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M: Alex Badia's Show Diaries 2014

Hello, Kanye! My cappuccino-driven tour of the new collections, feat. John Varvatos, Ermenegildo Zegna, Versace, Gucci, Armani, and Thom Browne.

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A Vespa

Photo By Barry Blitt

Appeared In
Special Issue
Menswear issue M Spring 2014

Day Five—Paris

 

The wheels hit the Orly runway. With no time to lose, we speed to Carven, the first show of Paris fashion week. It’s a balance between American workwear (denim jackets and such) and sleekly updated gentleman’s staples (skinny herringbone suits). Backstage, designer Guillaume Henry says he is interested in the mix of twentieth-century American gangster and French high couture…


I need more clothes like I need a hole in the head, but I hear Dries Van Noten is having a sale. A Van Noten sale is like a religious experience, don’t you think? At his lovely boutique, I am pretty well behaved…


The Valentino show takes place at Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, a mansion in the heart of Paris. Will Smith is backstage. “No interviews,” he says. I can’t control myself. “I love you, Fresh Prince!” I say, and he flashes me a smile. The Valentino collection is definitely on the amazing side, feat. double-faced coats, some with geometric designs that mimic the kilim rugs laid across the runway. Pajama-like pin-striped suits and a touch of tweed create a bohemian vibe. #loveit…


We slog through the Renaults of Paris rush hour all the way to Le Marais, which is starting to resemble Manhattan’s Soho. Here, Haider Ackermann is having his second men’s show. The collection is romantic and cozy. Rich woolen overcoats, textured blazers, turtlenecks. Major. Next is Raf: It’s a chic collection (with collaborator Sterling Ruby) concentrated on sportswear with street influences. It’s bright and bold…


At Caviar Kaspia, Valentino throws a lovely supper, feat. frozen vodka, smoked salmon, and caviar. Also on the menu: male supermodels such as Arthur Gosse and Nicolas Ripoll. It’s the perfect ending to a day in Paris—but I could have done without the last of those frozen vodkas…

Day Six—Paris


I wake up feeling the frozen vodkas, and my Chanel hydration mask does nothing to revive me. At the 3.1 Phillip Lim show, I am talking with an American editor about how we all live our lives based on astrologist Susan Miller. Lim delivers a strong collection feat. an urban-cowboy look. Much leather and denim. Also: cape-like parkas…


I head to Balmain, where designer Olivier Rousteing mentions that he likes my Instagram. I like his animal-print varsity jacket and military parka with fox-fur trim…


With a minute to spare, I meet a few fellow Spaniards for a bite. As soon as we walk into the brasserie, I realize we are about to experience that French cult classic: the bitchy Parisian waiter. He starts by ignoring us. When I ask him to please wipe the table, he responds that it is not dirty. When I order salad with the dressing on the side, his laser gaze bores a hole through me…


Next show: Rick Owens, the King of Goth. He presents a mix of monastic elements (leather tunics) and athleticwear (basketball shorts). The result is a menacing, retro street-goth kid…


Outside Louis Vuitton, I win some attention from the street-style photogs, and my ego floats upward (#egodrivenlife). On my way in, I run into Ladyfag, from New York…


Kim Jones delivers a major show, using vicuña and chinchilla in an ultrachic collection. The set is inspired by NASA maps of the Atacama Desert…


Dries Van Noten’s show takes place in the raw space of the Grand Palais’ ground floor. He goes with tie-dye and a rich palette that includes pinks, yellows, greens, and deep blues, in everything from bomber jackets to double-breasted blazers…


Before stepping into Phillip Lim’s after-party at Silencio, I run into a French PR girl of my acquaintance. She is having a cigarette. I don’t normally smoke, but this is Paris. I ask for a cigarette, and she gives me one, saying it’s menthol, which are said to shrink one’s balls. “OK, well, I suppose I won’t have that cigarette,” I say. Why risk it? Downstairs, I find a sea of models, editors, and other creatures of the night, all dancing and sweating. In the booth is female model of the moment Aymeline Valade. Let me tell you, that girl dances like a maniac…

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