Structured Softness. Gauchere AW21

Marie-Christine Statz filmed her Gauchere autumn-winter 2021 collection in the Centre Pompidou. The bold, colourful postmodernist architecture of the Parisian art mecca fits Gauchere’s style really well. Essentially, the collection is about the way contemporary women dress in life. Statz is an exacting tailor, and her vision of modern female dress hinged on a dropped and deflated shoulder, which gave models a friendly prowess. Navy suits and brushed mohair turtlenecks followed the same line – slightly aggressive, but easy. Statz’s models passed each other in the Pompidou’s corridors and on escalators but did not acknowledge one another. “They are crossing but not interacting,” she said over a video chat with Vogue. “They are locked in and isolated in their own worlds.” However, their clothing has a freeing effect. Even with such a no-fuss attitude, Statz found ways to inject warmth. She cut a swinging tank dress in a spongy, nubbly knit and color-blocked shades of azure and grass within a single spritely look. On their feet, models wore sneakers as part of a collaboration with Li-Ning or Gauchere’s first foray into its own footwear: pillowy slides and pumps that are stuffed to have a cushy, exaggerated effect. “Structure, but with a softness to it,” Statz called it.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Functional Chic. Peter Do AW21

Peter Do‘s autumn-winter 2021 collection is his best to date. The designer is confidently stepping out of his minimalist comfort zone, offering a chic take on ‘after dark’ style (something many designers are talking about in Paris this season). Those giant feather brooches placed on jacket shoulders clearly say it. Or all the lace inserts used in the tailored pieces. “I felt like it was the right time to dress up, to be seen, to say that we’re here,” the New York-based designer summed up. Twelve months of living more or less like shut-ins has spawned a collective urge for shine, skin, and sexy high heels. This newfound instinct for embellishment aside, Do’s gifts as a designer are of the engineering variety. Anyone can add decorative fringe to a jumpsuit. It takes a clever patternmaker to create pieces like floor-scraping shirts that fold up and over the shoulders in dramatic swoops; the jacket/cape hybrids modeled here by Anh Duong and Maggie Maurer; and the rib-knit halter and shrug sets that he showed with another signature: tailored kilts worn over sharply cut matching trousers. As his business grows, elaborating on these two-in-one concepts will continue to distinguish Do from the rest of the fashion pack.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Sculptural Ease. Hed Mayner AW21

Hed Mayner is one of the most underrated menswear labels, which is just the perfect place for unconventional elegance (and tailoring!) fans. The dynamic between inside and outside – the need to isolate on one hand and what he sees on the streets of Paris and Tel Aviv (the city where the designer is based), on the other – led him to paring things down and meandering through the possibility of line or the language of fabric. “Tailoring can take you into a process where you obsess over the perfect jacket. What I’m trying to do is keep something askew,” the designer noted in a Zoom interview with Vogue. Comfort dressing in slouchy, cozy fabrics was already Mayner’s home turf. This season, he’s expanded that sensibility and reframed it with ample yet tailored silhouettes and more traditional materials, like fluid Italian wools and English tweeds. For the first time, he ventured into double-faced fabrics, for example in a military-inspired coat that, thanks to a simple slit in back, can also be worn as a cape (a quilted puffer reprised that idea too). He also went to town on proportion, stripping away lapels, elongating tops, dropping hems, and toying with asymmetry, bell sleeves, major shoulders, and trousers that sit high on the waist. Those might be tucked into a long, slouchy boot or quite simply cropped above the ankle, judo-style, and paired with a big-buckled shoe. The effect was often sculptural, and warm hues of ivory, rust, camel, butter and olive green added to the feeling of gentle ease. Mayner said that his clients tend to pick a total look, then break it down and make it their own. When autumn arrives, they’ll have a lot to play with.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Focus On: Husbands Paris

First of all, I’m not a suit guy. I usually hate ties and don’t feel comfortable in blazers. My personal style is rather this: a vintage cashmere knit, Lemaire-ish, over-sized pants (a big no to any sweatpants!), a big coat and Raf Simons sneakers. I yawn at all Zegnas and Brionis (although I respect them), as men’s tailoring is quite uninspiring to me. But there’s one exception. And it’s Husbands Paris. Whenever I see their posts on Instagram, I’m obsessed. Everything is a dream, really, from their signature knitted ties (they might be an ideal option that wouldn’t make me feel out of breath) to the most delightful trench coats. You’ll find Husbands between the orbits of tailoring and fashion, plucking the craftsmanship from the former and stories from the latter to fill an otherwise uninhabited space of the industry with culture and style. The mind behind it, Nicolas Gabard, is as clued up on the technicalities of suit making as he is on the depths of Francis Bacon’s art. This understanding of two worlds has allowed him to birth a bespoke identity of design. In an interview with GQ, he says “craftsmanship is the secret of styleHusbands comes from an obsession with the body – of precision and details. We keep the full canvas of tailoring and its construction because it guarantees a lasting garment. Technically, we offer a perfect piece, but its life comes when the wearer composes something with it.” That’s where the culture comes in. Gabard views fashion as an outlet for “phantasm” and, after stitching on the roots of tailoring through one eye, he seals his designs with stories through the other. They originate from expressive interests, like llistening to The Smiths and Joy Division or watching films by Eric Rohmer. Husbands is proposing the thread of forever intriguing style icons, like Serge Gainsbourg, and then using it as a hook to dig people into exploring the possibilities of their own identities. The label sources its materials from England and manufactures its suits in Naples, but Paris is the base that provides an essential interplay with the individual’s state of mind. As Gabard says, “you don’t have to live the life of other people and that’s the same for clothing – you have to wear your own garments with your body, your culture, your dreams, your past, your phantasm.

Discover the brand here or visit their store in Paris on 57 Rue de Richelieu (in post-lockdown times, of course…).

Collage by Edward Kanarecki, photos sourced from Husbands Paris site and Instagram.

Modern Uniforms. Peter Do AW20

Peter Do is the “old Céline” guard, who developed his aesthetic and style under Phoebe Philo. Add a succesful Instagram performance and thoughtful visual communication, and it’s a label that immediately got on everybody’s lips. It’s Do’s second official season, and here’s what we’ve got: modern uniforms of exceptionally tailored pieces which are both functional and fashion-forward. The autumn-winter 2020 palette is a treat: gray, accented with rose, scarlet, and hunter green. The black, all-sequinned blazer and matching pleated skirt is a great alternative to eveningwear. The label also debuts with footwear, which is all about heavy, polished-leather boots with metallic elements. Some looks felt over-sophisticated, like the oddly sharp cuts of the jackets’ lapels, but when you put the clothes apart, those are some very, very good wardrobe essentials.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.