A little background here: BDMOTP covered this show back in June last year and when the runway was interesting but under the burning sun in a glasshouse setting without any air-conditioning, so finding ourselves at the well-aired Palais de Tokyo was a grand improvement as far as location was concerned – not despite the rain outside, but because of it.
We had liked the summer show and had noticed the cross-over men / women profiles for the menswear but none of that this time around as, despite one or two women appearing on the runway, the looks and colors, were clearly masculine, as was the theme of the performance.
So the question for 22/4 at this show was what you get when you cross a German designer (Stephanie Hahn) and a German made brand, with shows and marketing in France, while using fabrics and techniques from Italy (alpaca /wool /viscose), while your memes and themes are all English?
Because the patterns were tartan, Prince-of-Wales, and of course, hounds-tooth. Because the theme was based on the Hacienda club tracksuits from industrial Manchester in England during the nineties. With a touch of English surrealism (Edward James). And with a touch Mexican colors. Just a slight touch. Because everything was really bloody green. English lawn green. Different shades of green and then some, every green on the spectrum except Hooker’s green (look it up): Olive, Teal, Mud, Pear, and Moss. Which kind of went very well with the copper zippers with the large rings which is more of a seventies invention. That copper and that Hunter green, was that not German? No, it was English but not not very urban. More abandoned-industrial-city-in-provincial-setting kind of style. Lots of zippers yes, and, aye, even trumpet sleeves. Those seem to be in vogue this fashion week in Paris, because we have seen them before time and again.
Now we will leave it at that but for to mention that despite the eclectic description given for the collection in the paragraph above that the work is actually very coherent and consistent and recognizable. The different elements combine to create one set of grand styles which forms a unit. That was the classy part.
But we like to question why so many designers are trying to give a deeper social meaning to their collections these days. Isn’t beauty and style on its own just fine? Why are so many designers trying to make some type of a statement? Because the press release mentions that the interesting and beautiful 22/4 collection is social wear. Back to the days of the Zoot suit I guess, where your style means something as to what you have to say about your beliefs. There is nothing wrong with it of course, but should designers try to force that on us?
Now of course fashion has always had that role – to express in style what you cannot say with words for fear of persecution of one’s beliefs. Yes. But if that becomes the ambition of every designer in the world then we’ll never see the end of it and we will have to start being afraid that what we buy to wear is being sold not just for being pretty and comfortable, but for the ideas that lie behind it. And that can never be the sole objective of fashion. Especially not with a collection as beautiful as the AW 16/17 of 22/4. Which comes in 50 shades of green.
Posted by Sandro and photos by 22/4.