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Paul & Joe Men: That ’70s Feel

July 24, 2017

Fashion | by Ross Pollard


You can’t help but wonder with this collection if Paul & Joe designer Sophie Mechaly is taking a nod towards the clothes of her childhood and her earliest fashion memories with its flavours and ideas.

Born in Paris in 1967 at a time when the strong cultural themes of the ’70s started to emerge tenderly and gently in preparation for their explosion a few years later.

The whole collection is embodied with the style of the era, but picked up, spun and twisted and falling back to earth as a reflection. But make no mistake this is not some pastiche of our modern era, the high notes of the 1970’s are all there in the fabrics and the cuts, but all that wasn’t so cool about the period has been discarded, no moon boots or tin foil top hats here.

If The Ramones had been into couture, this is how they would have looked. The sense of the normal world pervades throughout. Alongside the rock edges, these are clothes of the people; they exude a feel of late night gigs in little off-the-main-road clubs, bowling down streets to go to the record shop, Friday nights in the bars, and Saturdays out with a girl. There is a chic, soft, warmth running through both the men’s and womenswear ranges.

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Where the patterned fabrics are used it’s with a sense of lift and purpose, and even though this is a hat tip to the ’70,s the patterns are given a nostalgic sense of paisley and flock without ever dipping into pure homage.

This is the craft of a skilled designer, to be able to build on a concept, create a feeling without being an impression, to take the verve and swagger of the historical notation and produce a new hit.

I’ve long been a fan of Sophie Mechaly and to quote the decade’s biggest icons Led Zeppelin, I’ve got a “whole lotta love” for this collection.

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