LV, Valentino, Dior perfect menswear in Paris
By Thomas Adamson, APPARIS--White was the color of Paris menswear fashion shows for fall-winter. But it was not in the clothes.
January 22, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
The last of five frenetic days of collections saw the City of Light turn into the city of frost, with snow blanketing the city white and reducing its grand buildings and monuments to the purest of forms and shapes.
Could it be the recent death of Maurice Herzog, the first man to scale the 8,000-meter Annapurna, that inspired Louis Vuitton to climb the Himalayas for his winter menswear outing?
Or perhaps just a love of exotic, far-flung destinations for the house most famous for its luxury travel bags?
Whatever the reason, it worked — with designer Kim Jones turning out an effortless, luxury collection.
He came down to ground level, bringing with him with lashings of fur and the Asian region's snow leopard as a motif — naturally, alongside the bread-and-butter sharp suits.
But it was the snow leopard who stole the show — whether in needle punched jacquard on a light double breasted coat, or in collars, neckties and pocket squares, and even in one show-stopping laser cut mink coat — the feline kept popping up.
The Valentino fashion house explored new landscapes in its first menswear show in Paris, traveling first class to London's Saville Row via a dash of British punk rock.
It was a highly confident affair.
Indeed, Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli said their decision to move from the Italian menswear tradeshow Pitti Uomo to the more-publicized Paris catwalk reflected this new confidence in their men's aesthetic.
In just a few years, the design duo have stamped their own bold vision on the Roman house in— this year in a show that left behind the charming Italian toy boy in favor of more sober British elegance.
Plays on patterns featured highly wearable single-breasted suits that harked back to 1960s fashions.
Some of the looks could easily have been worn to a British country club.
But despite all this, there was a strong, rebellious undercurrent that Piccioli called a nod to Mick Jagger
It was cosmic musing for Dior Homme's Kris Van Assche, who injected a space-age fiber into the house's DNA of fitted black suit, white shirt and black tie.
A sanitized all-white set saw elegantly suited, gentlemen file by in Saturday's show with galactic high collars, and super high buckled waists. Though at times there was a slight feel of vintage Pierre Cardin — the collection's starting point was apparently the sci-fi movie “Gattaca.”
One result of this futurist exploration was the businessman as superhero.
A red pin stripe recurs as a futuristic cult-like symbol, a triangle within a square; shoe heels are encased in a smooth, clear plastic so they don't leave a trace; and traceless, too, are the smoothly covered zipper fastenings.