The editorial team’s pick of the best.
a morning coat with a military air worn over a plunging V–neck cardigan; and a greatcoat that wrapped around like some cubist plaid in Klein blue, brick red, or smouldering mustard … There were also a few inspired details of staging ( knit sleeves folded back over the jacket wrist, silk scarves worn next to the skin ), while a toned down range of colours ( navy, white, slate, sand, or lavender ) definitively stamped Pilati’s touch on the venerable fashion house. Revolution it was not, more a subtle reinterpretation of the male wardrobe, somewhere between powerful lines and delicate detailing, which the Milanese master with the Hemingway beard takes to new heights of seduction. —For his first runway show under the Zegna banner, stefano pilati brought the house down. In record time, more precisely in 42 looks, he sent out a wardrobe to die for, ratcheted the “traditional” DNA of the luxury Italian tailor up several notches, and really got you itching to dress up. That takes some doing, these days … Dipping into the well of fabulous fabrics for which the firm is justly famed, Pilati has developed a fluid, classical yet vibrantly contemporary line, thanks to his unbeatable proportions and acute sense of styling. Just what that means for mere mortals is this: sharp trousers worn under a flowing trench coat; raglan sleeves; a safari jacket with massive shoulders and pinched waist; an evening suit worn under a topcoat as light as the breeze, with the casual look of a dressing gown; the timeless shirt and tie but worn underneath a transparent feather–light cashmere tank top;
Dries on show
— On 1st March, Dries Van noten took over the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs for an exhibition designed as a dialogue between his creations and his sources of inspiration — fashion, cinema, the fine arts, etc. The impressive show brims with the personal poetry of the Antwerp–based designer, who for the past three decades has been the driving force behind a subtle eccentricity in menswear. How would you sum up the exhibition devoted to you at the Decorative Arts Museum? It’s very personal, intimate even. I reveal my inspirations, what touches me. People will be able to work out how I create. Alongside my clothes there are works of art, from Elizabeth Peyton to Bronzino, and from Yves Klein to Francis Bacon. There’s an incredible seascape by Thierry de Cordier, too. I also went digging in the Arts Décoratifs’ fashion archives, so Balenciaga, Dior, and Schiaparelli are featured, as well as designers from the 1980s like Yohji Yamamoto, Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Gianni Versace. The early 1980s was a very important period for me because it was when I was studying at the Antwerp Academy, and the creativity there was totally OTT. It was the time when creativity migrated from cou- ture to ready–to–wear. And that’s quite something, because all at once, young people could at last buy way–out clothing. What’s the most unusual item in the exhibition? Perhaps the pair of boots that Pierre Cardin designed for Baron de Redé for the Bal Oriental in 1969. What does Paris mean to you? Fashion, without a doubt. Paris is a city that burns up a lot of energy. Living, or surviving in Paris is really intense. There are too many things to see, and too many influences, what with the exhibitions and the people on the streets or in the metro. I find it exhausting, and I’m happy to get back home, to Antwerp. Next year you’ll be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the launch of your menswear collections. How do you think that fashion has evolved over those three decades? The 1980s were a time of incredible freedom, of tremendous exuberance for men, largely thanks to Jean Paul Gaultier. The 1990s poured some cold water on that. Minimalism — the black suit and white or black T–shirt — took over everything. Today, I have a sense that men are being bold once again. Without succumbing to extravagance, I can sense them shift gently back towards more imaginative clothing. Which item of clothing would you have loved to invent? Jeans, of course — they’re the magical item of clothing. What rates as elegance these days? Feeling good, and showing that you feel good. What will Dries Van Noten man be wearing this summer? Floral prints.
“Dries Van noten inspirations” runs until 31st August at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.
they get everywhere
—It makes you think. All those brands hunkered down in high–security bunkers as they concoct their next catwalk collection. And then whammy! Turns out that they’ve all been enveloped in some sort of collective unconscious and come up with, wait for it, Prints! Prints everywhere for Spring/Summer 14! Floral, picture postcard prints of well–known monuments, Hawaiian ( de rigueur ), op art and pop art! The print jazzes up an otherwise classic silhouette and tells us silly is OK, fun is OK. The fashion houses, gucci ( featured ), praDa and saint Laurent paris among them, have thought things through and given us plenty of imaginative scope for chilling out without looking like a style jihadi.