AMI: Alexandre Mattiussi's masculine couture ode to Paris
Just when you thought that the dark mood over Paris caused by nine weekends of 'yellow vest' protests would cast a shadow over the French menswear season when along comes Alexandre Mattiussi with a brilliant celebration of the beauty and élan of the capital city.
Staged with titanic panache inside the Théâtre National de Chaillot, with the gilded 1930s space demarcated into four runways by enormous beige curtains, the show climaxed with the blinds being draw away and the cast marching by the vista of the Eiffel Tower. On each seat an envelope contained a beautiful sketch of France’s most iconic landmark drawn as if the tower finished in a massive mechanical heart.
And heart is what this show had plenty of – from the brilliantly cut voluminous coats, finished with couture proportions and made of bouclé wool in pink or lime, houndstooth and a certain magical black. Alexandre’s flat-front pants; natty Chelsea cowboy boots; huge turquoise poetic shirts and stunning playboy hats all were just right too.
The show was the second where Ami showed womenswear, which the house will start wholesaling internationally through major agents this season. We encountered two agents literally rubbing their hands with glee, so commercially assured, elegant and contemporary were these clothes. Best looks for gals included superbly cut chino flares, like those worn by Audrey Marnay; a charming doubly oversized mud-hued cashmere mannish coat that gently engulfed the model and an impeccably cut emerald green topcoat.
“Paris! The idea of the bourgeoisie even if nowadays it is always kind of a bad word. I wanted to pay homage to a certain idea of education; being polite and well dressed. Getting into beautiful clothes. The idea of coming back to your grandparents’ apartment in Paris for the weekend and picking a pink coat of your granny to go take tea and macaroons in Ladurée. Enjoying the moment and not always wearing streetwear, and saying bad things,” chuckled the designer with his inimitable French accent.
“I don’t want to get into politics, this show has nothing to do with what. But I did want to bring a sense of beauty to Paris, which is still such a beautiful city. Concentrating on the clothes but with a little sense of couture for men,” he added.
Adding to the moment, the models were impeccably cast. They may have been an international crew, but Mattiussi’s fashion blessed them with that Parisian finish. As if they had all just completed a course in French civilization at the Sorbonne.
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