In these times of global uncertainty, designer duo Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones cast their minds back to Hans Bellmer’s rebellious mutated dolls created in 1933 – the year Adolf Hitler assumed power in Germany – as symbols of political defiance against the ideals and social norms promoted by the Nazi regime.
Bellmer’s message – rejecting the socially constructed abstract – was re-enforced by a soundtrack sampling positive spoken word messages, including a poem from Kate Tempest and an extract from Meryl Streep’s powerful speech at the Golden Globes denouncing Donald Trump for his alleged mocking of a disabled journalist, and a line-up inclusive of two disabled models.
Entitled The Body, the collection played with exaggerated proportions and uneven hems, frequently tied together with ribbon (a nod to Bellmer’s dolls). Moving from midnight navy to rich blood red to monochrome hues, the collection echoed Bellmer’s sentiments: “The body is like a sentence that invites us to rearrange it.”
Bringing the Parisian streets indoors, AMI designer Alexandre Mattiussi presented his FW17 collection under neon signs inspired by the city’s evening glow.
At the Cité de la Mode et du Design Mattiussi’s night owls came ready made for urban living. Wrapped up against the minus degree weather outside, statement coats were prominent throughout in tones resembling the city’s lights: ranging from vibrant yellows, reds and blues to urban greys and rich browns.
A 90s theme has run through many of this season’s collections, from Dior Homme’s ravers to the baggy nu-metal boys at Palm Angels. AMI designer Alexandre Mattiussi too was feeling nostalgic for the decade. Cue white Velcro trainers and black suede lace ups on model’s feet, and britpop-esque check patterns and bold primary colours reminiscent of Blur’s iconic The Best Of album artwork by Julian Opie. Speaking of which, girls and boys walked in unison: “street’s like a jungle,” indeed.
CALL OF THE WILD
Paris’ botanical gardens proved a fitting location for Yusuke Takahashi’s FW17 Issey Miyake Men’s collection, reflecting the slow reveal of woodland motifs that adorned pieces: from bold Jackson Pollock-esque paint splatterings to check tweed inspired by the forest’s natural colour palette. Grounding these prints were crinkled, deconstructed coats and suits in a palette of olive greens, rust and deep navy.
“[Combining] the ease of urban outfits, the outdoor spirit of trekking and the patterns that arise from nature’s energy,” the show notes read and this biomimicry theme continued across a more subtle print that resembled Autumnal leaves against the evening sky, giving a weathered, discolouration speckle to coats and trousers.
Structured bags in oranges, blacks, browns proved the perfect walking companion (ideal storage for a pitstop sarnie or two), whilst tricolour sneakers or more formal matte black ankle boots completed each look. Like the forest floor during fall, a cluster of textures merged beneath loose flowing nylon macs in blues and whites, ideal protection against any pesky black clouds.