CLUB 21

STYLE. CREATIVITY. PASSION

PARIS MEN’S FASHION WEEK: COMME des GARÇONS SS 2013.

Do fashion designers have a get-together and a brainstorm session before each fashion week or what? In a span of a week, at least three brands have cottoned on to the camouflage print: Valentino, Dries Van Noten and now Comme des Garcons. At the latter, the narrative of the collection – the long topcoat – started with the camouflage series, with the camou print in shirts and pants worn under frock coats. To the pulsating strain of Black Sabbath, Rei Kawakubo subverted an inherently rebellious rock and roll wardrobe into a collection that is at once inventive, modern, masculine and yet thoroughly accessible.

PARIS MEN’S FASHION WEEK: PAUL SMITH SS 2013.

Before men’s wear went all avant-garde and experimental in silhouettes and fabrication, there was Paul Smith. The British designer has long been a champion of classic tailoring with a twist of English eccentricity. For spring-summer 2013, Sir Paul showed why he’s still the one of best in this game of good old-fashioned clothes for men. The collection got all the ticks in the right boxes: the colours; the tailoring and even the right amount of Mod-styling to the looks.

PARIS MEN’S FASHION WEEK: LANVIN SS 2013.

Pushing the gender envelope has always been one of Lanvin men’s wear strongest points; flirting with stereotypes has, undeniably, added a fillip to past collections. This season, however, Lucas Ossendrijver sent this idea into semi-retirement; operative word being “semi”. The collection seems to be built from his own vision of what men’s wear is all about currrently. These are clothes for the man-boy, the tough man, the man who is not afraid to embrace his feminine side (exit 23 and 24) and anything in between the masculinity spectrum. Silhouettes veered from the voluminous to the slim; colours are muted, bar for some shiny happy numbers. Expected to see high-waisted and rolled short sleeves looks come next spring-summer.

PARIS MEN’S FASHION WEEK: MIHARAYASUHIRO SS 2013.

It could be a case of listening too much to David Lynch’s latest album Carzy Clown Time, but it seems Mihara Yasuhiro’s latest inspiration for his spring-summer 2013 men’s wear is Lynch’s classic film, Wild at Heart. Not only was it the Japanese designer’s take on 1980s Americana, he also interprets the snakeskin blazer given to the protagonist at the start of the film into over-sized and embossed T-shirtsm shorts and shirts. In neutral tones through to vivid yellow and red, this collection seeks to quietly unleash the inner rebel in every man.

PARIS MEN’S FASHION WEEK: JUNYA WATANABE SS 2013.

Revisiting old territory may sound unimaginative yet Junya Watanabe’s reprisal of his signature aesthetic delivered a collection that is familiar yet fresh. A case of WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get. These are sensible clothes – Watanabe is brilliant at repackaging practical Western vetements and serving it back to them – that will appeal. From blazers to denim, shorts and trousers that ends above the ankles, simple shirts to outwear, the preppy collection makes for a perfect crisp summer wardrobe.

PARIS MEN’S FASHION WEEK: YOHJI YAMAMOTO SS 2013.

Of all the Japanese designers, Yohji Yamamoto is perhaps the only one who has championed a certain aesthetic and look. His insouciant vagabond chic has found fans in many from Paris to Perth.. And for spring-summer 2013, the Japanese meister refined his signature look: there were the expressive roomy silhouette (the billowing shorts_, plus an exciting shot of colours and tailored looks. Yohji fans will huddle and wait.

PARIS MEN’S FASHION WEEK: 3.1 PHILLIP LIM SS 2013.

For spring-summer 2013, Phillip Lim went Portuguese. In particular, he cites his inspiration as Barroca – Portuguese for Baroque – plus the minimal influences of Nipo-Brasileiro, the unique subculture that is borne of the Japanese-Brazilian identity that is indigenous to the South American country. His is a modern take and amalgation of two polarised styles. Accessorised with youthful energy, the simple palette, strong lines and textured fabrics make this a clean, elegant yet edgy collection.

PARIS MEN’S FASHION WEEK: KOLOR SS 2013.

The current men’s wear landscape is parted like a sartorial Red Sea: At one spectrum, there are those who root for the trad and formal; on the other end sits those designers who are keen to banish the stiff three-piece for good. Kolor falls into the latter category. For spring-summer 2013, the Japanese label is channelling a relaxed and insouciant aesthetic: shorts, cardies, and unstructure jackets plus those ubiquitous footwear of next season, the man-dals.

PARIS MEN’S FASHION WEEK: ISSEY MIYAKE SS 2013.

Olympics-titus is contagious: Sports casts a huge influence in spring summer 2013 men’s wear. At Issey Miyake, the sport in question is cycling. (The show started with models cycling up a ramp and into the Place des Vosges show address to a packed audience.) Functional sports-utility wear is but only one story here; the other focus in this collection is on paper garments, specifically treated Japanese Washi paper, an ancient material used in quotidien Japanese clothing. (Bonded with rayon and laminated, washi becomes washable and can be woven into a strong fabric as coats, blousons and pants.) The result: a collection constructed around a traditional lightweight fabric that has been updated with modern technical innovation. And the versatility and wearability of the clothes are best demonstrated by men in motion, hence, the bicyclists. On your bike!

PARIS MEN’S FASHION WEEK: DRIES VAN NOTEN SS 2013.

The evergreen camouflage print underpins the entire spring-summer 2013 collection of Dries Van Noten. The print – also known as DPM or Disruptive Pattern Material – found its way on blousons, trousers, jackets and more. And taking this military-protection motif further, the collection also include the use of styling details – velcro straps and padded bodice – borrowed from protective security vests worn by the police and other such personnel. Certainly, it’s a gesture that relfects the signs of our times, the need to be protected from the financial vagaries that have plagued the international community. Stylish, chic and totally what we need in these time of insecurity.