Paris Fashion Week 2014: Dior, Hermes, Kenzo, and More
Day 4 of 5 Paris Men's Fashion Week
Vibe: Doing Business at the Beach.
"Just think how you negotiate wearing a tuxedo on a beach," were part of Kris Van Assche's description for Dior Homme Spring 2014 menswear collection. "It's formality and informality: choice, chance, and lightness."
Making a color choice was very straightforward here. Red wine, blue, light gray, and black were the only options. Most of the collection became a repetition of either looks in shorts or slim trousers, suits or vests, and in either subtler leather patchworks, that made one reflect what could have been the perfect outfit to go on a negotiation. But what if you were to rewind back to the beginning of the collection and take a closer look at each individual outfit that could have appeared identical for a few seconds? Notice, the chance of choosing the same identical outfit could have just become quite difficult and interesting to think about. It was those small uncommon details that Dior has always been perfect and successful at making one ponder what is the difference about these two?
Van Assche elaborated his suits in two tones of colors, such as a red wine suit with a black lining pictured above, to just matching silk linings. He made his other lightly tailored suits look unique with either straight or diagonal pockets, whilst his leather patchwork techniques were etched in various positions; the best in the collection. It was his idea of dressing up for a sunny negotiation that most likely motivated him to present silhouettes that felt quite comfortable and relaxed with glossy T-shirts under suits or jackets; his leather numbers were somewhat edgy for the Dior man. It seems Van Assche's minimalistic details for the Dior Homme brand will make it a favorite amongst many in menswear that will never turn into a weary presentation.
Vibe: Humble Luxury.
Who would've imagined the Hermès guy would be the one to wear a $99,000 light crocodile t-shirt that didn't have much to say if you saw him wearing it? That has been Veronique Nichanian's long term goal under the brand, which is one of the world's most recognizable luxury brands. Making luxury look so easy on the eye is a mastering skill Nichanian has obtained with perfection. The touch and feel of her fabric is another magical journey towards real luxury.
It could be rare to declare that the Hermes menswear line has had such a higher reputation than its womenswear counterpart. Mrs. Nichanian and Mr. Christophe Lemaire (womenswear designer) both understand that travel is the soul that holds Hermes together, but Mrs. Nichanian with no doubt knows hot to describe it with a much more clearer perspective: a man who travels with pure luxury at an effortless state of mind.
She opened her spring 2014 menswear show with a pair of great slim-fitted pants done in the finest cotton material, a pleasantly tailored navy suit, signature print button-down dress shirt and tie, and a navy crocodile belt piece. It was her other looks of simplicity - t-shirts with buttons on shoulders, scoop-neck tank tops, and exquisitely light printed polka dot pants - that deserved a stand innovation.
Leather couldn't be left off in here. Her baby lambskin leather pants looked as breezy as a pair of cotton pants, while her outerwear jackets were yet another triumphant season for the brand. She added one specific high-tech jacket that changed from a leather suede to a its natural lambskin leather fabric; it was done so well it appeared the fabrics weren't event stitched together. She seemed to have shifted from her most talked about crocodile t-shirt, and instead opted to go for what seemed to be a python long sleeve light gray sweatshirt; a sumptuous choice of fabric that looked splendid for the brand.
Vibe: Paris Boys in L.A.
Kenzo can be mostly recognized for its iconic tiger print logo sweaters from its spring 2013 collection, which have had an outstanding street style success over the past season. It revived the brand to become a huge target amongst young teenagers who were eager to know who designed those super cool sweaters. Humberto Leon and Carol Lim were thinking about how Parisian boys would look like traveling to L.A. Their color-block suits did imbue a California sensation that came in very relaxed silhouettes boys in L.A. would wear. The only difference is that Kenzo's version of L.A. would come with a dose of Parisian luxury. Shirt sleeve scribbled printed shirts and sweaters were pleasing to watch, and could become another potential success for the developing brand. Lean and Lim are still in works of finding the correct niche that could lead Kenzo to a greater height in fashion. So far, its cool artistic-ly sweaters have proven to be a beginning signature for the label.
Alexis Mabille has a tendency to be a little to heavy in his menswear collections. They are of a high-luxe art, but his designs are best appreciating as a work of art, then wearing them. He may have understood by now that men's wear clothes differs greatly from womenswear. His last three collections have shown a much more casual vibe done in the Mabille manner: adding special doses of sportswear injected with couture.
His spring 2014 men's wear collection felt even more communicating to a broader audience. He went with high stitched scoop-neck tank tops that looked appealing with his very fitted navy and olive pants, etched with white linings around pockets, yoke, and a braided leather finished on the back of a pocket for a couture quality. Shirts came with epaulets finished on the sides. One hybrid piece was a mixture between a suit and a sweatshirt that was noteworthy for the new Mabille man. Sweaters printed with the phrase, "Tonight I wear Mabille so let's set the world on fire I can burn brighter than the sun," had an urban quality. His last look, pictured above in a short black suit and crisp white detailed shirt was that of the modern Mabille, but much more toned down.
Vibe: The Classic Denim Staple.
A.P.C. (Atelier de Production et de Création) has been around since 1987. The brand has established itself as a leader in easy to wear cool urban menswear pieces at fairly luxe prices. Their jeans are what have gained them a higher reputation in menswear for making one of the best well made jeans that are sure to last. Purchasing knitwear and outwear from this brand is a decision well made. They are always on the hunt for making a new collection that will always become a cool classical wardrobe staple to any of your looks.
Their new spring 2014 men's wear collection is yet to be another favorite amongst the many who appreciate the craftsmanship A.P.C. does finely. One camel colored suede jacket was the seasons must add to your next wardrobe staple.
Vibe: The Dapper Airport Arrival.
Alexandre Mattiussi of AMI had in mind an airport arrival from a vacation. His men - young, businesslike, and adventurous - were the main focus for his new spring 2014 men's wear collection. He added fun the way he believed a man should arrive from an airport. But what was more captivating was the choice of tailoring that made everything much more gratifying then from previous seasons.
He added camouflage and floral prints, stripes that looked fresh on a pair of trousers, Prince of Wales check suits that were paired with much more tailored shirts or cool knitted sweaters, pleasing denim numbers, and layering techniques that made the AMI guy compelling to watch arrive from an airport. We wish arrivals were this well put together in reality.