PARIS, France — The label Bobo Kaminsky has been on my mind lately. In the mid-80s, it was the best thing you’d ever seen. Oversized and weirdly cropped, huge-buttoned, hillbilly-weird — it was the most perfect fashion perversity. Then, it disappeared, as quickly as it landed and annihilated our sensibilities. Whatever zeitgeist Riccardo Tisci has tapped into with his new menswear collection, he managed an evocation of the mighty Bobo with his big buttons. And, from the same era, there were huge faces like those on Kansai Yamamoto’s sweats and tees. It all spoke to Tisci moving on, tiring of the Gothic darkness, looking for the positive light. Just like those mandalas that made his last womenswear collection such a treat. He showed this collection in the Bibliotheque Nationale, a cavernous ovoid bookcase-lined space which, he said, conveyed serenity.
As for the clothes themselves, Tisci talked about the Wild West viewed through a child’s eyes: attenuated dungarees, outerwear expanded, more formal dressing exaggerated as it might be if a little boy eyeballed daddy’s collar and tie. “That’s me,” he said. “I never grew up.” There were Native American totem poles too (that was the Kansai bit). And the colours were just about the most deliberate denial of basic black it would be possible to imagine. Tisci also added ruffles to his shirts, which anticipated the handful of couture looks he showed when the guys had trailed off the catwalk. Again, I’ll say it, Westworld is a fashion influence waiting to happen.
If this particular outing didn’t have the uplift of Tisci’s spring womenswear, at least it showed him stretching, relaxing. He tried to say it was ironic. But that was old Riccardo talking.