Preppy School and 50s Galore at Ernest W. Baker
For the second day of Paris Fashion Week, brand Ernest W. Baker decided to rely on its heritage. “For a lot of people, us included, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown were a moment of awakening to what is really important. Being away from our loved ones, or unable to be with them physically really pushed this idea of family,” the designers wrote.
“Over the course of March and April 2020, we spent a lot of time watching family movies of Reid’s grandfather, father, and his childhood. Reflecting on the world situation at that time, we felt connected to the innocence and simplicity that was expressed in them. The parallels between the very old, a recurrent inspiration in our work, and the very young that we saw in them became the starting point to our spring-summer 2021 collection.”
The three-minute-long video is, in fact, a homage to their fondest memories – inspired by a series of interviews Baker had with his grandfather during quarantine which, consequently, led to the viewing and editing of old family videos. “ Reflecting on the world situation at that time, we felt connected to the innocence and simplicity that was expressed in the family movies. The parallels between the very old, a recurrent inspiration in our work, and the very young that we saw in them became the starting point to our collection.
“As events continued to unfold this past spring, our inspiration moved beyond that of youth, or a man reflecting on his life but is a nod to the circle of life, the lessons passed down from grandfather to grandson, and from generation to generation, to the reflections, the memories and regrets, the mistakes and good deeds, and to the position of learning that we need to put ourselves in to grow,” the designers told Nowfashion.
The collection manages to perfectly blend American style and European delicacy. Known for their tailoring, the Spring/Summer 2021 collection didn’t disappoint. Sharp and clean silhouettes have been mixed with a more preppy, school-boy look. Shorts are paired with sleeveless shirts and tie, trench coats, tuxedos, scoop-necked sweater vests and intricate cardigans – they garments feel like a blast from the past. Cherry on top? Mid-calf socks peeking from the 50s-inspired leather T-bar shoes – a timeless classic.
“[Isolation] did help us put the collection together. We felt more focused on the process as time sorta stopped, we were able to explore different ideas and spend more time researching than before so there were a lot of elements that we appreciated from that time. We were able to spend more time with family (although digitally) having the luxury of this unexpected time to reconnect with them,” they conclude.
Louis Vuitton and Abloh’s Fight For Sustainability
In lieu of the traditional fashion show format, Louis Vuitton’s Men’s Artistic Director Virgil Abloh has decided to do things differently by announcing that the brand’s menswear SS21 collection will be shown over the next few months in a series of physical and digital happenings and it will culminate in a live runway show in Shanghai on August 6th.
“The Spring/Summer 2021 men’s collection is founded in four methods of upcycling: new looks made from recycled material, looks repeated from the Fall/Winter 2020 collection, looks freely created by the studio during the lockdown using recycled material and new looks created from existing ideas. These principles set the premise for the evolution of the collection,” explained Abloh.
Now, during Paris Fashion Week, the artistic director has imagined a virtual and literal voyage across the world as a new original way to present his new collection Message in a Bottle. Starting at Louis Vuitton’s ancestral home in Asnières, outside of Paris, the film follows movers packing up shipping containers and loading them onto a barge. Aboard, a colourful crew of animated characters called "Zoooom with friends" are hiding as stowaways, as a nod to Virgil Abloh’s ongoing theme of boyhood present in all of his Louis Vuitton collections. Zoooom will eventually sail to Shanghai for the next part of the SS21 collection, before embarking on another adventure to Tokyo.
Flies-on-the-wall at Rick Owens
At Rick Owens, the atmosphere of the 12-minute video was dictated by background music and a juxtaposition of black and white surveillance-like recordings of the American designer behind the scenes. One model, 30 different looks – mainly a part of the whole black and white theme with glimpses of colour here and there.
Oversized shoulders sit on tailored blazers showing a unique play on silhouettes; mesh tops paired with thigh-high platform boots, drop-crotch trousers were mixed with slouchy jersey tank tops, sequins, pink combat boots and sensational motocross leather looks were all present. Clashing prints make a brief appearance as well, quickly followed by some more structured trousers – a “defiance in the face of threat,” as his show’s notes suggest, just in an old fashioned 70s-inspired hard rock glam.
For this season’s Paris Fashion Week, designers have had to resort to the digital world to showcase their latest collections, setting sail to fashion’s most visionary technological affair yet. And in an ocean of ingenious digìtal lookbooks and shows, the Paris-based emerging brand Cool T.M set the bar high.
For Spring Summer 2021, the brand’s artistic director Thomas Monet opted for a time-travelling virtual reality experience, where viewers are immersed in a trippy, Dog Town flower-child world reminiscent of 70’s Malibu, to then be transported into a grunge, Kurt Cobain-esque ‘90s setting and onwards to a world of opulence and lust, inspired by Coco Chanel.
The collection itself mirrors the space-time leaps from the show, juxtaposing oversized grunge prints with delicate early-century embroidered ruffles and leisurewear. An eclectic melting pot of different ages, subcultures and genders, evoking a young debauchery and celebration of life in response to the delicate situation we find ourselves in. “It is an ode to freedom, where archetypes connected to Dog Town and Grunge are merged with a form of gentrified gentrification where men are sensitive and women are strong and independent. We are all equal”, says Thomas Monet.