CHRISTIAN DADA: FLORALS AND FETISHES
The collection: Carnal rather than cerebral. With a soundtrack of a beating heart, designer Masanori Morikawa delivered house favourites. White cotton poplin shirts harnessed with flowing fabric straps and long-hemmed trousers that puddled onto the floor, interspersed with coats and shirts patched with sexually-charged prints of naked women in various forms of bondage. However, it was his more rigorous pieces that held court. Key highlights include the camel coat belted with a brown rope (look 16), blood red moto jacket embroidered with floral bouquets (look 11), and truncated leather trousers with a zip at the hem for an extra-slim silhouette.
I spy: Three-dimensional camouflage patterns sewn onto shirts and coats for added texture and punch. A fresh take on the enduring, and truly evergreen, print for men.
Worth the investment: That purple full-leather look of a motorcycle jacket and slim leather pants (look 12). Wear them together for fashion week, a night out on the town, and yes, during Halloween (a zombie bikie from Michael Jackson's Thriller music video), or wear them separately as a statement talking piece to spruce up any weekend outfit.
GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI: FASHION FLAMINGOS
The set: A container-like space within an industrial warehouse — located in the trendy 11th arrondissement — transformed into a surreal pink box not dissimilar to the milky hue of the Malay bandung drink. The perfect habitat for Riccardo Tisci's fashion flamingos.
Inspiration: A freedom themed collection with a melting pot of references that included vivid Moroccan colours, exotic reptiles, festive Berlin 'club-kids', and the pictures of African heavy-metal-loving men called 'Botswana Renegades' shot by South African photographer, Frank Marshall.
The men's collection: Given the diversity of references, the collection seemed to constantly shift gears — from svelte opening suits with crimson accents (think: statement leather gloves, thick stripe down the side of trousers, or contrast collar on a blazer) to orange bombers and Macs (smartly overlaid with a rust-coloured cable-knit gilet) to earthy brown pullovers and parkas sporting visceral Cobra motifs. Yet, despite the pastiche of influences, Tisci pulled it together with his scarlet thread of copper eyelets and studding; applied to the corner of crocodile panels appliquéd to coats, used to punctuate the collars and pockets on shirts, and punched liberally onto leather jackets and denim truckers.
Something you might have missed: Shirting and suits routinely given the fringe treatment on the hem-line for extra drama.
Women's haute couture: Twelve SS16 looks woven through the men's FW16 offering characterised by sheer capes, iridescent diaphanous gowns, and fabulous fur. In particular, we loved the final look of a black lace dress matched with a lace and fur jacket (worn off-shoulder) finished with statement crocodile leather cuffs embellished with copper studs and gemstones.
BERLUTI: INDELIBLE INK
The runway: A raised platform filled with black sand in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Whenever a collection is shown in a grand Parisian venue, the basal concern is that the venue — with its high-vaulted ceiling and intricate wall reliefs — will distract rather than complement the clothes put forward for examination. Thankfully, and as a credit to Alessandro Sartori's designs, it was the latter rather than the former.
Tattoo heart: Central to the fall/winter 2016 collection was the collaboration with celebrity tattoo artist, Scott Campbell. (He has inked up famous skin of Marc Jacobs, Josh Hartnett, Orlando Bloom and Penelope Cruz, just to name a few.) Hailing from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Campbell is known for his geometric skull and 'ghost snake' designs, and it was this signature calling card that found its way onto the back of the leather jackets, the maison's famous Un Jour leather briefcases and, of course, the leather uppers on their iconic handmade shoes (fitted with copper sole inlays). The idea? A Scott Campbell design that you can take off. Smart.
Design highlights: From a purely fashion point of view, Sartori showed luxe colour separates (a refreshed homage to the previous SS16 collection of colour-blocked suiting), vertically paneled overcoats and blousons in camel and tan, and chic monochromatic looks including an ivory shearling coat paired with a plunging black tee and soft-shouldered blazers anchored with slim-cut trousers.
Favourite look: A toss up between the lilac suit worn by Lucky Blue Smith (look 21) or the oversized grey overcoat (look 22), both of which featured double-layered lapels. Incroyable! Très jolie.
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