Paris Menswear: Tramps and Prizes

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Published June 25, 2009

The men’s wear style troops moved from Milan to Paris on Wednesday where Yves Saint Laurent’s Stefano Pilati got the ball rolling with a small show and film presented at the house’s  headquarters. It wasn’t until after the show, when Anna Mouglalis, Vahina Giocante, Elodie Bouchez and everybody else were having drinks in the courtyard that I discovered Pilati’s muse: Nigereian blufunk singer Keziah Jones, a man with impossibly long legs that make any suit look like an elegant pair of pyjamas. “I want to put the spirit of tailoring into casual clothes,” said Pilati. “The shape is triangular so it has masculine power and attitude, but it’s soft, and worn.”  (LEFT: KEZIAH JONES)
 
As we broadcast yesterday, this season’s short was shot by Pilati’s friend, writer and filmmaker Samuel Benchetrit, who cast his son Jules, 11, as a little tramp who wanders into a luxury suite at the Hotel Bristol where he takes a call from the occupant’s estranged lover and tells her everything she wants to hear. Jules is dressed in a fedora and YSL perfecto, before he changes into a pinstripe jacket  he finds in the closet. He spends a lazy afternoon reading Alfred de Musset’s “Confessions d’un Enfant Du Siecle,” and reprises Robert DeNiro’s bathroom scene in Taxi Driver—”You talking to me?”—before writing in ketchup, “Melinda is on her way,” and slipping out the door.

 

There’s a bit of the tramp in Pilati’s spring YSL collection, which was saturated with dirty beige and olive for jackets with frayed shoulders and satchels with skid marks. The cardigans are so thin they’re worn to transparency, which workwear pants are styled baggy. The new jacket is double-breasted, worn too tight and pitched forward like a man on the run.
 
Earlier on Wednesday, The ANDAM (France’s National Association for the Development of Fashion Arts), which celebrates its twentieth anniversary, awarded England’s Giles Deacon the year’s grant of 160,000€, which will finance moving his runway show to Paris from London next October as it did for last year’s winner Gareth Pugh. The ANDAM also gave a 20,000€ young designer prize to French jewelry talent Ligia Dias.