Pelts, Puns, Paris



Flashing fat beaver lapels—this season’s preferred pelt—with white collar linings turned up, Dries Van Noten has taken a twirl for fall with David Bowie’s Thin White Duke. And the show’s soundtrack, a nonstop remix of Bowie’s “Golden Years,” was there to make the point. Van Noten’s  elongated, elegant double-breasted suits with wide trousers—the picture of refined androgyny—is in step with Paris menswear’s current feminine turn.  It looked like he’d whitewashed this collection, with shirt layers peaking out from inside coats, white pants worn with everything and white short-sleeved T’s under super-chunky, sleeveless, patterned, hand-knit sweaters.

Jean Paul Gaultier loves puns and this season’s James Bond/James Blonde showed him femininzing the secret agent’s tuxedo and scuba gear. Gaultier’s muse in this case is the sultry Andrej Pejic, with a long, blonde curly mane. Pejic and a few other blonds showed off skirts over matching pants and bronze twinsets and gold fingerpaint suits. By show’s end, Peijic was transformed into a Bond girl, with a striped fur vest, gold stockings, and pumps.



Over at Adam Kimmel’s in the Marais, the fur was flying, but the clothes were more for those huntin’ and fishin’ men from America’s great Northwest. Kimmel’s latest muse is Oregon-based Dan Attoe, an artist and bullfighter, whose painting and neon sculptures deal with man, nature, and the absurd surreal. The Attoe film of a man fighting with a large monkey on the shore of a mysterious lake, and the tableau vivant of a hunting scene run amok with Kimmel models doing madcap takes on white-trash dementia set the tone. The collection looked like Kimmel had plunged head-first into one of Attoe’s mystery scenes, accompanied by David Lynch. It’s a macho mélange of vintage dressy and backwoodsy:  fancy bow ties, flashy sport jackets, and bad-taste classics like a Navajo-pattern shirt, all worn with motorcycle pants and chunky country trousers.   It brought us back to the good old days, when American men were putting their own looks together, before European designers became household words.

It was hard to tell exactly what scenario Yohji Yamamoto has in mind for fall, but he did make a case for dressing the larger man.  Yamamoto usually street-casts his shows.  And this season, he filled his lineup with seriously chunky types who looked surprisingly good in his voluminous heathery tweeds and red velvet bathrobes covered with birds in flight and buxom pinups.