Officine Generale Menswear Fall Winter 2015 Paris

On this crisp Sunday morning marking the last day of menswear in Paris, Officine Générale put on an informal show to present their latest wares. As models made their way to their individual stands through the crowd assembled in a Left Bank art gallery, the notion came through that apart from their toothsome good looks, the models were practically indistinguishable from the fashion set. So this was understated luxury with plenty of selling points. The proposal is seductive, and appetite for this kind of brand is so high, Officine Générale is touted as one of the most promising brands on the Parisian circuit.

But as intense as the buzz is around it, the brand itself presents a quiet façade that belies the level of hype around it. The recipe is simple: tailoring meets workwear, a desire for quality meets real life rationality.

The journey of Officine Generale is a deeply personal endeavor, both for the collection and as a founding principle, borne from founder Pierre Mahéo. Deeply rooted in his experience in menswear,  which left a bad taste in his mouth, it is all about finding the right proportion in every aspect.

Mahéo sent out perfectly proportioned overcoats - the cream version had women groaning with desire - and jackets cut from that green loden that telegraphs durability and heritage. Burly greys flecked with white, a palette of well-behaved neutrals, the salient points were not immediately visible. No wonder the designer chose to walk them among the crowd. Trousers stopped just shy of the shoe, as seen elsewhere in the francophile set. A quilted jacket was just puffy enough to provide warmth but still fit under a proper coat. Pockets were well placed and made for a vague reminder of cargo vests. What appealed the most, perhaps, was the styling and the universally attractive quality that exuded from these silhouettes. It wasn't risqué beyond the inherently risky nature of fashion entrepreneurship, and warmed even novelty-hardened hearts with its earnest outlook. 

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