PARIS, JANUARY 24, 2016

by LUKE LEITCH

A comely naked tattooed woman covered with sushi lay at the end of the runway, main course on a low table set for eight. The diners arrived in track pants and tank tops, knelt at their places, and got busy with their chopsticks. Around them emerged the looks in this irreverent and lovable loose homage to Japan and gaijin misconceptions of it. Benan’s marvelously motley crew of street-cast models—some of them rustled up by the designer himself only yesterday—looked like bad-guy henchmen in a Parisian spaghetti kung fu flick: Big Trouble in Little French-Japan, maybe.

A shearling judo jacket worn with a real judo jacket beneath it, a caramel biker whose ribbed hem was patterned to ape an obi belt, a herringbone judo suit, and a judo jacket in velvet sort of encapsulated the clothes. There were also plenty of fine and lustrous pants and coats in patterned corduroy and peacock feather velvet, as well as more tank tops and track pants. There were shoes, but after a while there weren’t; instead they wore white tube socks with the toes cut out. This was attire versatile enough to take you from dojo to dive bar via fistfight and strip club, and seemed especially well complemented by a vaguely sinister mustache. It was wrong—obviously—but right too.

Benan said he had been inspired by his repeat visits—all 16 of them—to Tokyo last year during which he regularly observed students at a martial arts school wearing their gear on the street once classes had finished. It was also, he said, the result of a youth spent watching stylized violence on VHS; “Jean-Claude Van Damme, Tarantino . . .” While in Tokyo, had he ever eaten raw fish off a naked woman? “Never! But I always wanted to go.” Healthy food, ironically referenced out-of-date sexual politics, great clothes.

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1 comment on “Umit Benan Fall/Winter 2016 Paris

  1. Pingback: Umit Benan Fall/Winter 2016 | メンズファッションスナップ フリーク | 着こなしNo:139672

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