For his Spring fashion presentation-cum-keynote-address, Jean Touitou gave a tour through recent history. "Fashion rewrites the past in a very subjective way," he declaimed, and in a series of vignettes, he explained his new men's collection, filled out by readings from Bret Easton Ellis and the French writer Guillaume Dustan.
Briefly, a selected chronology:
- The early eighties. "Drugs were important at this time. It was very dramatic when people switched from heroine to cocaine and orange juice. Drug addicts had a fetish about knitwear." Fashion takeaway: A.P.C. geometrically patterned intarsia sweaters. Key references: French punk band Stinky Toys (1976-1979).
- The eighties look at the fifties. "A vision of the fifties with Italian bad taste." Fashion takeaway: A.P.C.'s leather bomber with linen sleeves, from the high-end Louis W. outerwear collection; a mechanic's jumpsuit in wool/linen.
And a few key movements in the history of style, as named, identified, and continued by APC:
- Anti-relaxed relaxed: "It's the way a serial killer would be casual. Serial killers are very particular about their details." Fashion takeaway: A.P.C. cotton short shorts in black (basic) and paisley (compellingly dandy); striped sweaters.
- Preppy queerness: "Well-dressed, but with a little extra—a print that should not be there. Flirting dangerously with Italian bad taste." Fashion takeaway: A.P.C. Liberty floral shirt with chinos. Leopard-print T-shirt with bomber jacket.
- Invisible dandyism: "The exquisite moment when we prove that we are still very boring." Fashion takeaway: A.P.C.'s ever-perfect jeans, and all items with details so minute only the wearer or the very well-trained eye will spot them. Key references: Bret Easton Ellis.
And a new collection: the debut of a T-shirt range designed by Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag of M/M Paris, A.P.C.'s former art directors until a dispute rent the partnership asunder for some eight years. ("We're family, but we fought," Touitou said. "It was friendly—and violent.") Now the three are back together. M/M designed a new font for the occasion, with which it spells out some possible meanings of A.P.C. ("A Perfect Chick," "Another Pure Cheeseburger"). But the shirt that spells out JEAN does it with a graphic of tiny dogs—or, Touitou announced, as you'd call them in French, toutous.