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.

Givenchy’s Birds of Paradise for Boys

Godfrey Deeny
June 24th, 2011 @ 3:52 PM - Paris

Paris fashion’s most iconoclastic menswear designer is Riccardo Tisci, and next season he would like stylish men to dress in sequined kilts, militaristic postman’s blousons and sweat shirts in hyper-enlarged tropical prints.

Tisci showed all this and more in the latest menswear runway show for Givenchy, where he is the acclaimed creative director, in the house’s spring 2012 collection presented in Paris on Friday, June 24.

“Hawaii obviously, surfers and urban sportswear,” explained Tisci in a packed backstage after the show, staged with a zigzag runway in the ground floor of the Pompidou Center, where almost as many passerbys and tourists gaped in through the giant plate glass windows as were member of the audience inside.

The opening looks and prints set the stage. A good third of the outfits featured a Bird of Paradise print, the tropical flower and its bright hued inflorescence almost exploding across white cotton peplum hem tunics, wide pleated kilts and strictly cut jerkins. The flower and foliage also sprouted via sequins sewn onto peg leg white jeans or crisp gentleman’s shirts.

Though frequently outlandish and startling as a creator, Tisci has a great track record of getting hipster men into avant-garde clothing. Scores of guys in the audience came to the show wearing the designer’s Rottweiler print T-shirts and aviator jackets from his last collection.

Tisci also sent out natty high gloss leather sandals with zipper like trim, chic white cotton mesh jackets and a series of great felt cotton tops.

Fanciful, attention catching and very hyper-color, this may well be a collection of clothes that many men would find hard to wear. But as a stylistic statement and a brave suggestion about how guys might dress if they had the necessary chutzpah, this collection was a breathe of fresh air.

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