Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Man About Paris Part 1

Above: I'd been wanting to pay homage to 31 Rue Cambon for years. And after loving the few menswear pieces that Dover Street Market had in their Chanel special collection last year, I was also really looking forward to seeing the new collection as it's usually the only place in the world that sells any of it. They don't even have it on show: I had to ask for a discreet wardobe door to be opened and they closed it as soon as I finished trying things on. After I left and just as I was taking some exterior shots of the house, Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour popped into frame...

When I gave my blog the rather grand title Man About World I did it semi tongue-in-cheek but also to refer to the globe-trotter-like way that I spend some years. Working as a factual TV producer/director I’m used to grabbing my carry-on luggage and a camera kit and being handed an itinerary which tells me to jump straight in a cab to the airport and just has a list of hire car references and hotel bookings for some city or country I’ve never been to or maybe even never heard of before.

It’s pretty ironic then that is the first time I’ve made use of my passport since starting the blog a full fashion season ago. Since then it’s been more Man About London than anything else. Anyway, today I arrived in Paris. Yes, it’s Paris fashion week and I'll be going to a few shows and showrooms but what actually brought me here was a long-standing need to reconnect with my nearest neighbouring capital and one of the most important fashion cities after a 14 year absence…

After getting settled into my friend’s flat and shoving an amazing steak frites down my eager gullet, I headed out for a stroll starting at Les Halles and ending several kilometres and a few hours later at L’Etoile Arc du Triomphe.

These are some of the things I saw and thoughts I had along the way…

Above: Anna made a point of pointing out something from the grass green tweed collection.

Above: 31 Rue Cambon, home of the strongest name in fashion
Below: Upstairs, where about 400 people work in the offices and put the haute couture together in the ateliers.

Above: The window of Colette. Mannequins wear layered shear silk crepe covering other fabrics and the same fabric thought over their faces. The lace face covering and layers are still around, as seen by Lady Gaga in her red lace outfit which she accepted an MTV award in recently. But we’ve seen so much sheer and translucent finishes on the catwalk in the last few weeks (from menswear designer Tim Soar’s ripstop nylon in London to Versace’s transparent minis) that I think the flat translucent fabrics will takeover in a major way over the next 3-6 months. Both is these were trends I was interested in back at Graduate Fashion Week in June.

Below: I love the line given by belting men's jackets at the moment. From Thom Browne's 70s safari-inspired wide belts in the fabric which matched jacket to these thin leather ones styled by the visual merchandiser at Kenzo, it's a directional look which is smart yet fun.

Above and below: inventive window displays at Lanvin

Above: Braided black leather jacket in the window but sold out at Zara Champs-Elysees and allegedly every other will they learn to take a few more risks on statement pieces like this or do they still believe men want to hide away in ill-fitting blandness?

Below: A great men's cape in Givenchy...but then you know I love capes already...

Below: I can't take off these rough cotton drop-crotch chinos from All Saints since I bought them last week. The loose on top, tapered aesthetic which probably started with Nichloas Guesquierre's jodhpurs for women 4 seasons ago has finally filtered down this far and is giving men an alternative to the skinnies and straight legs which have been most guys uniform since Slimane at Dior about 4 years ago.

On the slate...

1 comment:

  1. Right place right time again Mr Maw! waiting for your next Paris post.