Nothing underlined the shift in corporate power in fashion than the front rows at Taakk and Ludovic de Saint Sernin, the two final shows of Paris Fashion Week for men, which ended Sunday evening.
Ludovic de Saint Sernin: loyalty and lasciviousness
For such die-hard egomaniacs, fashion designers can be a very loyal bunch. Three major star – Rick Owens, Olivier Rousteing and Daniel Roseberry – showed up for the first show of Ludovic de Saint Sernin, since his abrupt departure from the house of Ann Demeulemeester this spring. His tenure only lasted one season, remarkable even given the increasingly short contracts big business is handing out to talent today.
Sitting close together front-row in the beautiful garden of National Archives, they witnessed a show named Lust, which Ludovic called “a celebration of queer desire, joy and power. An antidote to prudish moralism.”
That included a thin young man with a very flat tummy, strolling along the gravel paths in leather knickers studded up the front, accessorized just by espadrilles; or several guys in scrunched up leather skirts. In a co-ed show, the girls dressed in wasp-waisted dresses in gossamer fabrics topped by sexy leather corsets; saucy mermaid skirts and ribbed tank-tops elongated into columns all looked very distinguished and edgy.
De Sernin is fundamentally a gender bending designer with plenty of talent in cutting, draping and fabric innovation. He may have a narrow range, but what he does he does very well.
One also had to love his new version of his supple monochrome calfskin baguette bag, and some great new jewelry pieces in a collab’ with Vagujhelyi, by NewYork-based artist Diego Villarreal Vagujhelyi. Cast in raw white brass, and made into courtship cuffs, discipline chokers and knuckle rings, all the better to “conjure the eroticism implicit in the act of surrender, transmuting the choice of physical restriction into a declaration of autonomy, agency and control.”
Taakk: God is in the Details in Maison des Metallos
One hour before, when the city seemed emptied out by the June heatwave along came Takuya Morikawa with a virtuoso display of menswear that quite frankly left all of his audience open-mouthed.
So admirable was the design, execution, fabric selection and overall vision that this collection from Taakk was, unquestionably, one of the half dozen best in the whole season. No mean feat, seeing there have been almost one hundred menswear shows and performances in the past 12 days in Europe.
Staged in the basement of Maison des Métallos, the event center of the local downtown even if it is located on a high slope in north Paris. The show attracted a cool crowd of buyers, editors, influencers and hipsters who witnessed an excellent show and delivered a huge round of applause.
From the brilliant opening looks composed in shaggy grid pattern cottons and very beautiful multi-ruched dress shirts to photoshop color blocked dusters and wraparound tuxedos embellished with passementerie. Everything finished with shapes and prints that recalled nature – seashells, zebras, sand lines and leaves.
No wonder he called the collection God is in the Details.
All told, a memorable show from Taakk’s founder Takuya Morikawa, who speaks no English, but proudly joins a remarkable club of Japanese designers – Issy, Rei, Yohji, Chitose, Kenzo and Junichi – who have triumphed in Paris.
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