Je n’ai pas eu le cœur de présenter une mode fantaisiste, ludique, cocasse… mais plutôt des vêtements simples, élégants, sobres, comme nous essayons tous de l’être aujourd’hui, dans notre vie quotidienne de parisien

I did not have the heart to present a superficial, playful, and funny collection… but rather simple, elegant and sober clothes, the way we are all trying to be today in our Parisian daily life.

(signed Agnès B in the program notes from the show, thereby becoming the one designer at Paris Fashion Week Homme to make reference to the terrorist attacks on Paris back in November both in word as well as in her creations)

That 20’s milkman look (notice the pencil behind the ear)

That 20’s milkman look (notice the pencil behind the ear)

By far the best show we covered during Paris fashion week, this show was an homage to France and to style for men per se as we know it from the sober and distant past. It has a New York or Chicago feel from the twenties and the thirties where you expect a newspaper boy with a Gatsby casquette to appear in order to sell a freshly printed Tribune to a man who looks like Dick Tracy or, hey, why not Dillinger. It breathes class, distinction, quality, character and timelessness.

Whoever said that best of man’s fashion was to be found in Milan? For if this is the future of menswear in France, this return to the sober past of functionality and style will herald a new era in style pour homme: The milkman, the newspaper boy, the accountant, the lawyer, the scholar, the sailor, aye, the journalist – functional all in character, and impeccably dressed by Agnès B. Dandies please not apply.

The idea was always that mode pour homme in France should always come as chic – like, let’s say, as in Givenchy, or Saint Laurent. But now here comes Agnès B with a serious challenge to the global pre-conception that good times will last forever and that we are always entitled to our chic and our success. No, indeed we are not, and Agnès B, either willfully or intuitively, brings us back down to earth with the most functional, practical and most basic of styles for men. The style of the art of functionality and character from the men of yore who knew where was their place and position in society, and what was expected from them. A style for men who do not aspire too much. Or want too much. For men who like to stay calm and keep things simple but classy. This is the functionality and sobriety of a style which can only be compared to that what people must have lived in London in the forties during the Blitz.

And then on a separate and final note in the collection on the runway Agnès B suddenly makes an homage to La France by allowing for a cameo appearance of traditional French dress during revolutionary times. You will be able to find three pictures in the slideshow below.

Vive la résistance!

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Posted by Sandro and photos by Mous.

SONGZIO FW16-Caption

There is something seriously dark and brooding about the Songzio shows, but also something seriously stylish and beautiful. Comes to mind the film cult classic called Interview With the Vampire, to give you somewhat of an impression. And aye, of course the setting of such a show would need to be appropriate as indeed throughout cosmopolitan centers in the world it seems that abandoned industrial railway, railroad, and railyard emplacements serve as the prime real estate and venue, and as the perfect backdrop for fashion shows the world over – if not for the urban exclusivity of it all, then perhaps for an ambiance that today’s buildings can no longer convey: Red bricks and steel in a show called Vermillon.

It’s that sulfuric red, deep down red sometimes called scarlet by mistake, but which in essence is nothing less but cinnabar, the elusive metal of yore, which, in English, since the year 1289 is called Vermilion. In India, where the color is much used in buildings and clothes, it is called Sindoor.

So sir Zio Song, designer extraordinaire from Korea, and Governor of the Asian Couture Foundation, knows of course precisely what is he doing, and precisely what ambiance to create. Because here we find a grand old master in the sartorial arts. The dark brooding in shades of black set on Vampire Red and then some only work because the cuts and designs are traditional and those of high class. This is high sartorial art. And in the process lamb leathers and oil paints are used, which are then put together in unison with both synthetic and natural fibers. That the results are quite stunning and memorable you will see from our slideshow below.

Perhaps that we need more urban abandoned railyard warehouses made from cinnabar bricks in this world so that Songzio can raise yet more beautiful vampires from the dead.

For it’s a pleasure!

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Posted by Sandro and photos from the Songzio press.

What is a man’s ultimate accessory?  This would be debatable under the time, place and circumstances no doubt, but many people would say, simply – a car. A car today is what a horse used to be – as without it a real man may not be considered as such by some. And of all cars we know it may be that only Lamborghini as a brand ranks above Ferrari in status, power, and reach.

And because with special accessories always comes the responsibility of nice clothes and good style, if not good taste, we should not fail to mention that Lamborghini has released a product line of high-end clothing recently of which here you will find a short review.

The Collezione Lamborghini was first launched and presented at the Pitti Immagine Uomo in Florence earlier this month, and well, it’s fantastic.

The Collezione Automobili Lamborghini will have three different clothing lines:

  • Classic (made in collaboration with d’Avenza)
Lamborghini 1

Classic & sartorial.

  • Casual (running shoes in collaboration with Mizuno from Japan)
Casual & Sporty.

Casual & Sporty.

  • Squadra Corse (this is the technical wear part of the collections, ‘squadra’ of course referring to the racing team)
Technical racing wear.

Technical racing wear.

In addition there will be a fragrance line (L1, L2, L3, L4) as well as a luxury carbon fiber luggage collection available, both also made and produced in collaboration with other exclusive and well-known brands.

Here is where you can go in person to find Lamborghini clothes and accessories:

  • Sant’Agata Bolognese  (Lamborghini Boutiques)
  • Dubai (Dubai Mall; Galeries Lafayette; House of Fraser)
  • Taipei (Bellavita Shopping Mall)
  • Bangkok (Siam Paragon, The Emporium)
  • Pattaya City (Central Festival Pattaya)
  • Abu Dhabi (House of Fraser)

Posted by Sandro and photos from Lamborghini.

White Mountaineering Caption

We were not familiar with White Mountaineering so we like to introduce the brand by a quote from a recent interview with a fashion magazine by White Mountaineering designer Yosuke Aizawa from Japan which will tell you a lot about what you need to know in order to get this brand:

“I like to snowboard and when I snowboard I want to look good.”

Indeed White Mountaineering can be said to be making what is called ‘technical outerwear’ and the designer’s roots in loving outerwear and outdoor street wear comes part from growing up in the city while always going camping and exploring outdoors, which when you combine the two comes to stand for urban outdoor street wear, especially when you also must know that White Mountaineering by now is pretty famous for its collaboration with Adidas in making some super cool designer sports shoes these days (only three pairs per collection exists and each pair holds the name White Mountaineering & Adidas together in the logo).

As we mentioned earlier during Paris FW, those type of sporty super cool street designer shoes-slash-sneakers are one of the hottest items on the man’s fashion market of the young and the hip today, and the models on the runway at the Palais de Tokyo here in Paris are wearing the latest items in this genre of collection as proof (although not the Adidas ones).

Thus the brief press release AW16/17 calls the White Mountaineering collection urban outdoor work wear which in a way is a contradiction in terms as to the word ‘urban’ because the models are parading all types of lumber jackets, wood logger coats, and Cherokee pattern inspired parkas, sweaters, and blanket-capes, even hoodies, which is a rather new twist on what the urban dictionary would purport to hold dear as to what is outdoor style or fashion.

But perhaps that we should look it in this way, that when you take all those outdoorsy motifs, designs, and patterns from the mountains, the rivers, and the lakes, and you put them on a local skateboard gang, then you will have created a new urban style, a new urban wave:  Folks, in one sentence, White Mountaineering is Shaun White coming down from the ski slopes and the mountains and turning into Danny Way, street style and all, on super cool Adidas Hip Hop White Mountaineering footwear.

So come on now, you skaters and other young urban pioneers and explorers – you are too sexy, too sexy for your sweater, and too sexy for your sporty shoes …

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Posted by Sandro and photos by Monika Majewska.

At BDMOTP we are great lovers of the Carven brand – this is the third time we are writing a cover – because of its classic retro early eighties look which somehow perfectly seems to blend in with the concept of what today would urban chic, le chic urbain in French. Back in the eighties fashion was fashion and mode was mode and it was an exclusive domain in which styles dwelt for one season or perhaps half a decade and what you bought was what you wore for that winter, and the next, whereas today times change so much and so fast and so unpredictably in styles and fashions, that it comes as a sigh of relief to find a brand which will always offer that classic retro look, that Carven look, that undeniable look from the early eighties, when the information age was still a sci-fi illusion far away in some dark films. And so Carven fills this modern need, not of thrills and frills, but of classic elegance and style for men in winter who are not so much trying to be super cool or successful, but for men who like to live well and comfortably in a stylish urban but discrete fashion. You can call it handsome, distinct, discrete, elegant, and urban.

carven

Thus Barnabé Hardy succeeded again in bringing us an AW 16/17 collection which you are going to love. And we are proud to be able to introduce it by means of this article.

The Carven winter wear includes the traditional sweaters of old, the classic scarfs and the different types of necks suitable for winter (funnel and turtle), but with the magic Carven signature that the colors are not just winter grey but hark back to the pastels and colored shades of the eighties. This gives the collection a look recognizable by connaisseurs only. We see the duffle coat (so eighties), the parka, the windbreaker, the bomber jacket, and also the blouson in fabrics of tweed, terry, crazed nylon, wool and corduroy (so eighties), stitched together by flocking, embroidery, knitting, and weaving. Indeed, the perfect retro look must be from the eighties because it is such a hidden and forgotten decade.

A special mention goes out to Carven’s instant-cult-classic hybrid sport shoe logo sneakers which could be cited in the brochures of a museum of post-modern art.  You see a lot of brands trying to break into that urban pop art shoe-slash-sneaker market but no brand succeeds as wonderfully as Carven. And we think it is because they are discrete and private, which brings me to my final but important point that not all things which are popular in fashion are also necessarily public or vulgar. Indeed some pop fashion is rather very private, precisely because it is also art.

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Posted by Sandro and photos from the Carven press office.

At first glance, the Cifonelli ready-to-wear AW 16/17 line is a modern, elegant collection of suits for a high-end gentleman. The brand, however, actually has deep historical roots as a family-owned bespoke suit business. When you take a closer look at the AW16/17 collection, the details are there. The bespoke, hand-designed sleeves, the attention to detail, the rich fabrics and the styling that is clearly the result of many, many years studying gentleman and their individual suiting needs. Cifonelli even created suits for the iconic fashion house Hermes!

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The collection for the coming season is on point. Patterns like plaids and window panes cover the suits, and the season is right up to trend with the suede jacket with shearling collar. A crushed velvet suit jacket paired with silk bowtie gives men a luxe option for evening wear. Touches like hats and overcoats complete the looks and pull them together.

The combination of the Italian styles with that impeccable British tailoring make for a suit any man would want to sport.

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Charles Edouard Woisselin.

There is something undeniably deliberately sophomoric in the Sankuanz AW 16/17 collection which defies understanding but not reason. Let us explain.

Designer Shangguan Zhe comes from China and remembers vividly his first experiences with sport in China when in 1990 the Asian Games were held in Beijing. Sport was a venture in which young adults could express themselves under the circumstances of the time with new freedoms which today are all but taken for granted. But there was not much wealth in China 25 years ago and hence not many fashionable materials were available at the time. So people would wear sports clothes wide and big and open and in colors and with logos and with slogans so as to be able to allow themselves a certain freedom of expression.

If you look at the collection you will see these slogans as even the brand name itself – Sankuanz – is printed across the fabrics as if it were the home outfit of an Ohio State University Varsity team. Sports sets free and gives freedom of expression. And so do colors.  And prints with slogans. And pop culture in general. There was a time in America too where rock ‘n roll on the radio was forbidden. Or practically, as it was considered subversive. And so it goes with pop culture in general which often becomes a rebellious statement against the values of the generations of before. Thus a style is created which is the opposite of the traditional and the classic, and such a style makes for fantastic signatures in fashion.

So Sankuanz shows us those hallucinating colored graphic prints with Asian pop culture characters on them. At Sankuanz you wear everything oversized and loose fitting. Sankuanz uses pop art, its slogans and symbols, its colors, and even popular forms of design (basic sports sweaters) in order to create a statement of youth that does not want to look back but only forward. Frankly this is the Justin Bieber generation arriving from China – from the East.

So isn’t this the Asian century? Yes, the 21st century will be the Asian century. And the young people of China know it. It is now their time to rebel and set themselves free from the classic orthodoxy of the values of their ancestors. This is the information age and Sankuanz knows it. It shows through an eclecticism and a variety of colors in designs and patterns, but also in materials. Which today are available in wealthy China for young designers like Shangguan Zhe to be used and employed in their latest collections on the runways of Paris. There is wealth today.  And there is PVC, Corduroy, and Nylons set against hoodies and track pants. Slogans. Colors. Asian Pop Art. And we witness a new freedom found in a diversity of forms, shapes, and colors – the induction of a kaleidoscopic mix indicating that to live peacefully in a diversity of values and cultures is possible for the young of today. Call it Sophomoric at your own peril.

Young man go East.

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Posted by Sandro and photos from Sankuanz press.

 ACNE Studios Caption

Some remarkable early-sixties-boy band coifs (the monkeys, the kinks, the rubettes, the beatles, the babes …) dressed in the minimalist creations of Jonny Johannsson creative director for ACNE Studios, whose theme (you guessed it) was partly based on the looks and uniforms of artists, partly on Swedish folklore (would love to hear the stories that go with the picture above), and a retro style of tailoring harking back to the forties. Sixties hairdos, forties style, minimalist impressions – the latter as is the rule in much of art and design coming from Scandinavia, all set in a tradition of Swedish folklore – as ACNE Studios of course comes from Sweden.

As a matter of fact, the press release is as precise and minimalist as the AW 16/17 ACNE Studios collection itself, and as we cannot express or describe it any better ourselves we leave you here for what it says to enjoy:

  • A neat and boxy double-breasted jacket like a pea coat
  • Workwear pants add to the air of functionality
  • An oversized donkey jacket with half kimono, half raglan sleeves
  • Tailoring is unstructured and unassuming
  • Woven wool coats with details inspired by Swedish folklore
  • Knitwear that flatters the body
  • Suede pants with cropped leg and tailored wool pants front pleated and tapered at the ankle
  • Colors are understated navy, grey and ivory – with flashes of lavender or pink
  • Voluminous organza shirts
  • Chunky socks are a must, as are felt slippers
  • Sneakers have extra tread, decorated for utility
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Posted by Sandro and photos from ACNE Studios press.

Many years ago there was this band called the Talking Heads who may have anticipated with their staccato music all the blabbering, chatting, cluttering, and clattering that is going on in our information age today, when during any given time during a day we are overloaded and bombarded with ever more and more information to the point that we are stretched to the breaking point – no longer knowing what to do, or where to go.

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The talking nutcracker heads of Henrik Vibskov. Photo by Monika Majewska.

So with information overload the theme of the runway show – and with the gaping mouths of giant nutcrackers rhythmically clacking on a steady beat – the models took to the floor with ear and forehead covers to protect them, and with a similar device on their shoes preventing them from not stepping or slipping up in the wrong way, and in the wrong fashion. For in this information age – every step, and every bit and bite, whether analogue or digital – has become a potential pitfall.

Backstage, a model with an ‘information overload protection device’)

Backstage, a model with an ‘information overload protection device’. Photo by Monika Majewska.

This show had a lot of character because of its very current theme but also because of its retro fashion offering in that both colors and design as well as patterns had been tied to old commercial labelling and packaging as well as to the well-known classic multiverse of jazz-posters so that an early fifties vibe was going to be very hard to be denied. Shoes and boots in simple checkered black and white against offprint coloring which only retro items can magically conjure. So yes, instantly classic we should say as a feeling of sheer envy creeps upon you as you watch telling you, “yes I want that sweater where do I buy it” so that you are left hanging with an involuntary memory that this show would be remembered – and remembered well for all the right things.

That those retro nutcrackers my crack open with their staccato jaws all the nuts of our spiteful information age so that the style and the colors of yore may be remembered forever more.  Or something like that. Courtesy Henrik Vibskov, designer, who had the courage, poise, and charisma to appear almost unnoticed as the last model on the runway (see if you can spot him in our slideshow).

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Posted by Sandro and photos from Henrik Vibskov press unless otherwise noted.

How to explain the Christian Dada AW 16/17 collection? Let’s start by saying that it is actually pretty grand, to which you can attest yourself when you see the pictures below. The venue for the runway was well chosen, a typical grand Parisian Hotel Prive as the backdrop – on the rue de Turenne no less, which is well known for all its men’s fashion boutiques. It’s in the heart of the traditional Parisian men’s tailoring district.

Dadaism being what it is, of course this collection had to be all about some form or type of deconstruction, where imperfections are highlighted in order to break taboos, to throw the classic and the traditional upside down in order to challenge the social contract that binds us all. So you would expect the end result to be something less traditional and more eclectic when it comes to fashion, and less beautiful – but surprise, surprise – it was not.

Young designer Masanori Morikawa from Japan had thus been instructed by Christian Dada to create something out of many different things, and sometimes it can be imperious what designers are capable of when actually put to the test. For by employing the following ratatouille and hodgepodge of sartorial devices all at the same time Masanori was able to create something rather unique, flaming, flagrant, aye even shocking, yet ultimately beautiful:

  • Traditional Japanese weaving techniques like Yokoburi and Yuzen
  • Multiple layerings of clothing
  • Digitalized jacquard, print, and embroidery
  • A bondage theme using ties, buckles, and ropes
  • And a visual element where the right is obverse from left and vice versa

The latter idea came from the designer being influenced by a famous Japanese photographer artist who can only see with one eye. In other words, what we can see on the right is never equal to what we see on the left as the photographer always looks through the lens with only one eye, an idea which the existence of a photographer with only one eye surely highlights. Right is never left and left is never right. The colors, shapes, and forms that we see through the left will never be the same as those to the right. So let’s make it easy on the eye and create a visual obverse from left to right and right to left in our fashion collection.

Dadaism? Sure, because it shows when you can see traditional class and style being deconstructed into a kaleidoscopic new mold for a new style and a new fashion, which, we have to admit, is rather beautiful in its scope, and a project in which Christian Dada with Masanori Morikawa has wonderfully well succeeded.

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Posted by Sandro and photos from the Christian Dada press.

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