Tag Archives: Paris

Christophe Lemaire, Spring 2011

Hermes’ next womens’ design director, Christophe Lemaire, presents his Spring 2011 RTW collection during the Haute Couture presentations in Paris providing a provocative if not compelling preview of what’s to come.

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Kimijima, 1987

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Tarlazzi

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Angelo Tarlazzi, 1984

Angelo Tarlazzi was one of the premiere designers in Paris during the late 70’s and 80’s. His brand of effortless glamor, loose silhouette, and signature handkerchief hem served as a bridge between the avante garde styles of Japanese designers and European sensibilities. His name has lost the luster it once enjoyed, his business now only serving a niche clientèle. But his designs still prove to be some of the most innovative and inspiring of their time and ours.

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Eastern Promise

Armani

Armani, Spring 1989

There’s a theory that post recession comes an inevitable shift in fashion, along with contradicting turns to unbridled optimism and dark cynicism, towards ethnic inspiration. Referencing a culturally and geographically distant style of dress offers a pragmatic means of escape, the idea of a simpler life, and something that is just new. In 1989 Armani struck a note with his orientalist* leanings, this instance drawing from Middle Eastern and North African dress. The fallout of the 1987 stock market crash put an end to the over the top spectacle of the 80’s and paved the way for new codes of dress in the 90’s including grunge (or rather the aggressive appropriation of disparate youth culture ala Marc Jacobs), minimalism, and a pop sexuality that became the hallmark of Versace and Dolce & Gabbana. It enabled retrospection and a rigorous reassignment of values but most importantly it enabled change.

There is something of those Armani looks in the recent menswear collections from Paris: the encompassing theme of the middle east done with a nod to the silhouette of the early 90’s. It’s a far cry from the military/rock n roll aesthetic that has swallowed menswear, a denial of what has been the norm for the past decade, and a step forward to another world.

*I use the word “oriental” to specify a specific manner in referencing Asian culture that eschews modernism and contemporary global culture in favor of a dated and western habit of exoticism.

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