Prada FW08 | Fallen Shadows

Monday, January 21, 2008

S/S08 Menswear

Since the departure of Hedi Slimane from Dior Homme, fashion men around me have been eagerly looking for a substitute in a sense which would scream fashionable and coolness as Hedi's Dior. It also pulled me back to a reality check on fashion. Most of us have been blinded by Dior Homme for years, it became a compulsive seasonal ritual shopping, be it good or bad. I think it's time to go back to real fashion now, to celebrate the real design and creativity. Even though I might not wear some of them doesn't mean they are not brilliantly thought-through. I guess, as a critique and shopper, I should always keep my eyes wide open and judge fairly.

Junya Watanabe Personally, I rarely fancy Japanese designs before, they are somehow shortened and ill-fitted, IMO. However, I noticed that Junya Watanabe has some real designs in the restricted menswear arena. All the shrunken effect made by washed material used on jacket and trousers are beautifully tailored. The entire show based on transformed(-ing) silhouettes, they became soulful and human, live-in and well-worn...
This might be something old and expected to his loyal fans, but to someone who just fall into Junya like me, I am craving for more. Plus, I must admit though, the praise to Junya from Maria Luisa and my cousin has do the trick.
Raf Simons Arguably one of the most talked-about collection. 'Is he going to take the reign back?' At the end, he was credited as the original innovator behind the whole male youth/ teen revolution movement over ten years ago. Today, we see a new Raf Simons, a mature mind designer who doesn't react rationally.
Namely "Material World", a collection that's been initially compared to Prada men's S/S07 show, the silhouette, the use of bold solid colour, the techno approach, the loose yet structual tailoring and cut, almost everything is identical, some even associate the dominating accessory of the show- backpack (a crossover with Eastpak) to Prada's. Yet I don't feel a tiny hint of Raf copying or imitating the Grand Dame, I just think he's up there, rubbing shoulder with her. Raf has out-grown his experimental phrase and develope into a well-horned designer with sufficient power to transform season after season. He's shown to all those wannabe-kiddies how imporatnt to stay true to yourself and believe in your visionary, that and only that would make the outcome genuine, nothing else.

Lanvin by Lucas Ossendrijver At first, lots of people compare this show with F/W07's Lanvin, I just think it's unfair to compare S/S to F/W sometimes. This is not as *stylized* as F/W, may I say so. Continuing the loose, cozy cutting that Lanvin has now established. Ossendrijver gives allure away by improvising wearers' personality. There's surely no in-your-face sexiness, but the nostalgia grandiose mood and luxurious use in fabric, and the soir (evening) section all just look so effortless and easy and yet again ALLURE. This is a winning collection for people who are after this kind of charm. I place it on Top5 of my list.

Yves Saint Laurent by Stefano Pilati I remember when I first check on this show, I was in the Gucci showroom in Milan with my then-bosses, the GMM of YSL flew in for Gucci women as well. I was kind of disappointed and find it difficult to wear. This is not talking about fashion, Pilati is trying very hard on pushing the artistic envelope for the house and be different to his peers, he tries hard to prove himself and want to lead the scene. At the same time, you can feel he wants to make Saint Laurent men modern but not quite there, yet still remain utterly French. The silhouette is obviously inspired by what the famous painting artists such as Picasso or Saint Laurent himself would wear then. The show looks casual and relax, there was barely any suiting or evening, but do they fit into day to day life? maybe we should all start rethinking what does casual mean, Pilati included? However, I believe in him still.

Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere A friend of mie thinks Balenciaga is the ultimate choice to replace the Dior Homme gap left in his wardrobe, I think not. Balenciaga, like what Maria Luisa said to me is another branch of the house, same as the silk, leather, pants, knit collection. I must say this is very well altered and edited, but well, I am not gonna wear that pair of short running around in Central myself. Is he delivering a message? I think not. Is it particularly stylish? Not that either. I could barely pick not more than three pieces for myself, judging by the px from, and I am not going to pay that price for those. However, since they hired someone from Dior Homme for their men's dept., let's see what it's gonna be like next season then. Fingers crossed.

Cerruti by Nicolas Andreas Taralis
We all had huge expectation, however... Nicolas Andreas Taralis, a former assisatant of Hedi Slimane who started his own collection few years ago and stopped when Cerruti appointed him to the in-house stable. I expect to see something new, but NAT failed to deliver that and yet gives us all those "proofs'- the 'contribution' that he did for Hedi/Dior is again on the runway.What annoys me is that he's even using the amplifiers as back drop, I mean, are you also trying to tell us that you also love music to death? I don't think so. If he did that for the sake of coolness, that would make him even more uncool. That's sad to see a potential newcomer who waste so much energy to pretent something he's not. At the end, maybe he's not there yet. The question is, will he ever be there?
Number Nine I first thought, oh another nice collection after the last two, Number (N)ine and Watanabe really changed my mind towards Japanese designer in last year, on the otherhand, I change my mindset myself too, due to the searching of the ever-so-seriouis "what is real fashion?" question. After the romantic cowboy collection, he gives us this knitted driven-Grunge in S/S08. If the last collections have got Brokeback Mountain as a theme, I think this is a Kurt Cobain's Seattle story next. Romantic and poetic remains within the similar looks. He skillfully mix&match pieces to create this grungey, asymetric, druggy and low-life look over and over again thorughout without boring or annoying me to death, surprisingly. Another one I like it-but I wouldn't wear it kind of collection, but hey, this is fashion that we are talking about, not choosing my own outfit here.

Rick Owens whom I think highly of and thought would be my final option for life after Dior Homme and personal approaching to the phase of searching real fashion. However, no matter how many times do I spend on looking at the pictures or go checking them at JOYCE over and over again, I really want his designs are for me but they're not. I must say I like the use of colour and skillful cutting that he uses on every piece, but I fall for the whole dark Goth thing myself too. But why?! Maybe it's just not the time yet, not for this period of moi.


k said...

i stopped buying pilati's saint laurent a few years back. it's quite rubbish, oddly proportioned, unflattering, too expensive and an ego-trip for himself.

stylePOVist said...

I must admit that too. I stopped buying Pilati/Saint Laurent for the last couple of season due to what you said, just one or two pieces fairly ocassionally, but I have to say I love-love-love his F/W08, he draws me back. Under no competition whatsoever, I will be shopping at YSL again this fall. YSL men is the BEST in F/W08 and it has been a long time that I feel like having to have most of the pieces from the collection- NOW! The impulse is so strong - SO STRONG!!! Pilati finally nailed it.

k said...

the pictures of F/W 08 look interesting, one of his better collections since i can't recall when. but i shall have to see the clothes up-close and put them on before i can decide. but whatever it is, i really no longer love the saint laurent label. he's ruined it for the past few seasons and the damage is irreparable in my eyes.

the saint laurent label does not seem chic or parisian enough for my tastes. it seems tacky all too often, with those strange trousers and odd combinations.

i'm spending at lanvin garderobe instead. NOW, those clothes are really something indeed! i have heart palpitations each time i wear something of lucas'....J'ADORE lanvin garderobe!

lovely to see you blogging more frequently...