The SS14 Men's Fashion Week is coming to an end today (bye Ben Allen, Jester White and all their pals!) and the least we can say is that there has been one trend we have seen everywhere, from London to Paris including Milan: Flowers! Flowers everywhere. All kind of flowers. Big ones, small ones, as all over prints or just in some details, they simply could not be missed. We hope you guys are not allergic to pollen because it is a major trend we will have to put into practice as soon as possible! So, it all started with London and the shirts of the TOPMAN DESIGN Techno Cowboys, the big pastel roses at JOSEPH TURVEY and CHRISTOPHER SHANNON's gorgeous liberty pieces. Then, in Milan, flowers were spotted in some graphic silhouettes at JIL SANDER and in tapestry prints at GUCCI. This Spring epidemic did not stop when all the hot models came to the French capital and we could smell it in the creations of PHILLIP LIM but definitely the Flower Power was to be found somewhere else, in the works of two different (but with so many common points) designers: ANN DEMEULEMEESTER and DRIES VAN NOTEN, two of the Antwerp Six.
In 2014, at le Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, there will be a retrospective of Dries Van Noten's work. Surely the Fashion Must See of next year! And it is in the archives of this museum that can be found the inspiration for the flower prints of his Spring Summer 2014 collection. As he said to define it, when looking at these archives, he became inspired by all these "pretty but strange" prints. And there are a wild range of flower prints in this collection! Baroque and almost rococo, tapestry or Hawaian ones. We are under the impression that we have already seen these prints in our grandparents' house or during a visit of a castle/manor in some kind of school trips as kids. But instead of seeming kitsch or being dated, here, it is highly desirable because Van Noten's silhouettes are so cool, so effortlessly chic! As he said to Style.com his challenge for this collection was to see how far he could go with these prints while still saying "yes it's men's clothes". As far as we are concerned, he met his goal! But this is not the only paradox of this collection, the cuts are loose but so well-fitted, the colours are sober but they look so flamboyant, the prints so ancient but the silhouettes are so modern and the styling with the Linda Farrow sunglasses and the sandals also convey this idea of absolute modernity. Next Spring, we definitely long to be Dries Van Noten's boys! Don't you?
With Ann Demeulemeester, we are in something quite different. Another approach to flowers in a collection for Men. She told Style.com that she wanted to work on floral prints but she wanted to do it her way. After the introduction of some colours in her last Spring Summer collection (usually, she is playing more on dark colours, white or shadowy tones), this time she wanted to propose prints but not the kind of flowers you can usually find or you expect to find. So, she chose dark wisteria vines to enter the world of floral prints. Just like ivy, wisteria is an invader, a crawling flower covering the surfaces where it grows. A threatening and uncanny flower in a way. A flower that suits well to Demeulemeester's universe and conception of Fashion. She wanted to show the people who usually love her collections (and can be quite disturbed by this lighter one) that she "likes her garden" and can also be inspired by nature even if it is in a very personal approach ("the Private Ann on Sundays" she told Style.com). Here, she mixed wisteria that seems to overgrow little by little on the coats and jackets with stripes giving a romantic and sweet effect. A lighter collection as we said reinforced by the use of colourful shoes or clownish straw cloche.
These pictures come from Style.com