PARIS, France — There was something of the Kris Van Assche era of Dior Homme in today's Ami collection. The flood of black, the sharp lines, sleeveless coats and blazers and the abundance of bells that decorated jackets and skinny trousers — and even the ankle straps of some shoes — all recalled the very dry, very angular world of the Belgian designer.
It was also different. Alexandre Mattiussi is not the most original of designers, but one cannot accuse him of being cold like Van Assche. There is a French sensuality and an ease to his work that's authentically his own, and that made the edges softer.
In this collection, Mattiussi also aimed to offer a stronger point of view than with previous, more basic efforts. The action did not glue: Sure, there were perfectly desirable pieces in the show, but the more elaborate ones looked a bit weak, and sometimes even forced, like the trousers with an attached flowing panel. The tailoring and the draping can really get better. What saved it was the bare-bones set up: two circles of chairs arranged neatly in an emptied Grand Palais. Savouring the scale and the volume of such a charming building was a treat.