A tribute to the Black Panthers and Martin Luther King, the Ana Locking AW17/18 collection The Dreamers proved to be a powerful political statement as well as a fashion-forward one. With all models (both male and female) sporting the original black panther-style beret hats, the collection was strong and confident.

While BDMOTP doesn’t normally love men in big furs and leopard print, something about this line just…worked. Any man would adore those drawstring, comfortable pants or the one of the oversized blazers layered over a turtleneck on a chilly winter day. The patterned bomber jackets and printed suit, while slightly outlandish, could be fun for a real statement piece or outfit. And of course, the berets or Dreamer t-shirts could easily be combined with a number of pieces.

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Words by Lori Zaino and photos from Ugo Camera IFEMA.

Not unusual for AW17/18, Moises Nieto showed a brief flash of menswear including layered, colorblocked separates. Casual and cool, the looks weren’t quite urban streetwear, but definitely weren’t elegant either–which is what we liked: something just a little bit different.

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Long, lightweight trenches with cuffed trousers and bright scarves marked most of the menswear.

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Pops of bold orange bomber-style windbreaker jackets layered over patterned tops were fun too.

As menswear is relatively new for Moises Nieto, we look forward to seeing what he’ll bring to the table next season.

Words by Lori Zaino and photos from Ugo Camera IFEMA.

A tame, preppier side of Roberto Verino came out for AW17/18 at MBFW Madrid. Staunch suit jackets and ascot-style silk neck scarves graced the models of the off-runway catwalk. Suits in black, navy and white were fairly basic except for the “RV” logo sewn into them, a tribute to a dapper Ralph Lauren, perhaps?

Although the Spanish market has slightly recovered from the hit of the economic crisis some years back, fashion has still taken a toll. Perhaps a return to the basics are what Spain is looking for at the moment?

Only time will tell, but men, if you need something to wear to work, pick up a classical RV suit.

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Words by Lori Zaino and photos from Ugo Camera IFEMA.

Francis Montesinos takes things to another level for AW17/18 as per usual. The show starting off with bagpipes and a set based on Adam and Eve, elf-styled models walked the runway to Peter Pan music, decked out in green, colorful woodsy green outfits and floral patterns.

The men sported Robin-Hood esque furs, sheepskins and feathers, grandpa-esque knitwear in bold colors like purple and bright green and the occasional pop of white when needed. Wearable? Not sure, but certainly fun.

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Words by Lori Zaino and photos from Ugo Camera IFEMA.

Devota y Lomba brings it back to the classics with a huge presence of menswear f0r  AW17/18–and not just for men. Both women and men sported tweed capes and baggy, belted suits and an all-over masculine vibe.

The belt was a big feature this season, hooking together voluminous layers under suit jackets and snazzy dress pants. Jackets layered over untucked shirts,long vests and colorblocked blazers also took the collection from a typical Savile Row dapper style to an edgy new level.

Tweed and wool offer winter warmth and bowties paired with the baggy trousers offer a juxtaposed tailored, yet untailored look that we at BDMOTP absolutely love. Plus, we loved the layered blazer upon blazer and white cuffs.

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Words by Lori Zaino and photos from Ugo Camera IFEMA.

Always save the best for last.

Because there is no substitute for class, here is Agnès b. After all this is the designer who once worked with Quentin Tarantino to create the style and the characters of Pulp Fiction. She also worked with David Lynch. And it must be said it often takes a great stylist – perchance always – to create a great film. So that neither the brand nor the name needs an introduction by Best Dressed Man.

Therefore we like to close with the Agnès b. feature shoot because it puts the perfect finishing touch over one fashion week homme in both range and variety of styles which today come out of France, and for which the country is well-known, if not famous.

Here is a small Anthology for the week.

Fittingly the week opened with grand old style deacon Lucien Pellat-Finet who under the motto ‘the bad taste of yesterday is the good taste of today’ playfully recreated what is universally known as a style of French Pop.

As the week continued there was Officine Générale with a new collection, a rather new brand (2012) based upon a French style notion of, well, being French and therefore inevitably French Nonchalance. A casual style most ‘decontracté’.

Our Fashion Tour de France continued to Commune de Paris 1871 where we identified a rebellious form of what we dubbed Workman Chic. Super French indeed.

So here is the closer. And no comments left. As there is no substitute for French Class.

Voilà Agnès b.

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Words by Sandro and photos from Agnès b.

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 ‘)

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Words by Sandro and photos from Paul & Joe.

Commune de Paris 1871 is a high end French menswear brand whose name is based upon the peoples uprising that took place in the spring of that year in Paris, but which was crushed in bloody fashion after only two or three months. Therefore, it stands for a rebellious spirit and we find that vibe back in the CDP look book under inspirations. In fact, it is that very typical spirit which can only be described to foreigners as perhaps ‘rive droit’, that cradle of the spirit of the revolution.

But today’s contemporary ‘communards’ (the rebellious rabble of yore) are coming in the form of BoNoBos (bourgeois not bohemienne) as the style of CDP is to be called rather BCBG (bon chic bon genre) or perhaps even simply high-end chic urbain. They also come in form of urban tourists as this is the theme of the new CDP AW 17 collection. And to mark the event in colors and great stylized shapes and patterns the collection also prides a cool collaboration with a well-known graphics design bureau (Les Graphiquants). And this is a hit. For the patterns and colors in the garments are refreshingly modern and interesting yet simple as something out of a museum for design or modern art.

The press release therefore describes the wear rightly as Fancy Workwear, Fun, with Bold Graphics, Simplicity and in the style of a Uniform. So that despite the uppity mix of great fabrics (lots of wools, cashmere, alpaca, moleskin and satin) and a refreshingly rich and popular look (grand sweaters, baseball caps, high school sports or bomber jackets), and beyond all what wealthy young people can afford today, there is still this link to the simplicity of the humble worker, the bus driver, postman, or taxi driver. Which of course is very Parisian in its conception – let’s call it Worker Chic.

You see, what we failed to mention, is that de Commune de Paris 1871 store in Paris was recently broken into by thieves and robbed. And you’d think they would take the money or the I-pads, but no, they only came for 6 shirts or sweaters. So what better advertisement there is in this day and age when the first thing to be robbed in Paris is the Apple store or Kim Kardashian, to have your high end fashion store robbed by people who only take a couple of shirts?

It thus seems that the spirit of 1871 is still alive on the Rive Droit.

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Words by Sandro and photos from Commune de Paris 1871.

Sankuanz may very well be China’s answer to Julius from Japan in that the inspiration for the collection comes from a rather dystopian future, with the one difference that the ominous source of all the colorful and oddly shaped sartorial trouble is perhaps not a book (the Julius show theme was based upon a 1984 sci-fi novel), but rather some twisted take on the aberrant universe straight from the millennial gaming industry’s classics like the Half-Life, Bio Shock, or Fallout series, in that most of the characters of the cast are dressed in industrial tech fabrics and materials (designer Shangguan Zhe is using DuPont materials, UHMWPE, as well as aramid fibers for his creations), as well as in bio-hazard suits, which – as gaming legend would have it – must warrant all of us different levels of protection from whatever assault or onslaught both natural or unnatural the future may hold.

Comes to mind a well-known quote from Half-Life 2 as perhaps a fitting motto for the Sankuanz collection AW 17:

“The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference. So wake up Mr. Freeman, wake up. And smell the ashes.”

When then you read that the Sankuanz show press release tells us pointedly that the outfits and garments on the runways are for a time of ‘an unravelling of the establishment’ (cue Half-Life, Fallout, Bio Shock and recent events in modern-day politics from Brexit to the election to Donald Trump), then you realize that designer Zhe perhaps is onto something.

And to be as disruptive and as blunt as possible (sound familiar?) he then continues to rub salt in our aesthetic wounds by parading in front of us as word prints on hazard wear with the following brutal catch phrases as the dark and stark reminder of the realities of our barren times: ‘immigrant’, ‘massacre’, ‘natural selection’, ‘visual pollution’, and simply ‘destroy’.

Hence that the show is called ‘destroy’ and we must make a special citation here for the originality of the runway show invitation which came in the form of space age material wrist bracelet / band – in tatters and rolls, and, who knows, probably resistant to any form of rhodium radiation:

“Welcome. Welcome to City 17. You have chosen, or been chosen, to relocate to one of our finest remaining urban centers.”

(from Half-Life 2: that pervasive disembodied voice of a ubiquitously droning announcement in an abandoned city)

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Words by Sandro and photos from Sankuanz.

What would you expect? Hey after all this is the man who once dressed up to be photographed like Godzilla while sporting a biker beard – and as a giant mushroom with a frog on his bold head.

Yes folks, it is Walter van Beirendonck again, the old Belgian master, this time with a pagan quality show which can only be related somehow to the 18th century histoire of a local Belgian gang called the Buckriders who once upon a lost time terrorized local populations dressed up as goats. For here was a pagan ensemble dressed up as goats playing drums and disharmonious instruments with a pan-like creature goading and guiding and egging on the models on the runway as the Piper at the Gates of Dawn – if not the terrified fashionistas in the crowd and audience.

But hey what matters, if the quality of the style of menswear is actually really good – if not even a little chic despite the multiform accessories and interesting sartorial contraptions pasted across (or hanging form) the designs; the colorful symphony outstanding in its pallet and imagination if not the range and variety of materials; and if through the medieval chaos or 18th century angst both modern elegance and class still manage to shine through.

In short, this old master once delivered again, as amazingly Walter van Beirendonck keeps on dreaming up yet ever more harrowing tales – or beautiful stories if you want, in the pursuit of tailoring excellence and the power of wild imagination in men’s fashion.

Hold on for the ride! For here come Walter’s Buckriders…

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Words by Sandro and photos by Walter van Beirendonck.

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