As Phoebe Philo is coming back to fashion, the Celine wound seems to heal. Which doesn’t mean I suddenly love Hedi Slimane‘s vision – but at least I can tolerate it. Still, his men’s spring-summer 2022 collection left me with some mixed feelings. This season, we’ve got an action-and-item packed Celine show recorded by drones somewhere on the Archipel des Embiez in the south of France. On a black runway set up with freestyle motocross ramps and jumps, teams of shirtless Honda-riding boys leapt and arced against the Mediterranean sky. The location is apparently not far from where Slimane lives outside St.Tropez, and this was Slimane on home territory in more ways than one: capturing his endless obsession with male teen energy, studding the collection with multiple art collabs, and wrapping it all up to the beat of a mesmeric looped soundtrack. The FMX bikers belong to a community that invented its renegade free-riding sport in the hills of California in the early ’90s – Slimane has been documenting them since 2011, when he came across them while he was living in L.A. This time, he commissioned and co-produced the music with Izzy Camina, intersecting the long, slouching march of a black-leather and silver-sparkled collection with souvenir slogan T-shirts and prints made by 14 of the emerging artists he collects and promotes. Since the pandemic hit, Slimane has shifted his Celine productions into the open air and into spectacular French locations. Wherever he lands, though, be it a Formula One racetrack, a chateau in the Loire valley, or this time, on a rocky coastline, there’s always the same, recognizable atmosphere, the romantic-erotic stamp Slimane puts on a world inhabited by young men. His meeting of motocross daredevilry and neo-rave frippery nailed the current summer of spring-summer 2021 teen spirit – a full-ranging breakdown of XXL elephant jeans, mirrored bug sunglasses, scaled-up bombers, tour jackets, and draped tuxes. Black capes flew over black leathers; sequins, crystals, and silver western boots glinted. Slimane targets Gen Z, and he confidently thinks he knows what they want. But I’m not sure if his take on youth is actually that relevant today. To me, it feels like an over-done costume. And Gen Z look forward to the unforced sense of authencity.
If boys in Milan dress to uni like this, then I think I’m moving in. “We did an extensive casting in all the Milanese universities and we picked up great new faces,” Massimo Giorgetti said backstage before his MSGM autumn-winter 2018 show. It was staged in Milan’s historic Università Statale – no surprise, noting the presence of the very academic models. The ideas behind the season’s prints and attitude was, in a way, a field investigation. “While researching for the collection we scouted for new logos, and we found the best inspiration on school desks or on bathroom walls, scrawled with a web of layered graffiti,” the designer noted. There were the off-duty hoodies styled with more dandy-ish, checked pants; vintage-y knits and college jackets, made in duvet. It’s for the book-loving and for the night-out goers at the same time. “Less street, more chic, almost ‘bravo ragazzo’ (good guy)” – in other words, Italian goodness. Rather than going for something too nerdy, Massimo emphasized the youthful optimism, ready for the future.
I can’t remind myself the last time I have written anything about Stella McCartney on my blog – her women’s fashion doesn’t appeal to me that much lately – but her first menswear collection is just too good.
Men’s fashion at Stella McCartney? That’s quite unexpected, honestly. The look-book dropped yesterday, just a few days before first spring-summer 2017 clothes hit the stores. Without any fuss, any special announcements. A great surprise for men, who felt close to Stella’s aesthetic, but didn’t find their sizes on the racks. The clothes aren’t presented on typical models, but on a pack of street-casted guys and cool-creatives, which is totally different to McCartney’s main line, where we’ve got hot names and top models in advertising campaigns. If I had to choose from this collection, I’m sure I would catch every single piece – from those chunky knits to over-sized trench coats. These are contemporary essentials, I guess. Pajama look is so me; lovely knitted sweatpants and slouchy cardigan are on my list since right now. Stella, Stella. I’m hopelessly in love with your vision of men.
First moments of September weren’t that bad at all. At around 7 am, on my way to school, Haider Ackermann posted a photo of Berluti logo on his Instagram, tagging it with “A NEW JOURNEY”. In other words, my favourite menswear designer (of course I love his women’s collection, too, but that’s off the topic) has been appointed the new creative director of Italian luxury house, which is famous for its legacy of shoe-making since 1895. The clash of traditional tailoring and Ackermann’s signature, rock-man-slash-poet aesthetic will definitely become the most explosive moment of upcoming men’s season. I’m dying to see Haider’s take on a widely recognized fashion house.
Backstage photos of Haider Ackermann’s spring-summer 2017 by Adam Katz Sinding.
I AM RED WITH LOVE was the statement that perfectly captured the mood of Sébastien Meunier‘s spring-summer 2017 offering at Ann Demeulemeester. We’ve seen romantic guys at Haider Ackermann and Pigalle earlier in Paris, and Demeulemeester man is also utterly into poetic love. “Rebel in love,” the designer mused backstage. “Love is a colorful emotion for me. And we can say also I am black with love. But we blush and we become a bit red when we are in love, so there is all of that. I wanted to give something that was a bit shy—emotion, charming emotion.” Meunier feels like at home after a few seasons spent at Demeulemeester, and he uses Ann’s signatures with grace – light, satin shirts covered with layers of feather pendants and charms, military jackets in black, and sheer tank-tops with stitched, red-thread slogans. The chunky knits looked impressive, too, oozing with hearty-arty slouchiness.