As I've scooted about London and Paris this season, one of the biggest themes I have noticed is the number of emerging brands who describe themselves as 'no gender' or 'androgynous', although quite a few of them don't even seem to like that term. Perhaps its the influence of JW Anderson creating a sort of preference towards these kinds of designers? It's not that they're a totally new thing, but now is their time. It could even be that the minimal, tailored theme of which Phoebe Philo is the high priestess lends itself to women buying into menswear. In yesterday's Times Luxx, Sarah Mower wrote 'at the moment men’s clothes are better than women’s on almost every count'. Mower's piece makes you stop and think about about the rituals of womenswear; fast and furious. You're pretty much always behind because the thing you just bought is no longer cool, so short is the life cycle of a trend and they are so not made to last that they come apart before long anyway. So, in the spirit of this not new, but certainly relevant mood, expect posts about the likes of NEWGEN designer Paula Gerbase of 1205 and Antonio Azzuolo (who is exhibiting at Americans in Paris) in the near future.
|The inspiration for for Each x Other|
First though, is Each x Other, a Paris based brand which I've had my eye on for a while. When I spoke to co-founder Jenny Mannerheim this afternoon, she quickly pointed out 'You know we are no gender? My favourite phrase is I am Man. It's so ambiguous'. Each x Other isn't just clothes, in fact it's quite difficult to get your head around everything the brand is really trying to do but it's main function is the marriage of art and fashion. 'Art is useless!' Jenny exclaims, just moments after telling me that she's worked on art magazines (like Beaux Arts) and has her own gallery (Nuke in Paris). However if you take art and put it onto something useful, like clothes, then it becomes functional, so the philosophy seems to go. Each x Other came about when Jenny met Ilan Delouis, who had a solid fashion background as founder of Faith Connexion. They bonded over a Robert Montgomery piece which reads:
'The city is wilder than you think and kinder than you think it is a valley and you are a horse in it it is a house and you are a child it it safe and warm here in the fire of each other'
That was a year ago and now there is a large group of artists from all over the world who are putting their own particular stamp on the core aesthetic of Each x Other which is probably best described as left-bank rocker Parisienne, lots of printed skinny jeans, luxuriously soft biker jackets, silky blouses, simple throw-on tees and functional pea coats. There is a main collection with off-shoots designed in collaboration with any artist whom Delouis and Mannerheim feel a 'magnetism' with. For AW13, those artists include Alessandra D'Urso, Daniele Innamorato and Yi Zhou (whose biker jacket is my new dream thing). Robert Montgomery is a permanent fixture on the roster too.
|Jacket by Daniele Innamorato for Each x Other|
|Silk front polo neck by Daniele Innamorato for Each x Other|
|Dream biker jacket by Yi Zhou for Each x Other|
At today's event, the Each x Other philosophy was brought to life with the presence of Blair Chivers who was screenprinting the brand's signature life affirming, positive phrases onto anything you wanted. There's hardly anything which doesn't come without an epic sentence on the label or tucked into the lining. As well as clothes, Each x Other will publish and exhibit the work of like-minded creatives, a vision which should really come to life when a Parisian flagship opens 'as soon as possible, this year we hope', Jenny says. It strikes me that Each x Other is less about shopping somewhere because you're a boy or a girl, but buying into something because you appreciate what it stands for or just really want a great jacket.
|Blair Chiver screenprints for Each x Other|