Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hermès & Balmain fall 2017 men’s



In an ocean of clothes, in a sea of me too looks, in a time when fashion is blurred and at a time when fashion needs a dose of reality there is Hermès. Don’t get me wrong, it may look like clothes that anyone can wear  and some will say it is just more boring than imaginative but these are clothes that appeal to the most discerning, the most affluent and to only those who understand why these are the clothes of timeless elegance and understatement. IMAGINE that … understated. So no, these wont set the world afire nor will they race the hearts of the fawning media and worldwide fashion victims but they are covetous, exquisite and a silent signal that their wearer knows a thing or two about clothes and oh yeah he is unmistakably RICH! Ms. Nichanian really could have done without the fanny packs and the dropped crotch sloppy pants as they just look absurd when placed in context of the collection but let’s talk about the croc inset bomber or the shearling cable sweaters or for that matter almost any leather piece and how about the grey flannel mega-Birkin!
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So now, if Hermès is the silent signal of chic and understatement, then Balmain is the lit on fire billboard in Times Square for look at me clothes.  It is just a cacophony of pattern, color and clothes just piled on as if people wear them like that. Rousteing is clearly from the more is better school of fashion. The problem is that anyone who actually does wear them as shown is either a celebrity who got them for free or the ultimate fashion victim with lots of money to burn. Rousteing has a talent and maybe even a lot of it but frankly, this is getting boring no matter how over the top the presentations may be. Sadly I keep thinking these are clothes for H&M and not top tier retailers. It also occurs to me that he has played this androgyny card to the point where a lot of it might be considered drag rather than asexual and costume rather than wardrobe. The Chanel cardigans, the kimono wrap jackets and cascading collars on sweaters and even shearlings are aesthetically pleasing but please tell me who is buying them and where these clothes are being worn. This is not street wear, they are not club clothes and they surely are not clothes for the office.
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In the end we all know who the Hermès customer is or aspires to be but who exactly can afford thousands if not 10s of thousands to own Balmain’s collection of “aren’t I fabulous” fashion? Let’s just say that if Balmain continues with this over the top excess recipe, their growth potential is hardly exponential! Oopsy I made a funny!
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