Best Dressed Man was very kindly received last week at the Paul & Joe showroom & atelier on rue Commines in an area of Paris in what may be considered the local garment district in order to get a preview of the latest Paul & Joe men’s collection for purposes of this short article. The facility, well-hidden in a friendly courtyard was conducting big brand business during the day as large package orders were being hailed out in order from the premises in order to be shipped to Taiwan. Entourage and decoration are everything in fashion they say, and so it remained with us that the people at Paul & Joe were friendly and hospitable, that the designers were available, and the press agents attentive and to the point, while we visited a large showroom set up in a lavish and lush animal and flower and jungle theme, an inspiration which of course you will be able to find back in the preview of the AW 17/18 menswear collection. In the middle of the room there was a life-size panther mannequin sitting under a tree as a quiet bland orange light gently changed the shades on floral patterns and rustling leaves.
The new collection is classy yet simple and straightforward in a trademark Paul & Joe style but also accessible in its range, and it holds enough elegance to keep spoiled urban chic critics at bay especially because we find here yet again one of those where-have-you-been-until-now retro 80’s looks and designs in plain and simple terms. Jungle flower patterns with animal faces occasionally glimpsing through (the love of animals is a recurrent theme with Paul & Joe), but best 80’s feature of all is that remarkable and recognizable bland set of colors as well as the rather simple cuts and designs which define this forgotten decade handsomely, and which Paul & Joe managed to bring back in delightful fashion.
This retro style is more necessary today than ever before because all of life today often seems to run us simply by as we rush on in the double fast lane of digital technology and a complete lack of real-time personal communications.
But the 80’s was an era when people are still talking face to face and at least one decade before the onset and onslaught of the age of information and the internet. It explains well therefore why also other good brands besides Paul & Joe, like for example Carven or ACNE have recently created 80’s retro looks, because in a time when nothing of traditional value still seems to appear what it once was, it is only normal that people start looking for a safer and a simpler world of yore.
So gentlemen please allow Paul & Joe to bring this lost and forgotten style back for you in beautifully simple and classy fashion with their coming menswear collection for AW 17/18.
(An honorable mention deserves a showroom item perched high upon a mannequin which can only be described (now that we are talking 80’s) as a furry Pimp Coat (in white no less) in what may very well be a classy tribute to ‘Rick James’ and the character ‘)
Words by Sandro and photos from Paul & Joe.