In Paris '70s Revival and Back-to-Nature Movement

Sankuanz, Paris Fashion Week’s official opening act this season, moved away from his streetwear bread-and-butter without completely abandoning it — after all, the brand is among Hypebeast’s and Ssense’s darlings. 

Chinese-born designer Shangguan Zhe chose to start his show with a series of sharp moiré suits for men and women. They were part of an eclectic collection with punk, cyberpunk, skinhead and '70s nods. Tan suits with exaggerated shoulder pads and flared trousers coexisted with combat boots and safety pin-laced Cargo pants and all-out capitalist jewellery, especially conceived to hang from one’s AirPods, was as conspicuous on the catwalk as the political message “kill the wall” (no explanation needed), lovingly embroidered in fluoro green on the back of jackets and hoodies. 

The ultimate meaning of all those contrasts might have been blurry but the black palette, techno winks and apparent contradictions gave it a distinctly nihilistic flavour. And isn’t that a perfectly natural reaction to the way 2020 has begun? 

Later that day, Spencer Phipps delved into the prominent “treehugger” back-to-nature movement of the '70s, which initially arose from both a hippie rejection of consumerism and materialism mixed with a renewed sense of environmentalism — the latter making an obvious nod to the urgent need to address climate change. Phipps' message was clear: in times of crisis, go back to basics and invest in nature!

Turning to one of our environment’s most pressing concerns, the conservation and protection of forests and woodlands, Phipps unveiled a men’s Fall/Winter 2020 collection that celebrated both fragile and archetypal interpretations of masculinity defined by an uncertain future. 

His overprotecting outdoor and park rangers inspired outfits notably featured prints and patches that depicted the US wildfire cartoon Smokey Bear, an American campaign and advertising icon created in 1944 by the U.S. Forest Service with artist Albert Staehle. In fact, the designer announced that 10 per cent of the sales that feature the iconic bear will be donated to the USDA Forest Service which is committed to wildfire prevention. To further emphasise his dedication to nature and environmental causes, Spencer Phipps introduced a range of customised vintage and deadstock garments — the PHIPPS Gold Label — that included upcycled pieces such as repurposed denim jeans and jackets, as well as checked flannel shirtings. 

Alexandre Mattiussi’s lucky number is 9, so, rather than waiting a year to celebrate the first decade of AMI, the French designer decided to go for the less conventional 9th-anniversary festivities. In true Parisian fashion, Alexandre Mattiussi chose Pigalle’s iconic Le Trianon theatre as a venue and had a dramatic show where models emerged from the stage’s red velvet curtains to a live accordion soundtrack. 

The clothes had a new sophisticated edge: oversized woollen coats and sweaters — the bulk of the brand’s business — were paired with smoking or pleated trousers, palazzos for the girls — a rare concession to classic femininity — and, in some cases, long flared skirts that referenced the late 19th century. Then again, delightfully anachronistic elements were sprinkled throughout the collection, from be-skirted male models and three-piece suits to bowler hats, striped wooden scarves and ruffled shirt fronts that, worn by the mod-styled models, took a whole new meaning. 

And, while new customers are bound to be seduced by the more glamorous velvet, organza or sequined pieces, longstanding fans of the brand will still find their cherished bomber jackets, houndstooth coats and timeless suit pants. After all, it is classics like these that will see AMI through the next 9 years. Joyeux Anniversaire.

SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
In Conversation With Dsquared2's Dean and Dan Caten
By Gianluca Cantaro
“Right foot, left foot,” said Dean and Dan Caten...
By Gianluca Cantaro
“Right foot, left foot,” said Dean and Dan Caten when asked about the future plans of Dsquared2, the brand they founded in 1995 that celebrates a quarter of a century this year. Talking with the two designers it’s surprising how, despite the global success...
“Right foot, left foot,” said Dean and Dan Caten when asked about the future plans of Dsquared2, the brand they founded in 1995 that celebrates a quarter of a century this year. Talking with the two designers it’s surprising how, despite the global success of their work, they still manage to live life day by day. “Expectations always lead to delusions...
The Evolution of The Female Muse
By Jessica Bumpus
The idea of 'the woman' was once one of the most prevalent themes in fashion – along the lines of...
By Jessica Bumpus
The idea of 'the woman' was once one of the most prevalent themes in fashion – along the lines of she’s a dreamer, a thinker; she’s someone that goes to Ibiza over summer and skies in winter; she’s someone who speaks her own mind and doesn’t conform to stereotypes etc. You get the picture. Of...
The idea of 'the woman' was once one of the most prevalent themes in fashion – along the lines of she’s a dreamer, a thinker; she’s someone that goes to Ibiza over summer and skies in winter; she’s someone who speaks her own mind and doesn’t conform to stereotypes etc. You get the picture. Of late, it’s something that has disappeared in favour of conceptual trends or industry fads, such as See...
All That Glitters
By John-Michael O'Sullivan
Next month, London’s National Portrait Gallery will open...
By John-Michael O'Sullivan
By John-Michael O'Sullivan
Next month, London’s National Portrait Gallery will open an exhibition called ‘Bright Young Things’, devoted to Cecil Beaton’s photographs of the colourful, rebellious, extravagantly stylish citizens of London’s social scene in the 1920s. It was a...
Next month, London’s National Portrait Gallery will open an exhibition called ‘Bright Young Things’, devoted to Cecil Beaton’s photographs of the colourful, rebellious, extravagantly stylish citizens of London’s social scene in the 1920s. It was a reference picked up explicitly at Erdem, where the designer collaborated with exhibition curator Robin...
London: Play The Hits!
By Jessica Bumpus
It’s a given that every designer, whether they are based in New York, London or Paris, strives...
By Jessica Bumpus
By Jessica Bumpus
It’s a given that every designer, whether they are based in New York, London or Paris, strives for a unique aesthetic that sets them apart from the international crowd. Yet, no designer jettisons their aesthetic quicker than those from London. Caught between a crossfire of commerciality and the...
It’s a given that every designer, whether they are based in New York, London or Paris, strives for a unique aesthetic that sets them apart from the international crowd. Yet, no designer jettisons their aesthetic quicker than those from London. Caught between a crossfire of commerciality and the desire by the capital to fulfil a characteristically “creative” quota, they often leave behind the...
Walking The Walk: LFW Goes Green
By John-Michael O'Sullivan
Hands down, the most powerful trend to emerge from London’s shows last season was its embrace of...
By John-Michael O'Sullivan
By John-Michael O'Sullivan
Hands down, the most powerful trend to emerge from London’s shows last season was its embrace of sustainability — not just as a hashtag or easy talking point, but as a revolution in thinking that united an entirely new generation of progressive, responsibly-minded designers. Five months on, you’d...
Hands down, the most powerful trend to emerge from London’s shows last season was its embrace of sustainability — not just as a hashtag or easy talking point, but as a revolution in thinking that united an entirely new generation of progressive, responsibly-minded designers. Five months on, you’d have thought there’d have been little by the way of additional change. But it has. After several...
MM6 Announces Capsule Collection with The North Face
By Alice Ierace
In occasion of its latest runway show at London Fashion Week on Sunday, MM6 Maison Margiela...
By Alice Ierace
In occasion of its latest runway show at London Fashion Week on Sunday, MM6 Maison Margiela announced a brand new partnership with outerwear specialist brand The North Face. Incorporated into multiple silhouettes of the MM6 Autumn Winter 2020 collection, the collab managed to mix The North Face...
In occasion of its latest runway show at London Fashion Week on Sunday, MM6 Maison Margiela announced a brand new partnership with outerwear specialist brand The North Face. Incorporated into multiple silhouettes of the MM6 Autumn Winter 2020 collection, the collab managed to mix The North Face signature’s Expedition System with the conceptual prowess of the Maison. Resonating with the modular...
Masculin Féminin
By John-Michael O'Sullivan
I didn’t expect menswear at Molly Goddard. Giant dresses — and those were there in spades,...
By John-Michael O'Sullivan
By John-Michael O'Sullivan
I didn’t expect menswear at Molly Goddard. Giant dresses — and those were there in spades, densely smocked explosions of tulle in primrose and watermelon, raspberry and cornflower blue. But amidst the froth were four male models in slim two-piece plaid suits, worn with boldly-striped sweaters or...
I didn’t expect menswear at Molly Goddard. Giant dresses — and those were there in spades, densely smocked explosions of tulle in primrose and watermelon, raspberry and cornflower blue. But amidst the froth were four male models in slim two-piece plaid suits, worn with boldly-striped sweaters or cropped Fair Isle cardigans. That might have been that. But then Rejina Pyo did the same just a few...
Sunday’s Best
By John-Michael O'Sullivan
No-one goes to Westminster on a Sunday, except for churchgoers and sightseers. It’s a reliable...
By John-Michael O'Sullivan
By John-Michael O'Sullivan
No-one goes to Westminster on a Sunday, except for churchgoers and sightseers. It’s a reliable weekend ghost-town — except, twice a year, when the womenswear shows roll into town and the district’s magnificent palaces, parliamentary buildings and places of worship get put to use for services of...
No-one goes to Westminster on a Sunday, except for churchgoers and sightseers. It’s a reliable weekend ghost-town — except, twice a year, when the womenswear shows roll into town and the district’s magnificent palaces, parliamentary buildings and places of worship get put to use for services of an altogether different kind. (‘TUTTO beige’ one soaking Italian tourist murmured admiringly,...