Paris, where elegance is spread trough avenues and boulevards and, as the music of a violinist playing along Seine river, follows your steps through the city.. Paris, in the cold days of late January, crowded around shows and happenings to exhibit the highlights of its designers’ creations or quietly sited at the corner of a boulangerie.. Paris, with a vibrant energy from the early morning light to the sparkling night sky in these days where fashion calendars enters the routine of the city with an intensive turnover of shows, happenings and presentations.. Paris at its best in these fashion weeks.

Mode à Paris: Menswear / Automne-Hiver 2011-2012
edited by: Matteo Menotto

Though arriving there in the last day of menswear fashion week, still the schedule offers name of great interest, such as Lanvin, Saint Laurent, Paul Smith, Thom Browne, Acne and some others at whom show I had the opportunity assist. Here’s my report:


A moon stands over Paul Smith show’s invitation and the same image is projects over the catwalk’s background, sourrounding the environment with a surreal atmosphere. Beneath the light of two full moons, evoking sights from an early space adventure, Paul Smith presents the parisian debut of this A/W 2011 collection, inspired by the recently departed artist and musician Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) and his friend Frank Zappa. The mood is admittedly given by “their music, their clothes and their album covers. Not paying particular attention to specific things, but more their randomness.” Tailoring remains a focus of the collection. Ultrafine wool is laser cut for a modern, clean finish. Grey salt and pepper checks, wide chalk stripes and Prince of Wales check are punctuated with solid block jewel colours of teal and bottle green, on both single and double breasted styles. High peak lapels, inspired by Zappa’s 1970’s style, grace jackets teamed with a slim leg. Key pieces include oversized duffle coats with a shearling collar, luxurious angora sweaters, cable knits and space inspired printed shirts. Thus, Paul Smith’s contemporary man can start his journey towards the future, carrying on extra-bags, designed necklaces and sight sourrounding sunglasses, moving on the neutral tones of primary garments to the strong colourful accents of coats, pullover and jackets.

YSL homme collection starts with a sixities inspiration, afterwards combined with a Proustian lost youth sujjestion. These hints are wisely overworked by director S. Pilati, who adds to the mood a study over shape, variating from relaxed to fitted, up to some exaggerated silhouettes able to create an interesting and various tension between the pieces shown. Pants, plaids in fantasy and slim in the cut, contrast with the sometime oversize outerwear or with the reprise of Edwaridan jackets, where’s a strong accent is given by shoes, never obvious but still elegant in the shiny combination with metallic details.

Acne youthful touch gravitates towards clean lines and elegant palette tones, smoothed by accessories such as as caps as paper-effected bags able to gives less serious approach. The sophistication of these creations impresses, variating from lenght coats and more casual pull-overs, presenting thus – through the input of creative director Jonny Johansson – a good balance between some mature pieces and the label’s youthful touch, clearly visible in the fresh tones chosen for latest pants and jackets, variating from bright green to energetic blue and vivid purple. Highlight on the shoes: bright ensamble between the shining of leather and the thickness of platforms.

Futuristic geometries are painted over Qasimi’s models, recalling in the attitude of these guys the spirit of the collection itself. Inspired by the image of a contemporary hero who belongs to post-metropolitan tribes, Qasimi combines to a tough exterior of quilted outerwear, the soft comfort of shapely knit, combining functional garments and adventurous forms. The colour palette, with a costant base of dark tones from balck to blu and and addiction of purple and greyscale, variates in relation to the materials employed, involving also fur, knitwear, leather and vyinl.

At Wooyoungmi’s a clear active attitude is shown, through looks that recall somehow a sportiv journey still able to enclose also elements belonging to a more formal wardrobe. The cohexistence of relaxed suits with casual elements becomes the leit motiv of this collection, that highlights waterproof trousers come together with quilted outerwear, raised elasticated hemlines and rubber boots in a somber color palette.

Fall 2011 collection is a complete blackout with accents of vinyl and leather that raise the interest over the materic composition of the pieces shown. A strong attitude belongs to the dark dressed carachters of this work, that involves also womenswear creations with the same firm appeal.

Close to the Scottish countryside inspiration, the collection develops a good use of tartan and plaid, kilts and skinny pants recalling a strictly more punkish attitude, time to time mixed either to influences belonging to the military / aviation or to more quiet camel and sable tones, over black backgrounds.

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