Elsewhere in Paris menswear: Hed Mayner, Ungaro, Botter and Etudes
The menswear season in Paris boasts literally scores of nationalities, and plenty of designers who concentrate on wearable clothes with a twist, and a point of view. We look at a four creators who summed up the impressive range of the French season.
Hed Mayner: Groovy giantism
Hed Mayner keeps on getting better. There is a growing maturity to his work, and a greater sense of polish about this Israeli designer’s artfully constructed tailoring.
A fan of big volumes, Mayner manages to make them look flattering, never implausible. Whether his superhero chairman of the board double-breasted suits with rippling sleeves or his modern-day Alpine slope shoulder zoot suits. While Mayner’s Dali Lama dandy white puffer with soaring high collars, finished at the back in beige knit, cried out for a magazine cover.
Plus, his elegiac arty gent cutaway wool sweaters and cardigans have oodles of attitude, as do his uber wide sailors deck pants.
Finished with soft kepi hats and, softer leather boots, this was a super accomplished collection from Mayner, a former LVMH finalist, who has honed a singular vision of modern menswear tailoring.
Ungaro: Comfortable and cool
One house enjoying something of a menswear renaissance is Ungaro, whose designer Philippe Paubert focused on two key elements this season: comfort and knitted fabrics for both tailoring and casualwear.
“It’s all about allowing movement, performance and giving freedom to the final customer,” explained Paubert, who began at the house over a quarter-of-a-century ago working with founder Emanuel Ungaro.
Using the noblest of fabrics, Paubert sewed up impeccable double-face pea coats in mixes of wool and alpaca; and double-face blousons, with interior prints of figurative chimera.
Born in Brittany, but living much of the year in Nice, he also showed excellent new takes on traditional Aran Island sweaters, made in mixed up yarns and seen in natty cable pullovers. All seen in a neat collection shot in the atelier of sculptor, Jean Charles Mainardis.
For evening, he showed a great tuxedo in turquoise velvet – worn with 16-gauge merino wool. To be worn with sneakers or antique finish wingtips boots. Plus, he whipped up some great logo knit jacquard jackets using the original historical logo. Though his best idea was a putty gray, super soft alpaca and wool cut, like a dressing gown. Comfortably cool, like we said.
“'I want my man to be liquid', Emanuel used to say, and I think this guy is,” Paubert, who worked with Ungaro since 1992 and has created over 30 collections for the house, said in a pre-show zoom.
A video of acting and speaking up to save the coral reef system of the Caribbean, specifically in Curacao, from the Botter duo of Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh.
Hence, images of divers swimming in a coral nursery on that island taken on Jan. 10 of this year. Fledgling coral attached to racks tied on the ocean bottom, as volunteers actively fight to restore the reef.
“This is the idea we have for a better world. This is the idea we have for the Botter world,” reads the film’s statement.
Eventually, runway models appeared in a huge hanger in a show named 'Romancing the Coral Reef' – a phrase seen on the opening stretch tops worn under crisp suits. One black serge wool suit even comes covered in fishing lures and hooks. Other guys don lure necklaces and buoy bags.
Botter’s signature cut open tailoring ricks throughout, where the jackets are half-completed. All the way to the sailing gear cut with interior stanchions to stand off the body.
Botter, who leapt to fame by winning the Hyères Festival in 2018 with a collection of conceptual Caribbean fishermen, doing what they do best. And for a great cause.
Tap dancing, sort of, in Les Halles underground shopping mall, in the fashion flick of Etudes -- a French brand that plays with publishing as much as clothes.
Think French neo-Brutalist fashion, with bearded dude models in trucker jerkins and denim; posh punk red heads in khaki trousers; hippie floral shirts; brass colored nylon flight jackets; or broken big cat print cardigans.
When the lights go down in Les Halles, now known as Westfield, there is break dancing outside; and classical street wear inside – in Etudes’ case that is a cheap laundromat.
In a word, hard to understand what the point of the exercise was.
Namacheko: Kifta Chic
“I like clothes that are a little heavy. That signifies quality to a Kurd,” smiles Dilan Lurr, founder and designer of Namacheko.
The son of a Kurdish immigrant who grew up in Sweden, Lurr became a designer almost by accident, after a Paris boutique bought all the costumes he made for an indie art movie.
Five years later, he is one of the more intriguing voices in the Paris menswear season, who showed a series of fantastic dense wool double-breasted gentleman coats, cut and worn with swagger. While his deep-pile cardigans and chunky faux-sheepskin jerkins looked ideal for the stormy weather hitting Europe this week.
Something of a multi-disciplinary artist, Lurr even accompanied his collection with an excellent lookbook meets magazine, named Somnambulism. Though far from sleepwalking, Lurr is very much alive and his inventive collection manages to encapsulate a mix of Kurdish folkloric culture with Scandi solidity. Call it Kifta Chic.
Boramy Viguier: Disney in Winterfell
One has to hand it to Boramy Viguier for effort. The young French designer invented a whole cosmos for this collection – sort Game of Thrones meets a daffy Disney.
A luscious elfin babe introducing the history entitled Resurrection. “After the sixth mass extinction the known cosmos is ruled by the evil king, Atlas the First,” she explains before illustrations of the rotten ruler and police state bullies.
Fortunately, a few knights resisted the dominant power, and wisely chose to get dressed by Boramy Viguier. Named the Phoenix Troopers they appeared in russet-hued velvet capes; chunky hand-knit ethnic sweaters studded at the shoulders and black leather monkish cassock puffers.
Before it all ends with rumble in a gothic courtyard, a dragon flying overhead. Full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
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