Happiness is to be found when in pursuit of it, in the soothed expectation, on the way, not only upon the arrival. Accepting detours, just going the way, which is anyhow not this obvious to anyone.
Thomas Bettinelli

Happiness is just a hairflip away.
Chris Crocker


"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


The Kooples

If you're European, you probably don't need to discover The Kooples because you're already long-acquainted. Since its foundation in 2008 by three Parisian brothers Raphaël, Laurent and Alexandre Elicha, this "haute street" label has become a pretty ubiquitous retailer this side of the Atlantic. Its portfolio of stores in France runs to the hundreds, and the empire has extended widely across this continent. Beyond its post-Dior pre-YSL Hedi origin aesthetic, the brand became so big so fast thanks also to a concept encapsulated in its name : collections for both genders and marketing campaigns focused on duos, often real-life couples or siblings or others. The whole "stealing a shirt from your boyfriend's wardrobe" thing -and indeed the prefix 'boyfriend' within as a trend signifier- can be partially ascribed to The Kooples. There is one relationship, however, that The Kooples would clearly dearly love to strengthen, its own with the US. To help it achieve that, the brothers have this season recruited a man who is emblematic of both New York and the wider world around it : Waris Ahluwalia. As Alexandre accurately summated at a presentation held at (newly re-open) Paris Museum of Mankind : "There is a big positivity to Waris; something very cool, something we like very much. So we started working together on this collection". As Waris himself explained as we walked through podium-placed duos of male models -some twins, some looky-likeys, some simply complementarily affined- he has acted as cipher rather than designer. Waris said : "It's quite an experience having a house design a season for you to wear. All I do is travel -I'm on a plane every other day- and there's this feeling of India, Asia, and Japan, places of real traditions. They are always talking about the idea of rock'n'roll but asides -forget the look- what is rock'n'roll ? The core of it ? It's a way of life. It's sincerity, it's fluidity, right ? So I wanted to add that into the clothes. A relaxedness. We were able to open it up with that fluidity and soften". While there were a couple of waistcoat and black jacket looks on show, what was most notable here was a broadening of The Kooples' proposition. This eye was most drawn to the Japanese 'workwear' sourced indigo section of patchwork denim pieces, including one standout reversible bomber, worn with paisley and micro dotted foulard shirting. Elsewhere an interesting ice-pick sharp, shawl-collared shirting striped jacket and some silkily raffish day pajama wear exerted significant pull. This customer has never been much drawn to The Kooples proposition previously, but the addition of Waris has attractively widened its aperture. Well done.

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