On the bottom, the Gaultier man was pared back and slimmed down, wearing skintight leather pants, baggy boxing shorts, sweat pants or Gaultier's signature man skirts. (If you're going to rock the man skirt, it can't hurt to be schooled in the sweet science, no?)
Coulrophobics probably won't look kindly on New York-based menswear designer Adam Kimmel. Not that they'll have an issue with the clothes in his collection. It's the way he chose to stage it in a darkened art gallery in Paris' 3rd arrondissement with a tableau of a dozen and a half creepy clown caricatures prowling a casino, playing baccarat, throwing dice and doubling down.
The presentation -- as well as the collection itself -- was inspired by George Condo, a New York City-based artist, and the characters that inhibit his oeuvre.
"He was one of my heroes growing up," Kimmel said. "And as I got to know him, I found out what a character he really is. He's this incredible gambler who spends his summers in Monte Carlo and has been known to stop off at the Empire Casino in Yonkers and play the slots. I've been there with him."
The collection was not so much about how Condo actually dresses as how Kimmel liked to imagine he dresses -- velvet suits in gray, burgundy and green, velvet slippers, roulette, craps and baccarat prints on the backs of some pieces and on the linings of others.
Kimmel collaborated with Condo himself and Hollywood special effects prosthetic artist Gabe Bartalos (of the "Cremaster" and "Leprechaun" movies, among others) to spring the clowns from their frames and bring them to life. For pure jaw-dropping spectacle alone, Kimmel's under-the-radar, over-the-top fall/winter presentation ranked right up there with productions of fashion week greats like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. And that feeling of sartorial wizardry was reinforced when it later came to light that illusionist David Blaine, shown above, center, was among the masked models circulating through the room.
With this show, Kimmel may have hit the jackpot because, even if not a single soul who was there remembers the details of the clothes, they won't soon forget his name.
Angels, Not Demons
Compared with previous seasons, Rick Owens' collection felt like a breath of fresh air in a mausoleum, a ray of white light stabbing into the darkness. Whatever yin/yang analogy you use, his traditional heavy-handed march of the mutants seemed practically uplifting. Nay, spiritual.
Instead of monsters and demons garbed in blacker than black, Owens seemed to be sending his version of angels down the runway. Gleaming white trench coats, tailored white square-shouldered jackets that shimmered over camel-colored tunics, even the heavy clodhopper boots looked somehow lighter, the pale brown snakeskin seeming like baked meringue.
Backstage, the designer waved off any notion of trying to read a kinder, gentler Rick Owens in the catwalk tea leaves. "Yeah, last time I had lots of monsters on the runway," he said with a shrug. "But I was just in the mood for a nice tailored jacket. The kind I'd like to wear. So that's what I did."