PARIS: It’s time to raid granny’s wardrobe. The headscarf knotted under the chin — last seen worn over curlers by harassed housewives in the 1970s — is back on the Paris catwalk.
And the good news this time is that men can wear versions of them too.
Japanese designer Hiromichi Ochiai of Facetasm dared to resurrect the most humdrum of domestic of looks — that admittedly still has its adherents among Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and a dwindling band of pious matrons — for his autumn-winter menswear show.
As he said himself, in fashion “anything is possible”.
The avant-garde creator sent four of his female models down the runway in floral granny scarves in his mixed gender show, a growing trend in this season’s shows.
“We are fashion libertarians associated with no specific roots, identities or classifications,” he declared.
The floral patterns in the granny scarves were picked up in hoodies for the boys which were worn rather menacingly with face masks.
While the look might pass in Asian cities where people are worried about pollution or germs, it came across as the sort of garb that might get you arrested in Paris or other European capitals living under the threat of terrorism.
That threat was ever-present in the Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck’s show, with all of his models masked with colourful scarves that hid the face.
Some looked like rioters — albeit the world’s best dressed — others hipster Tuaregs and still more had shades of balaclava-ed SWAT team special forces operatives about them.
The bearded designer, known for his ability to reflect society’s shifting moods, drew huge smiles by matching them with hilariously oversized leather and woollen gloves.
His compatriot Glenn Martens of Y/Project had great fun with Napoleon, Josephine and Henry VIII football scarves, telling AFP that they were all pop stars in their different ways, with the Tudor monarch the “Kanye West of his times”.
Over at Balenciaga, a similar playful spirit was at work. The brand’s wunderkind designer Demna Gvasalia — whose own label Vetements has become the major Paris trendsetter — is known for his talent for reclaiming corporate logos, making a reworked yellow DHL T-shirt a fashion must-have.
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This time he appeared to have appropriated the logo from US Senator Bernie Sanders’ unsuccessful run for the White House with his Balenciaga 2017 slogan.
Gvasalia even doffed his hat to his employer, the luxury holding group Kering, by plastering its name across a hoodie in the ultimate insider’s joke.
His trademark oversized look was also there with shin-length double-breasted coats that had more than a hint of vintage KGB about them, and charity shop chic suits matched with trainers.
While Gvasalia seemed to play fast and loose with convention, the brothers Glemarec of Icosae made their Paris fashion week debut with a paeon to traditional tailoring.
Aged only 21 and 22, Valentin and Florentin Glemarec produced a classy, sober collection, heavily influenced by punkish London culture, with jackets carrying the slogans “Color my life with the chaos of trouble”, a line taken from the 2009 teen romantic-comedy “500 Days of Summer”, itself inspired by a lyric from the British band Belle and Sebastian.
Valentino too took inspiration from British punk, with coats and sweatshirts printed with slogans reminiscent of Sex Pistols record sleeves.