MEN FW REVIEW: WHAT HAPPENED IN FASHION

26 janvier 2018
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– Written by Brendon John
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After the fashion sprint from London to Milan, Paris Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2018 has descended upon us bringing more drama than anyone would have thought. Headlines are currently dominated by the LVMH coup of roping Hedi Slimane in to refocus Céline (launching a menswear line among other changes) and in 6 month’s time we’ll be able to take the measure of his impact within the brand and see the fruits of his labours. For now however there are more pressing concerns.
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VETEMENTS FW 2018 
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Vetements found a photocopier
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Demna Gvasalia’s Maison Margiela pedigree and his enduring love for the starkly original styling of Margiela are well documented, however, in the Vetements Autumn Winter 2018 collection one could be forgiven for asking if he has gone a shade too far. Two things stood out in particular: his appropriation of the “tabi boot” a cloven-toed Japanese work-wear inspired shoe that has been a signature look of Margiela for over 25 years; and his appropriation of the Margiela style labelling using four threads which loosely hold a printed tag on the back of the garment leaving the four threads as a visible mark of the garments provenance. 
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Brought to light by Instagram account DietPrada, the entire incident raises complex questions of what it means to cite ones influences, and of what the limit between homage and visual theft is. Responding to the accusations in interviews after the show, Gvasalia was keen to point out that Margiela was more of a design philosophy than a fashion house and that everyone takes influence from somewhere. And to a degree he is right – Maison Margiela has, under John Galliano, mutated substantially. The menswear collection (the first that Galliano has designed since joining Margiela) being final proof of this; it bares little resemblance to the codes that Margiela founded for the Maison – moving more solidly towards the décoritqué  which Galliano unveiled in the previous season’s woman’s wear collections.
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AMI FW 2018
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Finally, though Vetements’ tabi shoes were, in upholstered fabric with coin stacked heels (for the woman’s wear section of the show) and in patchwork black leather, less sleek than what Margiela created, the simplicity is off and it looks like in a sense a badly conceived copy – which is of course in line with the Vetements aesthetic… 
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left : MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA TABI SOLES, 1996 – right : Vintage MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA TABI BOOTS, 1989 
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Kaiser Karl gets a facial
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As Suzy Menkes reported on her Instagram Karl Lagerfeld is now sporting a wonderfully wispy white beard. No really. I’m serious. The news was quickly relayed across other Instagram accounts and around the Internet in general. Choupette seems finally to have left more than a mere impression on the venerable designer; her furry fingertips are all over Karl’s white whiskers.
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KARL
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Ami took to the rooftops
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Trading in Parisian nostalgia chic Ami took to the rooftops in a set that reflected the bourgeois bohemian side of the city, reflecting stable and likably chic everyday wear, a more fashion forward A.P.C, tailored basics with a colourful twist here and there.
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 AMI FW 2018
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Whispers and rumours
 
This of course as everybody now knows – and you’d have to have been wearing more than one of the aviator caps that graced Galliano’s Margiela collection to have missed it – was overshadowed by news of Hedi Slimane’s move to Céline as artistic, creative and image director. LVMH’s veritable hiring coup, bringing in one of the most commercially successful contemporary designers in to launch a menswear line (among other changes), was kept so well under wraps that once the secret was out it seems almost farcically like fake news. The most interesting part of the story lies before us though as it remains to be seen whether Slimane will be able to channel a new aesthetic and create a veritable menswear identity that matters using the visual language of the existing woman’s wear line.
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Slimane

Brendon John

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