PARIS, PARIS...

...inside out: in or out?

by Sara Wilson
Being chatted up in Tesco is never a pleasurable experience, however when an employee chose to interrupt my morning dash with friendly banter, I felt rude not to humour him. When it came up that I worked in menswear, the inevitable question arrived…”So, what should I be wearing next season?” Unluckily for him I had just returned from Men’s fashion week in Paris, so he received the full blogging experience. So what will he be wearing in Spring/Summer 2010? Well his shorts will get shorter and collars will get smaller, if not diminishing altogether. He’ll also be wearing his clothes inside out.

A trend that kept twigging at my brain cells was the image of wearing your clothes inside out. Raf Simons did it best with rich lining being used as panelling on the outer garment and visible raw seams. Raf’s show was well set in the picturesque gardens, as I imagined his formal collection to be worn in the hope of spicing up country club etiquette. He is clearly hankering after a different customer, but who can blame him with all the Raf clones circulating. I just hope it was a right move.

Another favourite of the raw seams was Tillman Lauterbach, their collection started out in a nude palette which was a beloved colour of a lot of designers this season, including Petar Petrov. Some exquisite detailing was to be seen at Tillman Lauterbach in the form of sequin embellishments and interesting armhole seams.

Dunhill was a brand that didn’t shy away from intricate detailing, as many went for the cleaner cut look. Kim Jones gets better with his second collection at Dunhill, and true to Dunhill form the archive is exhausted further. The whole experience, even from receiving the invitation just oozed luxury with the envelopes being a miniature replica of a 1936 silver Dunhill case. It seems they can do no wrong as a younger customer is met with this SS10 collection, whilst still appealing to their existing one. The more casual sun deck look was achieved with beautifully patterned shirting and well proportioned panama hats.

Designers who steered away from the English formal and delved deeper into the tribal world looked to Greek and Egyptian gods for inspiration. Damir Doma set the mood in Palais de Tokyo, with low lighting, Aztec sounds and an uncomfortably high heat. It was like a desert of flapping birds the way everyone had their invitations as fans. Although I suffered the heat, I felt by the end that it was well worth it. Jersey draping and natural cotton looks fit for an Asian prince, as the fabrics appear expensive. The big shapes and pleats for added volume looked grandly comfortable, and I was instantly jealous of the models wearing it; I just had to have it! The use of extremely thin leather gave a nice contrast to the coarse biker jackets I’d been witnessing all week.

Galliano also opted for the more eastern look giving us a very tantastic Cole Mohr and lots of eyeliner, which I love in a man! Lots of layering and an orange palette worked brilliantly to show clearly, the rise of Napoleon. Layering was also present in Kris Van Assche’s own label but with a sportswear sophistication. Only the best in performance fabrics was seen on this casual silhouette. Van Assche played around with proportions a lot in this collection, offering out long suit jackets with extended wide-leg shorts. The wider shape intrigued a classy hip hop feel which I believe works well with the fabrics chosen, for the high end market.

An all time favourite of mine is Bernhard Willhelm, and thankfully he delivered again this season; not that I had any doubts of course. The set was incredibly fun with cabbages, easels and lots of paint, what more could you want from a fashion show? Well maybe toy soldiers and hard hats…most definitely. There was a well deserved revival of the Lycra wrestling suit mixed with the development of camouflage. The feather outfit gave an impression of a print from afar, but upon closer inspection I realised it was made up of thousands of perfectly small feathers – beautiful. All the models remained on set and started to paint, causing the ones in the oversize wigs to suffer in sweltering heat. Unfortunately one viewer didn’t make it till the end and passed out a few minutes before. The added drama didn’t take anything away from the fun of the show though; Bernhard and his team certainly had something to celebrate.

Another show that gave us all the playful kick we needed to wake up was Walter Van Beirendonck, his well anticipated show delivered a high spirited chuckle to us all. His bear collection was like something out of a where’s Wally book, with all of his models being a well groomed version of him. This is one show where street casting really paid off. The beats of Bloody Beetroots had everyone bouncing in their seats as the large bears leaped out on the stage in bright tailoring and camou trousers. The homo-eroticism of the whole show was topped off with some of the bears ending in very small y-fronts. Walter has a brilliant sense of humour, and it’s refreshing to see it in a sometimes very gloomy circuit.