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Thomas Bettinelli



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"The way the system works now, you see the clothes, within an hour or so they're online, the world sees them. They don't get to a store for six months. The next week, young celebrity girls are wearing them on red carpets. They're in every magazine. The customer is bored with those clothes by the time they get to the store. They're overexposed, you're tired of them, they've lost their freshness".
Tom Ford
















10.20.2016

Pigalle

As you could already find out on Morphosis, there's a new masculine category : sensual sportswear. This was Pigalle’s tenth ever show, and after it was over designer Stéphane Ashpool cosmically ordered that it mark a graduation for this interesting and inspiring label. As is customary with Pigalle, the community of friends and interests now only partially defined by the infamous Paris neighborhood the label is named after were central to the presentation : critics, supporters, editors, and family sat in the stalls and two circles of the pretty little Théâtre de l’Atelier, perched a few streets above the neon-lit strip clubs of Pigalle proper below. Although partly sanitized, the area remains the red-lit beacon of Paris’s illicit libidinous urges. So it seemed fair that this label take a long, hard, and explicitly unself-conscious look at its own place in the spectrum of sex. The curtain rose to show three models in brand-consistent soft colored sports/workwear, regarding themselves in suspended mirrored panels. And, boy, did they like what they saw : even through a finely clipped full moustache the pouting came out. Over the live harp and piano came a Serge Gainsbourg-ish exhalation of female pleasure. The mirrors were withdrawn to the rafters and the full collection popped forth. Colors from what the parochial might deem the feminine end of the spectrum are part of Pigalle’s ongoing patter : Stéphane Ashpool’s fingernails tend to be yellow and his collections pastel-heavy. The innovations here were the fabrications. A sleeveless dress/waistcoat was flanked by two plissé vents that unfurled with movement into a come-hither silky kaleidoscope. Track pants and bombers were framed in organza. A topcoat came logo’d with an embroidered Pigalle emblem that dissolved at its base into a skein of trailing threads, prettily. It was all pretty pretty. Notions of gender as per current fashion chitchat are normally defined by the assumption of a friction between the two. Although not androgynous -not genderless- this was less about friction or subversion than it was about reconciliation and coexistence : très Pigalle. Mr Ashpool said : "It is something I discover the more I grow, that finding balance between a femininity and masculinity is what helps make more of a whole person". That embroidery, he added, plus the florals and the plissé, was achieved in collaboration with the Parisian ateliers. Wait, what, huh ? Les petites mains embracing a pastel-fingernailed conscious designer street rat from the red-light district -but how ? Step forward Chanel's big cheese Bruno Pavlovsky, also backstage waiting to congratulate Stéphane Ashpool. Better keep your eye on Pigalle.

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