Bal­main makes de­buts at Paris menswear

The China Post - - ARTS - BY THOMAS ADAM­SON

Sum­mer was in the air in Paris menswear col­lec­tions with white roses and lash­ings of col­ors. Mean­while, fash­ion-con­scious NBA player Amar’e Stoudemire spoke to The As­so­ci­ated Press on the trend to fuse sports­wear in ready-to-wear. Here are the high­lights from Dior Homme, Kenzo and Bal­main’s de­but menswear show.

Flower-filled Walk

It was a walk among the flow­ers for Dior Homme, who un­veiled its new col­lec­tion in a labyrinth filled with sev­eral thou­sand white roses.

The gar­den theme was ap­pro­pri­ate enough set­ting for a spring-sum­mer show, and brought home the house iden­tity: Mon­sieur Chris­tian Dior fa­mously loved blooms.

Guests, in­clud­ing ac­tors Boyd Hol­brook and James Franco’s ac­tor brother, Dave Franco, stared out in de­light — and nor­mally-re­trained fash­ion ed­i­tors were seen stoop­ing down to get the best photo of the scented spec­ta­cle — re­flected back with huge mir­rored pan­els. But the flow­ers were also a metaphor for the col­lec­tion. It started out safe with bread-and-but­ter dark slim suit styles, which, as the col­lec­tion pro­gressed, ger­mi­nated into cam­ou­flage print on lozenge tank tops and on shirts, where it was con­trasted with ab­stract squig­gles on a shirt. And then the col­lec­tion bloomed. A vivid red car coat ap­peared, bright white jeans, and a state­ment daz­zling yel­low coat with large col­lar in crocodile leather.

The touches of color were bright, bold and per­fect for the met­ro­sex­ual sum­mer man.

Amar’e Stoudemire Talks Sports in Fash­ion

All 2.08 me­ters of Stoudemire have stood out quite promi­nently in Paris fash­ion week this sea­son — with the NBA player at­tend­ing nu­mer­ous shows in­clud­ing Bal­main Satur­day.

Stoudemire, who plays for the Dal­las Mav­er­icks, is no stranger to the fash­ion scene and has at­tended Paris menswear weeks twice be­fore — as well as hav­ing col­lab­o­rated on his own fash­ion line.

He said it’s great that more and more sports­wear is be­ing seen on the ready-to-wear cat­walk, like in Givenchy’s use of bas­ket­ball top sil­hou­ettes or Bal­main’s use of base­ball caps.

“I love fash­ion. And it’s a sign of cre­ativ­ity that brands are mix­ing sports in their de­signs, like Givenchy,” he said, at the Bal­main show.

“I think in the last five or six years, col­lab­o­ra­tions with sports and fash­ion have re­ally taken off — like my sporty col­lab­o­ra­tion with (de­signer) Rachel Roy in wom­enswear,” he said.

Stoudemire sat next to fel­low NBA star Serge Ibaka, who plays for Ok­la­homa City Thun­der.

Kenzo’s Amer­i­can Space Work­sta­tion

Was the dusty, bolder-filled decor of Kenzo’s show evok­ing a rocky U.S. land­scape, or a planet in outer space?

The spring-sum­mer col­lec­tion’s funky de­signs — which took Amer­i­can fac­tory worker styles and gave them a space age spin — pointed to both.

A but­ter­milk yel­low jump­suit with hoops, draw­strings on high­waisted work­ers’ pants — mixed with a prickly 3D sweater and as­sorted pants in ochre that looked like an ex­tra from Star Trek. It had a fan­tas­tic tex­ture, and was one of the show’s best looks.

Tassles and draw­strings on slim ochre jack­ets added the nec­es­sary util­i­tar­ian de­tails for the ever-cool de­sign­ers Carol Lim and Hum­berto Leon.

But the col­lec­tion was also a dis­play of Kenzo’s tal­ents as col­orists, with a beau­ti­ful se­ries of patch­work col­lage gar­ments, like an en­vi­able striped coat and jacket that was worn tucked — of course — in­side the pants.

Bal­main’s Menswear De­but

Bal­main’s menswear de­but was all about dis­cov­ery. First, was a jour­ney of in­spi­ra­tion for 29-year-old de­signer Olivier Rouste­ing on how to trans­late his de­signs — which have gar­nered great at­ten­tion in wom­enswear — for a male clien­tele.

And, sec­ond, Rouste­ing’s start­ing point on this cre­ative jour­ney was — rather lit­er­ally — voy­ages.

“This guy is ex­actly how I am. Some­one dis­cov­er­ing the world as an ad­ven­turer, try­ing to find new trea­sures,” he said.

Sa­fari-in­fused col­ors of ochre be­gan the show in a stylish leather jacket, warm khaki army shorts, and a cap — that looked part sa­fari, part base­ball.

And the col­ors of the earth that pro­ceeded — brown leathers, stone, ochre yel­lows and ochre browns — con­tin­ued evok­ing this im­pres­sion of a man walk­ing the land. Ac­ces­sories like back­pack­ers’ bags, and high san­dals — were al­most fit for a desert trek. Mul­ti­ple lay­ered looks — with satchels, belts, lapels, and pock­ets — also felt like the Bal­main man would be well-pro­tected to weather the el­e­ments.

Rouste­ing is lauded for his ex­u­ber­ant fe­male de­signs and fas­tid­i­ous em­bel­lish­ments. This menswear de­but cap­tured this, but per­haps could have ben­e­fited with the de­signer bring­ing the de­tail­ing down one notch for the more sober male au­di­ence.

That said, the best look in the show, a vo­lu­mi­nous stone jacket, belt, boots and cot­ton sweat­pants drove the per­fect line be­tween ex­u­ber­ant and mas­cu­line.

Wom­enswear and Menswear

Since the days of Coco Chanel, and then Yves Saint Lau­rent, fash­ion has been about blur­ring the lines be­tween male and fe­male.

One of the new trends in Paris Fash­ion Week is to have fe­male mod­els walk the cat­walk in menswear shows, along­side the male mod­els.

This phe­nom­e­non started as a reg­u­lar fix­ture when Ric­cardo Tisci took over as de­signer at Givenchy seven years ago — suc­cess­fully high­light­ing the an­drog­yny in the Ital­ian’s de­signs.

And now it pops up all over the place, in­clud­ing in Satur­day’s Bal­main show, where 12 fe­male mod­els were spot­ted, sport­ing cou­ture-like gowns with baroque de­tail­ing.


A model wears a cre­ation for Dior Homme men’s Spring-Sum­mer 2016 fash­ion col­lec­tion, pre­sented Satur­day, June 27.

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