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WATCHING THE WILDLIFE: PARIS FALL/WINTER 2009

Stay true to your bones!Pugh, Owens and Yamamoto keep it real.Stay true to your bones!Pugh, Owens and Yamamoto keep it real.

Did you notice that the many of the Fall/Winter 09 shows in Paris were deeply about the hair? Hair was everywhere and it was everything. Lacquered locks a/l/a Edward Scissorshand at Gareth Pugh...Dreadlocks at Look 1 at Dior Homme...Ultra-Afros at Gaultier...Mad monks at Rick Owens.. Highwayman wigs at Galliano...and Francois Sagat's tattooed crop on the boys at Givenchy...What does that mean? That in hard times an emphatic haircut is what gets you places?

TI likes that sentiment. Haircuts can be had cheaply and if you hazard a bad one...well there's more hair where that came from. "It'll grow out" you can hear the casting director at Rick Owens murmur as the front half of half the models hair fell backstage. Which for some odd reason became my favorite men's show this season, despite the fact that Owens changed very little in his vocabulary , even going so far as to repeat motifs from his last two women's shows (see the nun-like headgear on some of manques and the triangular clot of fur at the feet).Perhaps it was primarily because all that urban-warrior-survivalist gear (the deep-winter parka, fur tunics , aerodynamic little leather jackets) is very much in sync with the stark spirit of the times. Given a men's market spinning with no sense of direction, it was nice to see that Owen's first menswear offering stayed true to the bones of the house. So to speak.

It must be lovely then to be Michele Lamy. So brave. No unconcerned. The Gareth Pugh show is one I can't judge haven't not touched or seen the clothes up close. I can't testify to the finish and I suspect they'll make a fetish of the price point. Yet here was another distillation of the ideas from Pugh's previous London womens wear shows, rendered for men. I would get involved in the boots maybe but...a padoga shoulder? I lack the perversity.

Which then leads us to the Yohji and its motley parade of unmatched (meaning incongruous) "models" shambling about in their PJ's with their coats worn inside out and their boxers on top of their pants. Even if you can't afford a single Yohji thing this season, you can engage in that spirit of bohemain deshabille and terrorize your neighborhood with your inside/out anti-bourgeois ethos. I say snatch those Yohji boxers and wear them in plain sight when going downstairs for your morning bread. How much do you bet that it'll catch on in Flatbush Brooklyn. Especially when paired with a new Francois Sagat haircut.

Taste is a dictatorship.

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