Pink is in and we’ve got the pictures to prove it. Or is it pure hedonism that’s the flavour of the moment? The psychedelic mood has caught a hold of some of the world’s most renowned creative directors, from the USA to Germany, as seen on the Parisian and Milanese runways of Autumn Winter 2019.
Inspired by the heady aromas of Ayahuasca — a medicinal if not downright psychoactive brew concocted by the shamans of indigenous Amazonian tribes — Humberto Leon’s collection for Kenzo had a hallucinogenic effect. For what turned out to be his last show for the LVMH-owned maison (he’s exited and is now focusing on his own brand, Opening Ceremony), he dipped into his Chinese-Peruvian heritage to bring out hot pink ponchos and trenches in waterproof technical fabrics, accompanied by the dizzying swirls of marble-printed pants, bags and caps.
At another LVMH-owned maison, Loewe, famous for its leatherware, Jonathan Anderson, in the first show of his career there, took the adventurous route and put out an abundance of knitwear and tuxedos, slightly louche and very cowboy — in baby pink — reflective of the current mood of taking a classic silhouette and turning it into something fashionable.
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Taking his suit cues from the casual yet angular glam of ’80s icon David Bowie and the dazzle of YSL, Dries Van Noten made his models strut in head to toe tie and dye, with bursts of this technique finding their way on fitted jackets and pants. Dsquared2 was not to be left behind, with the cacophony of grunge — think Nirvana but with a nouveau flavour — psychedelic in spirit, but on the edge of caution and slightly over the top. Combining their obsession for Alpine fashion (Dean and Dan Caten are Canadian after all, so après ski, here we come!) with the atmosphere of Seattle in the 2000s, they were all about neon pink and sun yellow fiery jackets with tassels, over orange tie-dye prints. Is this the new uniform? Speaking of uniforms, Berlin-based GmbH presented a futuristic industrialised, utilitarian world, with lots of public works costumes — but snugly tailored — and to add that exuberant flourish, he showed denims splattered with what seemed like gold and white paint. It’s as though the kaleidoscopic era of the ’60s never died. Perhaps it’s all just a way to protest — minus the flowers — against the vicissitudes of our times.
Tommy Hilfiger and five-time FIA Formula One World Drivers’ Champion Lewis Hamilton presented the Fall 2019 TommyxLewis collab collection in Milan recently. Hamilton spoke about blending two creative points of view and the “clashing of two worlds — Tommy’s classic American sportswear DNA and (his) modern street style”. In the collection, tracksuit meets turtlenecks, fleece pairs with shiny twills; neutral tones contrast with checks and bold tie-dyes.
SUBTLE AND SENSITIVE
Italian menswear mega maison Ermenegildo Zegna addresses the theme of masculinity in its latest campaign— What Makes a Man — by artistic director Alessandro Sartori featuring Oscar-winning actor Mahershalala Ali and Chinese singer, actor, and food entrepreneur Nicholas Tse. Different from the idealised versions of masculinity that have existed for so long, and with a deep respect for the courage of a new idiom, Zegna is embracing an idea of masculinity that is fluid, sensitive, and unequivocal. In this campaign, meaninglful portraits assert love, flight, dreaming — the idea is to open the door to new ideas.
FROM MUMBAI, WITH SWAG
Who do you design for?
For guys who don’t have many options to choose from. I don’t bifurcate with super festivewear. It’s menswear; it’s functional, detailed luxury, you can multitask in. As a child, I would play in my dad’s garment export house, so my knowledge of textiles is inbuilt.
How are you addressing this concern that there isn’t enough menswear in India?
Not enough multibrand stores stock great occasionwear. This was always seen as opulent and maharaja-esque. That’s changing. We cater to what’s transitional — Westernwear styled interestingly for say, a sangeet. Our jackets are deconstructed; we have a sleeveless jacket with embroidery that continues on the kurta inside, so it looks seamless, but is light. We play with surface textures, with lots of 3D and tone on tone, that photograph beautifully in these days of Instagram! We give you six ways to style any piece you pick up from us.
You’re a favourite of young Bollywood stars…
Actors move to a certain label when there is an aesthetic connect. They are tuned into fashion. I got into costume design because it’s a strong voice, and a great medium to reach the masses. We don’t have enough male supermodels! Actors are today’s trend drivers.
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A future movie you would love to style?
Maybe a Gaddafi-like military character or a musical legend like Michael Jackson.
What’s coming up next?
Androgyny and kidswear, fragrant candles. Interiors. I’m doing things that excite me. We are manipulating linen and silk — we are putting different weaves in different fabrics.