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Perceiving the new, in Paris, at Comme des Garçons, Nina Ricci, Chloe and Givenchy, Fashion

Perceiving the new, in Paris, at Comme des Garçons, Nina Ricci, Chloe and Givenchy

I thought of “The Dress” when I was watching Comme Des Garçons. Please don’t kill me, especially for the sort of viral, meme-y, pop culture moment reference I myself detest. But the social media furore over The Dress was around the viewer’s perception of the garment, and that’s always the case with Rei Kawakubo’s clothes. Her garments are often like Rorschach’s blots, both in their ambiguous, amorphous physicality, and in the fact they rely on the viewer to decipher their meaning.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Monday, 9 March 2015 at 2:42 pm

Paris Menswear Autumn/Winter 2015: Studious design lessons from Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Loewe, Thom Browne, Hermes, Fashion

Paris Menswear Autumn/Winter 2015: Studious design lessons from Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Loewe, Thom Browne, Hermes

Perhaps it’s all the uniforms cropping up all over the place, or maybe it was Raf Simons’ opening gambit, glorifying his own university years on Wednesday evening, but there’s been a back-to-school feeling at the Paris menswear shows. Many editors share said feeling – bleary-eyed and pale under recently-acquired holiday tans, with shell-shocked expression as they launched into a fully-fledged fashion month barely a week into the new year. Amongst designers, generally, there’s a studious earnestness, to see ideas through, to cross t’s and dot i’s. But, alas, there hasn’t been much deep and meaningful.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Sunday, 25 January 2015 at 10:23 pm

A tale of two cities: sex and sensibility, from Givenchy, Celine and Stella McCartney, Fashion

A tale of two cities: sex and sensibility, from Givenchy, Celine and Stella McCartney

When the models began to take their complex turns at the Givenchy show on Sunday night, whizzing around the venue as if ricocheting around a pinball machine (the hairpin bends, I must confess, made me feel a bit sick), the first thing I thought was: well. It’s been a while since we saw this.

This being sex. Or rather, sexy. or rather, a certain idea of sexiness. “I would be a very rich man if I could make sexy clothes,” said Gianni Versace in 1997, in one of his final interviews. Which, from the long-acknowledged Italian master of dressing to undress, speaks volumes. Namely it poses the question, what is sexy in clothing?

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Tuesday, 30 September 2014 at 6:18 pm

Plugging in and manning up for Raf Simons and A/W 2014 menswear, Fashion

Plugging in and manning up for Raf Simons and A/W 2014 menswear

Watching the menswear shows online – as I have been doing over these opening four days of the autumn/winter 2014 Paris collections – is very different to observing them in flesh and fabric.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Saturday, 18 January 2014 at 1:28 pm

Bags of potential: the search for the perfect all-round hold-all, Fashion

Bags of potential: the search for the perfect all-round hold-all

It’s difficult to buy a bag, as a man. Very, very difficult. And it’s not because people aren’t pitching for your cash. Far from it. We featured manbags alongside the glad rags in the men’s fashion special of the Independent Magazine for autumn/winter 2013, because they have grown in visibility and in importance.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Sunday, 20 October 2013 at 10:19 pm

Paris Fashion Week Spring 2014: A soft Givenchy, a hard Chloe, a messy Céline, and the new Comme Des Garçons, Fashion

Paris Fashion Week Spring 2014: A soft Givenchy, a hard Chloe, a messy Céline, and the new Comme Des Garçons

A fashion week is an odd, fluid period of time. It can mean anything from five rammed days in London, the first hazed with jet lag, to the nine-day marathon of the Paris collections. We’re two thirds of the way through that, but there’s still much to see. Namely Miu Miu, Chanel, Marc Jacobs’ Louis Vuitton show, and the always-contentious Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent. He closes the day’s proceedings tomorrow.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Sunday, 29 September 2013 at 11:11 pm

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