After 22/4 on Day I of Paris FW 15, this was BDMOTP’s second day coming to the Palais de Tokyo in the 16th arrondissement of Paris on Day II, a venue where several fashion shows are being held. It serves as a great location with plenty of different type of space for runways inside, and is set high up on the hill above the river with the Eiffel Tower serving as a backdrop on the other side of the bridge. Great venue, great location, as the Boris Bidjan Saberi runway show was being held squarely on the mezzanine of the building – a space nothing fancy – but something very professional which we could tell by the light fixtures. Had the ghost of Yves Saint Laurent, the man, shown up in noir et blanc and with some inconspicuous nerd glasses, in other words, no one would have really looked surprised.
The show was good and short, but left a strong image and a strong memory, for here we witnessed the Pilgrim’s Progress, as in some life of the path of the Buddha with young men going EAST looking for James Hilton’s Lost Horizon in search for some latter day Shangri-La walking alone in stealth and solemn procession of orange & carmine (the colors of the Buddha), black & grey, and in camel & beige – but with the tints and hues of what can only be the Sands of Samarkand, because the Silk Road is endless and leads continuously EAST, so that your menswear better resembles an old & rugged Persian carpet, while you carry your sleeping mat upon your back. Could it serve as a flying carpet maybe? Or so we wondered.
Mongolian winter hats, trapper-strapping boots, and Middle Kingdom parkas which Marco Polo might have donned when meeting Kubla Khan after several thousand miles of lonely desert road – did cross our imagination momentarily when gazing at the runway, but when looking closely we noticed rubber gloves – in black, orange, and beige – as well as various kitchen aprons worn, the meaning of this latter day urban version of a lonely pilgrim’s journey to the EAST became more clear:
For man(kind) is not lost but we are on a never-ending urban journey ready to lay our heads wherever we may, wherever we can, in order to one day meet at the Middle Kingdom of our cosmopolitan dreams. For this end we fix our gaze at the horizon with face-paint in black or orange on our stern (sic), and we carry sleeping mats and rubber gloves and aprons and oriental shoulder sacs – with some fruits or nuts inside – so as not to be exposed to the elements on our rigorous and endless journey – our ears and neck well protected by camel & pony shorn Mongolian hats – while we ride the metro, the subway, or a dirty Greyhound bus.
It actually all makes sense with this beautiful collection created by Boris Bidjan Saberi if you think about it, when in the end perhaps you get to meet the great Kubla Kahn.
‘In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree …’
Posted by Sandro Joo and photos by Franz Kennedy.