Our world may be getting increasingly fast -and patience may have become the rarest virtue- Virgil Abloh wanted to slow things down at Louis Vuitton this season, and his last show for the House had a meditative and tranquil quality.
Attracted by the power of the flower -as a natural wonder and symbolic expression of change- Abloh focused on a vision of masculinity in motion, giving his silhouette a languid and fluid feel. Pleated, pressed-crease trousers were loose and voluminous, while a mauve shirt in nappa goat leather featured one single oversize pocket, which is all that you need to carry life’s essentials. That generosity also defined Abloh’s outerwear, which was on the roomy side again, and included lightweight parkas and hooded anoraks, as well as military-inspired styles and generous trench coats. Contrived effects are not relevant in menswear right now and the designer fully embraced this longing for ease.
This does not mean, however, that the collection didn’t feature experimental shapes or daring accessories, such as pleated monogram bags or flower-covered totes. Abloh seemed to be referring to the formative years defining the passage from boyhood to manhood, and how clothes play a crucial part within that period. He did offer intricate tailoring, but in vibrant and uninhibited shades -such as fuchsia pink for instance- and innovative technical jerseys, which added a sculptural quality to his suits.
The idea of blossoming and transformation continued throughout the show and silhouettes became more dramatic, with added luggage and bags carried by the models themselves or hanging on abstract structures hovering around their bodies. Was Abloh evoking the baggage every man carries from puberty to adulthood, or was he referring to his own nomadic lifestyle? The presence of kites on some of these looks indicated that the Vuitton man was, without a doubt, ready for take-off.
/ Words by Philippe Pourhashemi /
Celebrating his brand’s 10 th anniversary within the Pitti Uomo schedule, Massimo Giorgetti was in a cheerful and energetic mood, balancing trendy tailoring and fuss-free sportswear with graphic prints and vibrant colors. Not willing to indulge into any kind of retrospective -Giorgetti would rather look forward than dwell on the past- the Rimini- born designer charmed his audience with an upbeat collection that took water as its main inspiration, evoking gorgeous summers outdoors and lazy holidays by the seaside.
Giorgetti surfed on the current wave of early 1990s inspired tailoring, which was a prominent story during the menswear shows seen in Florence. If the collection’s jackets and pants were completely on trend, a MSGM line-up wouldn’t be complete without clashing prints, joyful shades and unexpected combinations. An exclusive bandana motif looked great and refined -wickedly mixed with animal print- and tie-dye effects were strong and alluring. Giorgetti kept the silhouette relaxed and easy, with boxy shirts and roomy shorts.
One of the best things about the brand is that it offers relevant fashion at an accessible price point, and MSGM showcased its new underwear line in the finale, which also a 1990s flavor. There are plenty of MSGM men out there who love individuality and clothes that emphasize self- expression. Now, they will be able to sport the brand inside and out.
/ Words by Philippe Pourhashemi /
Showing his sleek and precise collection within Florence’s magnificent Piazza della Signoria, Paul Andrew made the wise decision not to compete with its baroque surroundings, opting for elegant and fuss-free clothes instead.
Andrew had utility garments in mind, albeit elevated with ultra-refined fabrics and beautiful finishes. Work wear and military shapes looked current and stylish, relieving us from the usual sportswear styles and over-embellished tricks. His take on tailoring was confident and desirable, but the attitude was always relaxed. For instance, he paired a distinguished, 3 button pale green suit with casual suede espadrilles and cool sunglasses. The overall mood of the show stuck to this “let’s not try too hard” formula and it definitely paid off.
Biker detailing complemented sleeveless jackets for men and overalls for women, reminding us of Bryan Ferry’s nonchalant elegance. It was no wonder that Roxy Music’s “Love is the Drug” opened the show, as you could imagine the British singer rocking every piece. Andrew used paper thin lambskin in sensual ways, such as a tight-fitting pair of caramel colored jeans, which were styled with a ribbed, buttoned-up knit top. For women, he also used crochet knitting, nicely avoiding the bohemian trap to turn it into a modern technique.
Hooded parka jumpsuits were worn by men and women alike, often layered under short lightweight jackets. To make a point that his clothes for the House were timeless, approachable and flattering, Andrew had an amazing casting, spanning several generations, ethnicities and attitudes. His color palette was also enticing, from warm oranges and soft pastels to soothing purples and royal blues. Ferragamo fans will be pleased to know that there are gorgeous -and rather large leather bags- to lust after next season, in striking shades of aubergine, terracotta, green and tan.
/ Words by Philippe Pourhashemi /
Y/PROJECT FALL WINTER 19/20 AT PITTI UOMO 95
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH GLENN MARTENS
Being asked to be the Guest Designer at Pitti Uomo in Florence is definitely a badge of honor for a designer, as well as a strong sign of recognition. Glenn Martens, who is only in his mid-30s, showed a powerful and directional collection within the historical walls of the Chiostro Grande del Complesso di Santa Maria Novella. We caught up with the talented Belgian to discuss his love of tradition, his ongoing vision for Y/Project and what he thinks ‘streetwear’ actually means.
Philippe Pourhashemi: How was the idea of presenting in Florence appealing to you?
Glenn Martens: I came here for the first time when I finished high school, just before my first year at university. For me, Florence remains a major cultural center in Europe, which flourished during the Renaissance. I also wanted a democratic feel for the show and picked this venue because it’s a Florentine landmark while being open to visitors. Pitti Uomo is a fair welcoming thousands of people each season and it seemed logical for me to keep that sense of openness.
PP: How did you translate this vibe within the collection?
GM: I think Y/Project speaks to very different clients and this eclecticism is reflected in the new collection. I wanted the clothes to feel opulent, but playful at the same time. There’s a whole theme in the show, which I named “Pop-Up”, where garments are doubled-up and seem to fall over the body. I also printed certain fabrics on tulle, which I layered over the originals, creating optical effects. I always like to give our clients several options to style the garments they choose, which means many pieces are pretty transformable.
PP: And you’ve expanded your line of footwear, as well as the bags. The thigh-high boots are really amazing.
GM: Yes, it’s great to have a full collection and our first one for men. The last thing I wanted to show was sneakers, so we started from this idea of a formal shoe and changing the shape, from two-tone boots and square fronts with heels to strappy sandals and sleek patent leather boots for women.
PP: There are always so many ideas in your shows, but you’ve also perfected some of the styles introduced last season.
GM: I get easily bored, but it was rewarding to be able to develop certain ideas in more depth. I showed more womenswear looks as well, which was exciting for me.
PP: Streetwear’ is as overused in fashion as the ‘luxury’ word. How do you define it?
GM: For me streetwear is a tracksuit with a print. We offer that within our collections, but now our clients also buy the tailoring and more intricate pieces. It’s important for me that they represent the brand well.
PP: What was it like working with the Pitti Uomo team?
GM: I have to say they were quite wonderful people, warm, dedicated and professional. I’m super pleased with how it’s turned out.
PP: How did you manage to get it all ready on time?
GM: Well, it was a bit of a stretch and we had to work extra hard, but somehow we managed to launch everything before the Christmas holidays.
PP: You’re not scared of the pressure, are you?
GM: Not at all. I even enjoy it.
Brand new Byredo flagship store opened in Paris a few days ago. Rue Saint-Honoré plays an essential part of the label story. Colette was one of the very first stores worldwide to support Ben Gorham’s project.
M/M Paris studio (founded by Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag), long-term collaborators have brought their own creative vision to the new space. Wallpaper's made by 7 exclusive posters from Mathias drawings. Imaginative atmosphere for perfumes, home fragrances, leather goods, and a selection of unexpected objects, like scented papers. A simple luxury, available only in this boutique.
“Even though these stores share the same emotion, I really tackle them individually and try to understand and respect the place they are in – the city, the neighbourhood. So it’s less about copy and paste and more about really creating something – in this case – for Paris”
Ben Gorham, Founder and Creative Director.
199 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris
/ by Julie Nysten /
/ Photos by Annabel Elston, Matthieu Gadoin and Julie Nysten /