6 posts tagged "Gildas Loaec"
Best known for its children’s clothes and underwear, Petit Bateau, one of France’s most beloved brands, has decided to embrace its age by growing up a little—but only a little. To mark 120 years—or, as they say in Petit Bateau’s world, 1,440 months—the house has tapped Maison Kitsuné designers Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki as the new artistic directors of its men’s and women’s lines. Evidence of the shift will been seen in the brand’s Fall ’13 range, which will start hitting stores in early July. Although it’s not their first collection for the brand (they did capsules in 2009 and again this spring), the range does mark Loaëc and Masaya’s first effort as artistic directors.
“Petit Bateau is a house everyone loves, but it was a little flat—I mean, they are known for their underwear,” commented Kuroki. “I wanted to bring in new proportions, volume, and color—inject a little coolness.” For instance, he showed a duffle coat with its bottom half lopped off—a style that the powers that be were, at first, hesitant to approve. “It meant taking a risk, but sometimes there’s no ‘why’ or ‘because.’ It’s just a feeling. Fortunately, they decided to trust me.”
In addition to the cropped duffle, Fall’s lineup includes reworked staples and heritage logos, as well as streetwear-inspired “new classics,” such as slim jeans, sailor-striped parkas, fitted corduroys, and preppy sweaters with grosgrain details. And as Kitsuné lovers know, where there is fashion, there is music: The first Kitsuné x Petit Bateau-curated concert is set to stream online in September.
Maison Kitsuné is a record label as much as it is a fashion brand. So when Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki brought their show to Pitti, they literally brought the show. They’d never presented their fashion collections live before, but they had plenty of experience putting bands onstage. So at the Palazzo Capponi last night, they just did what they knew best: They put bands onstage. This time, though, they happened to be wearing Maison Kitsuné.
The thing took the form of a classic TV variety hour, Ed Sullivan-style, with shticky emcees (the Tokyo-based duo Verbal and Yoon—left) and musical acts (the Swedish girl group Say Lou Lou, the French electro-pop chanteuse Yelle, the Franz Ferdinand-esque Brit rockers Citizens!). The whole was filmed by fashion’s documentarian of choice, Loïc Prigent. “I grew up watching TV,” Kuroki said backstage after the show. “I didn’t grow up watching YouTube. We wanted to make it a bit slower. You can feel the moment.” (Whatever he did or didn’t grow up with, the Prigent video is soon destined for an online outlet near you.)
In keeping with the midcentury vibe of the format, the clothes, too, had a sixties spin. The girl-groupers wore silvery minidresses and Peter Pan-collared shirts. (A punky touch was added by Verbal and Yoon’s jewelry line, Ambush.) The guys had patch-pocket suits and penny loafers. And Yelle? Well, her shortalls romper and sparrow-tailed twill parka didn’t seem to fit the theme, but no use standing on ceremony about that. This was less a step onto the fashion runway than one toward Kitsuné’s continuing global expansion (next up, their first Tokyo store, opening in February), and one in pursuit of a good time. “It was good fun,” Kuroki said. “It was a pop experience.”
CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of Maison Kitsuné’s Fall ’13 presentation.
Last season’s Pitti Uomo guest, Carven, brought with it a strong Gallic flavor to the Italian menswear fair, in the form of an old French tradition: the waiters’ race. Evidently the mood is lingering. The fair has tapped two French brands, Kenzo (designed by the American duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim) and Maison Kitsuné (by the Frenchman Gildas Loaëc and his Japanese partner, Masaya Kuroki, above) to present their collection at the fair’s 83rd iteration in January. Kenzo will show menswear, Maison Kitsuné womenswear. The fair runs from January 8 to 11, 2013.
Maison Kitsuné—formerly a well-guarded secret among Parisians and Tokyo dwellers—has officially arrived in Manhattan. The Paris-based brand, designed by former Daft Punk manager Gildas Loaec and Japanese architect Masaya Kuroki, opened its first flagship in the U.S. last night, a corner space in the new NoMad Hotel, located, as its mash-up name suggests, just north of Madison Square Park. The 1,200-square-foot store stocks the full men’s, women’s, and accessories collections by the brand, and plays up the touches of haute bourgeois culture that still hang on the young-skewing, street-friendly label: the overflowing vase of flowers on a table of shoes, the salon furniture in the dressing room. One brand rep even noted that one of the jackets in the Spring collection now on racks is made in the same factory that produces the iconic ones for Chanel. But at Chanel you won’t find the band for the evening lazily sprawled on the quilted couch, nor, despite Karl Lagerfeld’s renowned love of music, see LPs and CDs from the house’s own record label lining its shelves. Mixing haute and hip with a shrug is the Kitsuné way. The prices tend toward the former, but reports have it that on its first day, the boutique sold thousands of dollars in merchandise. As for Loaec, he seemed keener to take in the scene than to talk business. “It’s like a fishbowl,” he said of the store space, with its huge windows facing out on three sides. It made for a sharp contrast between the chic environs within and the still-developing neighborhood outside—a mix that fit.
Maison Kitsuné is now open at 1170 Broadway, NYC.