Ami and Amiri: From the Sacré Coeur to the Jardin des Plantes
One vital reason Paris remains the world’s greatest fashion capital: the city is so photogenic. Beautifully underlined by a spectacular Ami sunset show in front of the Sacré Coeur and an Amiri catwalk display within the charming Jardin des Plantes.
Alexandre Mattiussi’s latest show for his burgeoning brand Ami was a hit from the opening look. Audrey Tautou opening in a cool trench before the Sacré Coeur of Montmartre, before an audience of Naomi Campbell and Carla Bruni.
Instant applause both from the guests and a couple of thousand fans at the bottom of the steps up to the famed church. The mere fact the city and local church agreed to let Ami stage its show in front of the legendary basilica, another indication of how much this contemporary Parisian brand Ami means in France.
Cheers rippling through the audience as the likes of Liya Kebede – in khaki waistcoat and matching pants – Cara Delevingne – prancing like a saucy schoolgirl in leather biker jacket and unbuttoned shirt.
“A schoolgirl in Montmartre. French girls and French boys; romanticism, Paris, Paris, Paris!” enthused Alexandre, post show, before the giant panoramic view.
“My first apartment when I came to Paris was in Montmartre. Now I live in an apartment with a view of the Sacré Coeur. I see it every time when I go to bed. So, it’s my Coeur Sacré. And that’s the name of the collection,” beamed the bearded designer.
Presenting a real mix of chic citizens, including racy ladies, who pair crisp green wool blazers with thigh-high boots; seduce in lipstick-red leather jackets, like “une pute de Pigalle,” the designer cackled, using the French term for a hooker.
All the way to the little black dress, in a cute reference to Edith Piaf. Before a privately educated Parisienne got raunchy in skinny sailor’s sweater, micro mini and thigh-highs, as she parties in this funky district.
Mattiussi will always love a big enveloping coat, this season in Tati gingham, an homage to the famed low-cost department store that once was the anchor fashion tenant of this north Paris neighborhood. Also showing great pink Tati-style one-button blazers and mini skirts as the bronze equestrian statues of Joan of Arc and Louis XIV looked down benignly.
For guys, faded jeans and blazers, each finished with his new heart-shaped Ami-logo golden buttons. All blended together with Argyles, stripes and touristy shirts. Nothing too revolutionary but a hyper focused collection that said, well, Paris, Paris, Paris.
Another indication of how hot this brand Ami boasts 15 stores in Japan. Pre-pandemic there were just three.
Legend has it the Romans beheaded Saint Denis, the patron saint of Paris, at this site. On Thursday, as the sun set, it felt like the city had just consecrated Mattiussi as its latest fashion saint.
Amiri: Icy blue in the Jardin des Plantes
Mike Amiri, a designer who has been causing quite a buzz in Los Angeles, greeted Paris in a show that elevated his California off-duty-movie-star look to a more sophisticated level.
During the pandemic, Mike produced a series of swish videos and shows – shot in iconic mid-century modern villas and in historic movie locations in LA. His sense of savvy showmanship was evident again in Paris, with a giant pristine logo runway, the third the size of a grid iron, built as a platform overlooking the historic Jardin des Plantes. While his demi-gothic logo reached twice as high as any of the lanky models.
What worked best was his great ice, blue, ecru and faded-cement palette, seen in all sorts of cool sportswear, beachwear and loungewear.
Amiri isn’t Giorgio Armani, but he is adept at cutting a soft-shoulder jacket, and he has a great eye for casual chic. Plus he can shape shorts like Brâncuși, whether in terry, toweling, cotton paisley or khaki cotton. Made voluminous; as skorts; combined with kilts; or finished like an intarsia ice field, they all looked great.
“He’s been really growing as a designer. It takes time to really make great fashion, but Mike is getting there,” commented Renzo Rosso, whose Only the Brave holding company owns a significant minority stake in Amiri.
All finished with white logo sneakers and accompanied by a soothing soundtrack of Shade and Kool & The Gang, this was an important victory for Mike Amiri. He had earned and won Paris’ respect. Not something handed out easily in fashion.
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