Officine Générale celebrates understated Parisian style
French label Officine Générale has returned to its fashion roots with a physical catwalk show that was one of the handful of in-person events held during the latest Paris menswear fashion week.
Last Friday, Pierre Maheo, the label’s founder and designer, celebrated his catwalk come-back in a palatial building on rue des Francs Bourgeois, in the heart of the Marais district. “The multiple issues that have tormented my professional circle weren’t enough to rein in my enthusiasm. Reasonable, I have been for many months. And that's why, without any further ado, I decided to stage again a real catwalk show, featuring girls and boys living life with gusto,” said Maheo in the note that came with the presentation.
A craving to return to real life, away from screens and digital presentations, that translated in a collection that perfectly encapsulates that special Parisian street vibe. “My inspiration is again very Parisian,” acknowledged Maheo. “Though I was unable to travel, my mind managed to escape. And then I rediscovered Paris, inevitably. I took the time to look more closely at its people,” said Maheo, who is well-known for his refined cuts and his mastery of a kind of laid-back, elegant tailoring that eschews undue sophistication. A DNA that fits perfectly with the Parisian wardrobe of people with a penchant for understated style.
An approach as classic as it is effective which, for the Spring/Summer 2022, featured a fresh take on the French label's essentials, in both menswear and womenswear. Continuity and expertise were evident in the loose, voluminous trousers, in trousers with straighter cuts from the knee down, or even in the occasional nod to skater style. Not to mention the obligatory suits and several monochrome trousers-and-jacket sets, for those well-balanced office looks.
Officine Générale's colour palette has gone beyond the classic navy, ivory and grey, exploring the possibilities of an intense olive green or turning to an unexpected lavender hue, cropping up in a handful of looks at the tail end of the show, among which stood out an airy mid-length dress complemented by a magenta belt.
Fabrics-wise, linen was used for some lightweight sweaters. Maheo also resorted to recycled denim, treated with an extra soft finish, for some men's and women's trousers and jackets, and even for shorts. Officine Générale also showcased a few mid-season items, such as hoodies and a number of leather bomber jackets.
Despite the strong Parisian influence reflected in Maheo's latest collection, Officine Générale has international markets in its sights. “Officine Générale is one of those companies that have the opportunity to exit the health crisis stronger than before because of their founding values,” said Maheo, kingpin of the label founded in 2012. Indeed, last May, Officine Générale raised funds with The Untitled Group from the USA. The objective is to expand the label’s business in the US, where Officine Générale is finalising a store opening in New York. Parisian style seems ready to win over Manhattan.
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