Context does a lot for fashion. I’m not just talking about the world outside the tent, or salon, or wherever designers have positioned their gilt chairs for this season, but about what other designers are showing in their salon/garage/specially-erected plexiglass cube (depends on budget). Of course, part of the dance of fashion is solipsism. Or maybe megalomania. It’s rare you see designers at each others’ shows: Tim Blanks and the team of style.com were trying to interview Joseph Altuzarra, attending the Balenciaga show designed by his friend Alexander Wang, but were constantly interrupted by well-wishers. Most said something along the lines of “I didn’t expect to see you here!”
Kenzo chose to show their autumn/winter 2014 collection in the former Crédit Lyonnais headquarters. Symbolic, maybe, because menswear right now symbolises money in the bank for many a multi-billion fashion conglomerate. China is the motivating factor, where menswear sales make up approximately 55% of a luxury goods market set to become the world’s biggest (as compared to 40% on average worldwide). Hence the fact that the winter menswear shows seem bigger, more extravagant and more confident than usual. There’s buoyancy amongst the boys.
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.
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.
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