If you ascend Paris’ Eiffel tower – say, during a free moment during the spring/summer 2015 menswear shows – you can look out on a vista relatively unchanged from the first day the tower was opened in 1889, of Baron Haussmann’s neoclassical façades and wide avenues. French law ensures that: Second Empire plans are in many cases more or less followed, with “alignement” law still in place to regulates a building’s height according to the width of the streets it borders. It’s fabulous for a sight-seer who gets to step back in time, almost. But many argue it’s choking the development of the city as a whole. Personally, I see a parallel with much of Paris fashion, where tradition can often choke creativity.
Noble aims, fun and games, and Donatella’s Game of Thrones. Umit Benan, Saint Laurent and Atelier Versace, in Paris.
Umit Benan’s ode to Jackie Robinson and Hedi Slimane’s streetwise Saint Laurent close the autumn/winter 2014 menswear season, while Donatella Versace opens the spring couture. Fashion waits for no man, woman, nor Lady Gaga, in Paris.
I’ve been a fan of Francesco Russo ever since he took the helm of the Italian accessories label Sergio Rossi. In fact, unbeknownst to me, I was a fan of him before that, when he designed the Tribute shoe for Yves Saint Laurent back in 2006. Thinking back, that was kind of a defining moment, not just for Russo, but for noughties footwear generally. It was certainly a shoe that launched a million knock-offs.
Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent shows the trickiness of trickle up rather than trickle down, as well as being referential but not reverential. Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel, by contrast, was a masterpiece of really, really great clothes. Simple.
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