Ami is Paris-born, Paris-based, Paris-inspired. "It's all about the friends I know, the guys I see in the street," designer Alexandre Mattiussi said at his presentation tonight, the latest in a series that made full use of the city's real spaces rather than its show spaces: For his last outing, he took over a sidewalk café, for this one, a cavernous apartment in the up-and-coming 10th. But for the new collection, he cast an eye outside the city limits. "The idea at the beginning was a Friday night, after a really hard week," Mattiussi said. "You take the Range Rover, you put the Labrador in the back of the car, you keep your shoes, you keep your trousers, you're going to spend three days in Normandy at your parents' home with the guys."
Nice work if you can get it. But Mattiussi is so cheerily upbeat with his fable-spinning that it's hard to dwell too long on your own parents' lack of Norman second home. With Ami, you can at least dress like a chic weekend-tripper. This season, Mattiussi added country touches like gun-club checks and waterproofed plaid barn jackets to the mix—the sort of thing, he explained, his friends would find and appropriate from their fathers' closets. Where before he'd offered casual workweek suiting, here his jackets came unlined and slightly slouchy, and there were more jeans than chinos on display. As always, he insisted reality—not fashion—was his point. That's not a declaration you hear too often during Paris fashion week, but it's proven appealing to retailers, and likely why they continue to flock to his showroom. It's likely the reason, too, that a mere three seasons in, he's looking for retail space of his own. In Paris, naturally.