Gunther, Doublet, and Nahmias' streetwear takes over Paris Fashion Week
Throughout an entire weekend full of men's fashion shows, Paris dedicated a special place in its fashion week to the streetwear culture. A creative and dynamic movement in the industry that attracts expert buyers as well as journalists and celebrities, especially from the United States and Asia. Creative approaches and clearly marketable designs were presented by some of the up-and-coming brands in this booming segment.
Gunther comes of age
Founded in 2019 by designer Naomi Gunther, the Parisian streetwear chic brand demonstrated its maturity at Paris Fashion Week with a collection reminiscent of the 90s, featuring more sophisticated and elevated streetwear garments. Its fashion show gathered its numerous guests last Saturday morning in the brightly lit upper floor of the Garage Amelot in the Marais district.
Sharing the same space as the Tranoi trade show, the men's show combined a unique vision of classic streetwear with hints of contemporary tailoring. This hybrid vision has, for the moment, allowed Gunther to seduce French rappers such as Hatik, SCH, Soolking and footballer Djibril Cissé, who modelled for the brand's last Fall/Winter 2022 show.
On Saturday, a barefoot model wearing a black suit embellished with small round metal plaques bearing the brand's logo opened the show. Next, a long, oversized, vintage-inspired wool coat was paired with shorts in the same thick fabric and a similarly styled tailored two-piece suit.
Unstructured cotton shirts, in their white or striped version, to which the brand name was added in different formats; wide ties with crystal details providing a preppy touch to the collection or a complete knitwear offer that included long frayed jumpers, wide scarves or striped T-shirts and trousers. The final look was worn by celebrity rapper and brand ambassador Franglish, who closed the show in a long coat with wide lapels, matching his tie and casual sunglasses.
"It's a collection inspired by the 90s. I wanted to pay a little homage to the year I was born, 1995, by going back to all those images from my childhood that inspired me: from the fabrics to the early days of the internet, to the sportswear of the time and the rebellious bad boy style," explained the designer, who studied at Parsons School of Design in New York, where she lived for three years and where her successful relationship with streetwear was born, to FashionNetwork.com.
And about the notable presence of logos asserting the brand's name itself, she added: "It seemed logical to follow this path, considering that it was a decade defined by logomania. I wanted to do it in a subtle way, in small details like the coins on the suit, or in very visible graffiti, underlining the 'bling bling' side of the era. At the end of the day, it's a way of reasserting ourselves and presenting Gunther as an established brand." The Parisian brand's future plans include the continuation of its local production, collaborations with artisans and artists, and the "total commitment" to its "ever-growing" creative community.
Doublet presents a Freak Parade
The statues of Vauquelin and Parmentier, two illustrious French pharmacists, had probably never seen anything like this before. On this chilly Sunday morning, the bronze statues seated on thrones in the entrance courtyard of the Faculty of Pharmacy in Paris were carrying inflatable balloons reading "I Am a Balloon", like the remnants of a festive evening. Undoubtedly, the most extravagant experience ever to take place within the walls of the institution.
A queer collective, dressed in latex animal costumes or cheerleader looks, first ended their night dancing in front of archways and a stunned audience tucked under fleece blankets. The participants of this Doublet party didn't mind the bad weather conditions, exiting through the main door of the faculty at high speed.
Masayuki Ino, the designer of the Japanese brand, has been fascinated by underground communities and quirky portrait galleries ranging from punk to morbid for the past ten years. For this Fall/Winter 2023-24 show, he imagined a freak show, or a radical approach to inclusivity on the very quiet Parisian left bank. The ringleader crossed the courtyard dressed as a giant pink and white rabbit that has endured the torments of a sleepless night, holding the rabbit's head under his arm.
Behind him, some models had removed their tops, revealing only a shirt, a tired young man wore his public school uniform over a pair of long-haired trousers. An oversized leather jacket was worn over a fuchsia hoodie and wide, straight black trousers with a panda-head bag. All body types were represented in this gallery of characters, with slender young women wearing a green skirt over grey terry-cloth tracksuits or a mega oversized blazer over a denim skirt and a pair of Furoshiki, a footwear brand inspired by traditional Japanese slippers.
Among the striking looks (like that of a frightened child with a jumper turned inside out over his head), the Japanese label presented pieces such as a bomber jacket with tone-on-tone embroidery, a deep green down jacket worn over shorts and checked trainers or, for women, a white turtleneck jumper with sleeves ending in pleats creating an overlay of ruffles, over extra-wide ripped jeans.
Bourgeois for some, with jackets and shirts, or more working-class for others, with yellow waistcoats and workwear attire, this party's attendees came from all walks of life, as if it erased social boundaries through excess. In the end, it was a supercharged parade, like destabilising adrenaline shot on a Sunday morning.
Californian poetry and Nahmias hip-hop
The last day of men's fashion week still had some interesting surprises in store. This was the case of the fashion show held at the busy Palais de Tokyo of the American brand Nahmias, which, although it was the brand's third fashion show in the capital, did so this time with obvious ambitions for international growth thanks to its casual, streetwear garments designed to seduce rappers and athletes. Celebrities such as Justin and Hailey Bieber and Lewis Hamilton are already among its loyal customers.
On this occasion, American rapper Kodak Black signed a joint capsule collection and took to the catwalk to provide music to close the show, while Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco captured the moment from the front row with his own camera. Of course, both of them were wearing Doni Nahmias' brand logo garments.
If the pink bunny suit was one of the stars of the Doublet show, Nahmias was loaded with references to the little mammal: from balaclavas with long floppy ears, to prints on hats or even furry stuffed slippers paired with baggy cargo trousers. A likely tribute to the Chinese New Year, celebrated in Paris with events around the Place de la République and dedicated this year to the rabbit, which also serves as a nod to potential Asian streetwear-loving buyers.
"In every collection, there is an element of homage to California, and this season I was inspired by the hip-hop culture and style of the 90s. The era when hip-hop style was so prevalent in youth culture," Doni Nahmias, the head of the brand founded in California in 2018, told FashionNetwork.com.
"I drew from my personal archive and my personal wardrobe of what I wore at the time and tried to translate it to modern times by employing basic 90s style silhouettes mixed with current manufacturing," he added, about the references in his latest collection.
Inspired by vintage pieces, the American designer created comfortable, casual silhouettes, with a fluid approach to streetwear. Hooded coats with synthetic fur, bucket hats, graffiti prints, trousers and loose-fitting shirts, some in silk, decorated with images of poppies in homage to the brand's DNA and its native California. In informal looks, denim was reinterpreted in patchwork form, while tailoring, a must this season, made its way into the looks with checked coats or suit jackets.
Based in Los Angeles, Nahmias currently has an international retail network of 75 points of sale in Europe, North America, the Middle East, China and Japan. Its garments are sold in well-known retailers such as Maxfield, The Webster, Saks Fifth Avenue, Browns and Harrods.
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