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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Dries Van Noten and Ami

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In a busy day of shows on Thursday, Dries Van Noten showed disruptive tailoring in a dingy construction site, while Ami‘s designer Alexandre Mattiussi went very competent and commercial.
 

Dries Van Noten: Disruptive tailoring in a dingy construction site

 
Designers do love a dingy construction site to show off their wares; none more so than Dries Van Noten, using this season’s locale as a juxtaposition to his cerebral fashion.

Dries Van Noten – Spring-Summer2024 – Menswear – France – Paris – © ImaxTree

 
A disused and dusty old plant in the 17th arrondissement, where one had to walk up five floors to witness the Belgian creator’s latest collection. It turned out to be well worth the effort.
 
Dries, one of fashion’s all-time great printmakers, barely had one print this season. Instead, he concentrated his gaze on cut and construction, silhouette and shape.

Kicking off with a score of great tailored looks. Really streamlined trenches, made with fluid feminine fabrics like muslin; pants cut so the top half of the trench descended and became an apron; or a series of beguiling over-size and elongated double-breasted jackets that looked made of silk, but were on closer inspection composed of a type of crushed cotton. And a gang of super herringbone coats; one even had the lapel looked shorn off.
 
“Distorted and disruptive elegance. Trying to play with the connotations of elegance but translated in a very young way. A little street which is fantastic as I wanted to give young people more ways to express themselves,” explained Dries, on an equally dusty lower floor.
 
Throughout, an elongated and narrow silhouette that played with his own codes, adding hints of sportswear and street.
 
Any printing was restricted to graphic motifs overlaid like shadows, making for a subtle use of color.

Dries Van Noten – Spring-Summer2024 – Menswear – France – Paris – © ImaxTree

“I wanted shapes and not loud prints. I know in the past we have been quite loud,” he conceded. 
 
Using floaty fabrics, like muslins and silk plongé, overdied to make them less girly. A technique used also in nylon mackintoshes, giving them a metallic shine.
 
“Tailoring still fascinates me. Now I suppose I am dressing a third generation. Because every time I ask a model when they were born, they tell me 2010!” chuckled the ever-self-deprecating 65-year-old designer. 
 
“A lot of young kids appreciate tailoring. I like that in menswear the models can really appreciate a nuance which is may not so appreciated by the girls,” he shrugged in conclusion.

Ami: More merch than magic

Maybe we should rename Ami founder and designer Alexandre Mattiussi, ‘Alexandre Merchandiser’, after this highly competent and commercial collection with something for everyone’s wardrobe – both boys and girls.

Ami Paris – Spring-Summer2024 – Menswear – France – Paris – © ImaxTree

 
Vincent Cassel opened the latest Ami show, and Vittoria Ceretti, the swishiest catwalker in fashion today, closed it – in some triumphant casting. In a slick production staged inside the Tennis Club de Paris, an iconic address where greats like Helmut Lang, Phoebe Philo and Riccardo Tisci have staged epic shows.
 
This was an impressive display presented on an all-white felt carpet before 600 people perched on Mattiussi’s favorite show seating – collapsible school chairs.
 
For guys, graceful double-breasted jackets – the item of the season – in chalk stripe, faded greens or ecru, elongated top-coats, and languid fluid pants.
 
For gals, to-the-knee slashed skirts – in black leather, semi-sheer or sequins; stylish suits where the long jacket reached the hem of the mini-skirt; or great sheathes, cut up the side to the hip. Everything looked poised and pricey.
 
Plus, in footwear, a great new pump finished with Daniel Buren-worthy striped vertical columns for gals, and chunky Roman centurion sandals for guys.
 

Ami Paris – Spring-Summer2024 – Menswear – France – Paris – © ImaxTree

Everything reeked French, which is what Ami fans want when they shop this marque – a romantic Parisian look that is never saccharine, always sure-footed.
 
Worn by a cast of cool young models, leavened by a veteran duo of Audrey Marnay and Guinevere van Seenus.
 
Backed up by some rousing sounds including Night Rush by Glowline, this was an accomplished performance. Except, except, it didn’t feel that much different from many recent Ami shows. Marvelous merchandising maybe, but perhaps not enough magic in the mode.

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