January 25, 2010

Men in Black

Paris is where you will find chic people wearing black. It may just be the all-black-wardrobe capital of Europe (Don't worry, America. We've got New York). Designers are using black heavily for both classic and avant garde aesthetics, and their fans wear black religiously. The following are looks from the menswear shows in Paris that feature everyone's favorite non-color BLACK:

I frowned a little every time I saw Christy Turlington in the YSL ads last season because she got to wear a sweet leather one-piece, and I was desperate for a jumpsuit-for-men moment to happen. I am not so sure if Stefano Pilati was able to make it happen, but actually creating the garment is probably a start. The shirt skirt is pretty rad too, which was entirely relevant this season.

Tim Hamilton graduated to the school of all-black. I usually love his sporadic use of color, but this season there was a lack of any such pop. I need to find some better pictures because everything kind of melted together.

My recent style crisis was trying to figure out how on earth I went from black leather and draped garments to navy blazers and button down oxfords. Rick Owens still speaks volumes to me, so I suppose I won't commit to any one look just yet. But you can bet I won't be sporting those gloves any time soon.

Crown of thorns around the neck and the most diverse cast of male models seen this season; Ricardo Tisci is Jesus and Jesus is Lord. This collection showcases man-skirts and man-tights in an approachable way. There is versatility in this collection, and that kind of sensibility makes me ache for it even more.

Dior Homme is back to black. I was a little worried about this because it reminded me of Kris Van Assche's debut collection for Dior. That show, after the departure of Hedi Slimane, was a big disappointment. Thank goodness he gave up on those harem pants. These utility belts look interesting, and I like the romantic draping and pleating of the heavy fabrics. I don't hate it, but Dior Homme just isn't what it used to be no matter how much I have been warming up to Kris Van Assche outside of this brand.

Damir Doma is another brand that has me dreaming each season. I picture myself in a world where everyone dresses like this, and somehow conservative dressing was uncommon. There is usually a key color for the collections that eventually fades to black. For fall, everything is in grayscale. The mosaic pattern somehow fits underneath all the expert, seamless draping. Belted looks are another key trend of the season, but robed menswear is becoming a Damir Doma signature. Did I mention PERFECT SILHOUETTES??

The name of the brand says it all. Even though it is black as night, the whimsy of this Blaak Homme show reminds me of a wearable, menswear version of Japanese Lolita Goths.

I am always unsettled about Ann Demeulemeester. I love the work each season, but I feel like I am seeing the same collection over and over again. It is still clear that this collection is on point as far as trends and silhouettes are concerned. Androgynous models and design, all in black-and-white. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

- jerome

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