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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Paris winds down with Doublet and Taak, in the Japanese conquest

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Last but very much not least, a great collection by Takuya Morikawa of Taak, the final show of Paris menswear, and a reminder that the dominant wave in men’s dressing today is Japanese.

Taak Spring/Summer 2025 collection – Courtesy

Presented inside the Palais de Tokyo, to barely 500 guests this was an excellent collection connecting Western tailoring; Japanese poise and totally unexpected uses of lace and guipure.
 
His putty gray silk suits were emblazoned with architectural motifs – acanthus leaves or ivy; while his iridescent satin trenches came finished with 3-D lace curly-cues, fauna and spirals.

All made in mono-colors – lichen, cement, burnt beige and silvery white. Often semi-sheer and cut with sophisticated classicism.
 
Pre-show, the program notes of Morikawa were the most informative of the season. They revealed that the theme was ‘Yo-fuku’, or blending Western style fashion into Japanese sensibilities.
 
“An island nation, Japan’s culture has developed in a unique fashion. In the latter years of the 19th century Japan was lead towards modernization with heavy influences from the West, thus incorporating western culture, lifestyles and values into daily life,” argued Morikawa.
 
How different is European appreciation today of Japan, compared to its competitive relationship with China today. And how different the impact on fashion internationally.
 
For, while Paris menswear week has rarely looked more disparate, its greatest single influence are now Japanese designers. People like Yohji, Rei and Junya, and the new generation of Chitose, Jun and, above all, Takuya.
 
Paris menswear season wound down Sunday with Doublet followed by Hermès – tagging onto an audience for haute couture – presented its fine jewelry in the Louvre.

Doublet – Spring-Summer2025 – Menswear – France – Paris – ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

Due to the Olympics, both the menswear and haute couture season have been exceptionally been crammed into June. Allowing Hermès, a savvy clan, to stage a maritime mode menswear show on Saturday and a jewelry show on Sunday evening.
 
The fine jewelry or fine bijoux as its designer Pierre Hardy prefers to term it, was pretty remarkable. Who else would create a mini Birkin bag of diamonds and sapphires that one could wrap around the torso or wear as a clutch than Hardy and Hermès. But of that, more later this week.
 
Two worlds apart are Hermès and Doublet, a kicky youthful display staged inside a lycée on rue de Turbigo, near Republique. The traditional nerve center of the left in French politics and hence a center of much activity currently with the next French parliamentary elections due in late June. A show staged before the threat of an extreme right party gaining power in France for the first time since WW2. The period when the collaborationist government of Marshall Petain held power.
 
Turning to fashion, founder Masayuki Ino definitely has a point of view. The recipient of the LVMH Grand Prize of 2018 mixes Japanese street with Mid-Western rock. It is not always an ideal blend. In fact, often the results are decidedly mixed.
 
But his mohair crewnecks that read ‘I’m Obsessed’; or skinny pink cotton tees that said ‘I Love Protein Fiber’ were both great.
 
All told, not a major fashion statement, but a graphic collection that was another trumpet call of Japan now owning menswear.
 

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