Summing up the spring fashion story, as it appears through the windows of Paris’ very high fashion street, rue Faubourg-St. Honoré, ease is the word. A late night wander down the street reviewing French and Italian designers, camera in hand and a lot of Bordeaux consumed during dinner, I came to the realization that “ease” may be the word, but it’s done in a much more sophisticated way than how people in Silicon Valley tend to think about it.
Even in springtime, when people tend to think less about dressing than in the autumn season, I am reminded by how beautiful good clothes can be. What makes those clothes so good is how their quality and styling come together to create a mood and attitude for the wearer.
Put on a great outfit and set the tone you want to create for yourself. Clothing is such a powerful tool, even when all you want to do during spring and summer is to have the look of “je n’aime pas.” Believe me, everyone cares about how they look, even when they want to be perceived as if it looks so easy like they don’t.
Paul Smith and Trussardi are off for the weekend, showing luxuriously and beautifully simple examples. I especially like the blending of masculine and feminine concepts at Trussardi and soft romantic detailing at Paul Smith. It’s fun to see these collections together because I see the Trussardi look as the relaxed Italian look for the city person, and the Paul Smith styles work well as the relaxed London style.
At Gucci, it’s a luxe beach or safari day. At Bottega Veneta, it’s a day for a brooding guy to contemplate and write about life. Loro Piana offers up linen perfection, soft yet crisp. Maybe it’s for a day on the yacht or for a day of shopping in town. Either way, they’re dressed for a day of ease and leisure. One thing is for sure; all of these looks share tonal elegance, yet with a sporty, relaxed mindset. Note the large outer belt over the double-breasted Gucci jacket. It was suggested I try this on at one of my favorite haunts, and all my shopping friends let out a howl. Suffice it to say, that look will not be making its way back to San Jose.
Ferragamo’s windows are so simple, and yet that’s perhaps just the point. I love their continuation of a sporty disposition, yet with a more dramatic twist. There’s more contrast, more volume, even the use of romantic pleating on a navy dress, contrasted with white belt at the waist creates a surprisingly and welcoming dramatic romance. The dark brown peak lapel jacket isn’t taken too seriously paired with lighter spectator shoes. Perfect tailoring, even in a knit dress makes it look just as easy as a simple white suit.
Prints are very exciting because they’re quite visible but less seen on display. But you can always count on collections like Etro, and Blumarine to showcase prints. It’s as much a part of their DNA as it would be for their customer, who responds not only to pattern, but also to color. Similarly, at Leonard, the key with pieces so eye-catching is to get the accessories right. Less is always more.
I had to show you this window from Ermanno Scervino because the voluminous blue denim dress reminded me somewhat of a great example on exhibit at Les Arts Décoratifs, designed by Jean Paul Gautier. The exhibit there is a retrospective of contemporary fashion of the last decade of the 20th Century. Seeing all of the clothes, many on forms, some on hangers and on rolling racks almost as if they came directly out of the designers’ archives, as well as video reels of fashion shows, is a reminder of the vibrancy and influence of fashion.
Finally, the epicenter window in all of Paris is that of Hermes. A true heritage statement harkening to their equestrian roots, it’s another pared down example of simplicity that always goes over the top, and still manages to take your breath away by their ability to create beautiful objects of desire.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps high-profile individuals revitalize, manage, and be secure in their personal visual brand. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.