Cmmn Swdn kicks off Paris Fashion Week Men's
In January, Alejandro Gomez Palomo opened Paris' menswear Fashion Week with a show where creatures and fairy tale princes wandered through a snowy forest. The Spanish designer was slated to open proceedings again this season but his show was subsequently moved off calendar, leaving the design duo at Cmmn Swdn to step in and kick things off in the French capital.
Paris Fashion Week Men's therefore opened with a quiet show that spotlighted two talented graduates from London's Central Saint Martins, Emma Hedlund and Saif Bakir, both of whom also spent time at the studio founded by Kanye West in Los Angeles, before heading back to London and Paris.
Guests were greeted at the show's entrance by a container crammed full of fabric, a clear comment on the overproduction and waste rife in the textile and fast fashion industries.
Entitled "It's a Jumble Out There", the Cmmn Swdn runway got off to a good start with the first models wearing a series of boxy silhouettes topped off with mesh vests and shirts – "we already saw the second skin effect with Jean Paul Gaultier," whispered one of the show's attendees, "and with Dries Van Noten". These pieces followed current trends with their graphic sportswear and GmbH-esque motocross influences but the show quickly distanced itself from easy comparisons with a succession of very accomplished looks combining mesh and embroidery.
It was a wardrobe that shook up traditional tailoring, creatively revised business suit-inspired shirts with sensual transparencies and draped touches of sexy fishnet around the waists of models in metallic or patent shirts and leather trousers. At times it seemed to lack a certain streak of eccentricity but everything was well judged and perfectly wearable.
Cmmn Swdn is currently distributed in some 50 points of sale around the world, most of which are in Asia – Tokyo's Beams or Edifice, for example, or Seoul's Addicted. Available in North America's hippest multi-brand stores, such as Totokaelo in New York and Maas & Stacks in San Francisco, the brand is also present in Europe in a dozen or so boutiques, including Paris' Tom Greyhound, London's Goodhood and Très Bien in Malmö, Sweden.
A candidate for this year's Woolmark Prize, Cmmn Swdn has recently been named as one of the competition's semi-finalists and will be fighting for a place in the finals in July.
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