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Category: Moncler

Milan Fashion Week: Fencing crosses swords with ‘Star Wars’ at Moncler Gamme Bleu

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Headed into Thom Browne’s spring and summer 2012 collaboration with Moncler, I thought for a moment that the designer was finally starting to show honest-to-goodness signs of fashion fatigue –- hallmarks of which include the recycling of old ideas and the return to old venues. First of all, I could have sworn we’d been in the very same building a year earlier to watch him unveil a swim-themed collection around the indoor pool. Second, the show notes said this season’s concept was centered around fencing and tennis -– and again, I swear I’ve seen more tennis-themed Thom (though outside of Moncler Gamme Bleu) than you can shake a racket at -– and fencing is exactly the kind of no-brainer, aristocratic, exotic sport you’d expect to be fodder for Browne’s riffs.

But when the lights came down and the strains of John Williams’ “Star Wars” soundtrack started to fill the room, I knew my fear had been misplaced; Browne had wrapped in elements of the George Lucas mythology -– the faceless drones behind the fencing masks became the Storm Troopers, there were fair-haired Lukes (although no Leias) and even a few dark-garbed Darth Vader types -- one with a camera taped to his chest to simulate the Darth Vader gadgetry, and a second one, with a long, flowing, black cape in athletic mesh that kept getting stuck in the metal floor used for fencing matches.

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That the juxtaposition of fencing  and “Star Wars” provided so much entertainment was a good thing because this collection seemed to serve up less in the way of wearable wardrobe pieces than any Moncler Gamme Bleu to date. (Then again, maybe I was just preoccupied with trying to figure out which guy was supposed to be Grand Moff Tarkin.) There were a lot of quilted pieces and side buttons, a lot of layering of athletic mesh (although Browne’s been doing it for a while, it’s been popular on the runways at other menswear shows this week), and red-white-and-blue swimwear barely bigger than a square of toilet tissue.

The full collection includes outerwear, suits, jackets, trousers, shorts, shorts and accessories in cotton, lightweight summer wool, Oxford cloth, cotton pique, cotton jersey, cashmere and the requisite technical fabrics Cordura and ripstop nylon -– a nod to Moncler’s roots, across five color groupings:  white, black, navy and white, stripes and Prince of Wales.

Personally, I live for the day that Browne’s collaboration has exhausted all the appropriately aristocratic, European sports and finds himself faced with putting together a Moncler Gamme Bleu bowling-, NASCAR-, or Ultimate Frisbee-themed collection.

-- Adam Tschorn, reporting from Milan

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Milan Fashion Week: It's easy seeing green

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Photos: Looks from the Moncler Gamme Bleu spring / summer 2012 runway collection during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Tullio M. Puglia / Getty Images

Milan Fashion Week: It's easy seeing green

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The glam gals of the Golden Globes weren't the only ones in the green zone this week. The runways of Milan turned out to be chock full of verdant hues too -- solid shades of bottle, hunter and emerald green at labels like Salvatore Ferragamo, Moncler Gamme Bleu and Roberto Cavalli; smart green and purple tartans at Vivienne Westwood; and light-catching Lurex V-neck pullovers at Prada.

What's behind the oasis of greenery in the midst of the Fall and Winter 2011 collections? Maybe, as the economy finally turns a corner, it's the fashion community's subconscious yearning for an altogether different sort of green -- as in cash money.

-- Adam Tschorn in Milan, Italy

More coverage of Milan Fashion Week

Photos: Guys in green garb were on the runway at (from left) Prada, Vivienne Westwood Man, Salvatore Ferragamo and Moncler Gamme Bleu. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For the Los Angeles Times

 

 

Moncler and Thom Browne are swell on wheels

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When it was first announced, I thought Thom Browne's collaboration with Brooks Brothers was an odd pairing, but once I saw the clothes I thought it was sheer genius since it was the perfect combination of the best each had to offer.

When Browne's collaboration with Moncler (called Moncler Gamme Bleu) was announced, I didn't know much about the Italian brand besides the ubiquitous down-filled puffer jackets, and pairing Captain Short Pants with a brand known for its ski gear seemed an odd match. But after seeing the Spring/Summer 2011 collection wheeled out (literally) at a Milanese velodrome Sunday, I'm convinced that Browne's side projects away from his namesake line (which he will be showing during the upcoming Paris Fashion Week) are a win-win for everybody involved.

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Fall 2009: Thom Browne gets tangled up in Bleu

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Everybody's favorite "just gotta be me" design wonder boy Thom Browne has been taking the continent by storm as of late. Last week he was a guest designer at Pitti Immagine Uomo, a men's fashion trade show in Florence, where he treated guests to a cadre of identically clad office drones clacking at their typewriters and eating their lunches in unison.

Today he showed Moncler Gamme Bleu ("Gamme Bleu" means "blue range"), a collaboration with French outerwear maker Moncler, on a fir-tree lined, indoor, faux snowslope at La Triennale di Milano, accompanied by the strains of "The Lonely Goatherd," a song from the "Sound of Music." Although the capacity and crowd and a narrow space the width of a bunny slope prevented me from getting runway adjacent to the collection, the above photo should give you a rough idea of the snow globe acid trip that was going on amid a flurry of faux flakes and swirling clouds of dry ice.

The collection was presented in three color groups: gray, which included suits, sport coats and more technical cold-weather gear in Browne's favorite shade with tweeds and camouflage mixed in; navy, which made for a more Ivy League-inspired look; and white, ostensibly inspired by the uniforms of the Berlin Olympics.

Browne is a designer whose own aesthetic is off-puttingly severe, and his Black Fleece collaboration with Brooks Brothers, which sounded like a nonstarter from the get-go, is now a toddler with the best traits of both parents, so we can't wait to get our mittens on the Moncler pieces for a closer look.

And despite a few crazy pieces here and there, what convinced me that the city that loves its shiny nylon Moncler puffer jackets might shrug into Bleu were the two fellows guarding a fir tree next to me, clad in matching gray cordura nylon -- pieces from the Browne collection. It wasn't until I asked one of them for any press materials on the collection did I realize I was chatting with a couple of models who had simply gone apres ski.

-- Adam Tschorn

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Photo: Moncler Gamme Bleu Fall/Winter 2009 at Milan men's fashion week.


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