Jan 21, 2023
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Elsewhere in Paris menswear: Paul Smith and Daniel Arsham

Jan 21, 2023

Paris will always love diversity, especially in fashion. Like in the last 48 hours when a UK knight staged relaxed tailoring in a Yankee cathedral and a rising American blended performance art with high-performance fabrics.

Paul Smith: Joe Jackson revival

Post-pandemic tailoring at Paul Smith, who played with multiple ideas on how men want to dress exiting the lockdown.

Paul Smith - Fall-Winter2023 - 2024 - Menswear - France - Paris - © ImaxTree

“I was focused on my enduring love of tailored fabrics and tailoring, like this short jacket I am wearing which is composed of tailored fabrics but made into a zipped, short jerkin,” Sir Paul Smith explained post-show.
Though known for his color, Smith surprised his audience with an opening quarter all in black, again using tailoring materials in unexpected way – notably corduroy puffers cut away at the sides.

“After Covid, people wanted to dress down. They now want to look better again but not in a traditional way,” fashion’s famous knight said post-show, inside the sacristy of the American Cathedral in Paris where he unveiled this fall/winter 2023/24 collection.
Sir Paul’s standout idea was a series of capes inspired by 200-year-old rugs he recently discovered in Italy. Part of a collection of a Milanese collector, which he plans to present in an art installation in his London flagship this spring. 
“The carpets were always in slightly weird colors, as they were hand-dyed,” he winked, pointing to one cape on his mood board, a beautifully odd mix of abstraction and color blocking.
His silhouette varied from parallel to mega-oversized legs, while jackets were cut a few inches longer – 90s style. Lots of riffs on his own archive checks – redone in modern fabrics – and lots of pattern on pattern. Four-button detailing on cuffs and pants, again from the 90s. White sneakers and dark suits, Joe Jackson Is she really going out with him?-style.
“Revisiting some things that I have done in my very long, long, long, long, long career. And still standing, somehow,” said Smith, pulling his hands wide apart with huge cackle of laughter.

Daniel Arsham: Performance art plaster fashion

 There is a vector where fashion meets fine art, which is where Daniel Arsham’s mode resides. Where clothes are more like objets d’art than mere garments.

Daniel Arsham fall/winter 2023 in Paris - Daniel Arsham

Which is why the American designer staged his latest show inside one of Daniel Perrotin’s art galleries deep in the Marais, since this show was as much a work of performance art as a catwalk display.
Guests arriving were greeted by three statues on plinths - plaster-of-Paris giant jackets standing erect all in pristine white.
In a show that began with Daniel cracking apart one plaster jacket, before putting it on a lean young model already wearing plaster pants.
Entitled 'Objects IV Life Chapter 003', which Arsham defines as “a uniform for a creative life,” the collection included deep pocketed and padded denim jeans jackets; foul weather gear peacoats and deepest winter industrial puffers. Classy workwear with an arty touch. Functional yet with plenty of finesse, just like this show.
Arsham loves a new garment category. For example, a coverall twinset - meaning a shell shirt-jacket over drawstring over-pants.
Though the overriding memory will be his plaster-of-Paris performance, the sort of fashion one only really sees in Paris. Because here, they love fashion for the fine art it very occasionally becomes.

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