblestones. They often superimpose trousers, skirt, blouse, shirt and jacket, all cut from the same light silk.
Loose coats, anoraks, jackets with fur collars, sweaters tied around the neck on a large cardigan, duffle coat… The collection designed by Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran gives pride of place to warm materials and comfortable cuts, favoring a certain fluidity. A model even goes out in a pajama suit, while several opt for big socks and slippers. This practical side is embodied in particular by large messenger bags to be carried over the shoulder, which we imagine full of files. The palette is neutral and autumnal. Only a hint of red here and there, a gray blue and leafy green brighten up the whole.
At Walter Van Beirendonck, the extraterrestrials wait three good quarters of an hour, but end up landing on the red carpet in the Salle Wagram. They are decked out in sorts of rubber suction cups, planted like mushrooms on their heads, arms, and torsos, incorporated into their chic tweed suits or monochrome vinyl outfits, red, black green, etc.
This inflatable accessory is also available in transparent plastic. It is round and small or lengthens, seizing coats-life jackets. It is found in the form of puffy pockets on the front of a jacket. Sometimes, the entire jacket is made up of these mini buoys, fitted with their mouthpiece and plug to be inflated as desired in order to set the desired volume. Elsewhere, plastic bubble wrap is used to make a waterproof jacket.
The marine theme also shines through in a series of brightly colored fishnet-like pieces sprinkled with crystals, which imprison heads or torsos in bodysuits. The theme is taken up in fishnet stockings. The designer also uses faux leather and leatherette to make puffy jackets and pants.
These strange characters come to earth as friends, as they proclaim on their knitwear with naive drawings illustrated with planets populated by animals. As always, Walter Van Beirendonck appears as a fervent anti-militarist in his slogans.
Complete change of register at Louis-Gabriel Nouchi, which plunges us into a horror film, with red light, faces splattered with blood, long latex gloves and shirts, split t-shirts, as if lacerated with a cutter or devoré jersey knitwear . Don’t even miss the cellophane to wrap the corpses, which we find in the drape of a tight t-shirt.
Louis-Gabriel Nouchi was inspired by the novel American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and his psychopathic hero, both golden boy and serial killer, to denounce his violence and “his toxic masculinity”. The opportunity, once again for the designer, to initiate a reflection by playing with the elements of the genre. Thus, as accessories, he offers the unmistakable axes and chainsaws, but covered in recycled leather, therefore “unseated”,
It alternates the silhouettes of businessmen focusing on the tailoring. The proportions and constructions of the suits have been revised with marked shoulders, slightly offset in the sleeve, for an Eighties look. Jackets are pinched on one side for a draped effect. Total looks in banker’s blue or black, with long coats with slits on the sides, give way to a series of activewear garments with lycra leggings worn directly under flowing shirts or jackets.
The designer is introducing leather this season by partnering with manufacturer Ecco Laser, which has notably developed transparent skin-like leather using a method of tanning parchment, in which it cuts suits, t-shirts and long coats.
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