On their own, there was nothing exceptionally eccentric about the clothes that comprised Maison Kitsuné‘s latest men’s collection. One might even argue that such pieces as the micro-herringbone mac, pin-dot suiting, and perfect-fit white jeans attested to a more finely finished and attractively polished offering than ever. But set against a surrealist object-filled desert—a staging dreamed up by Pierpaolo Ferrari—the collection shifted into a different register and the twists took over. Now the standouts included a workwear jacket-and-pants combo in cornflower blue moleskin, a striated and pixelated bandanna pattern, op art-ish jacquard knits, and the quasi-sardonic tee reading “I need Kitsuné to make me happy.” Need is relative.
Still, what works so well about Maison Kitsuné as a clothing label (because it’s also a record label and, increasingly, a mini-empire of shop-cum-cafés) is how guys can easily establish which pieces float their boat. And as the brand grows it maintains its cult status, likely because kids buy into the entry-level stuff while bankers pad their weekend wardrobes with the linen coat framed with a varsity collar, or the Japanese indigo-dyed teddy sweater and shorts.
Before singling out those items and more, Gildas Loaëc explained that this season’s theme was Paris Desert, a dichotomous double reference to how the city clears out during the summertime, and to the Saharan Tuareg people known for their dyed-blue textiles. Loaëc returned again and again to how much he and partner Masaya Kuroki prioritized soft fabrics (terry-collared pullovers) and a light touch (a poplin safari jacket). One extra-worn-in sweatshirt boasted the word Doux (French for soft) in all caps. Yet for all the animated talk, the collection spoke well enough for itself.