WORDS Conrad Bischoff
Living in 2017 means being constantly bombarded by information. This is thanks to the mini computers we carry around in the palms of our hands and the ever-spreading breadth of Wi-Fi’s reach. While we, like addicts, scan over the numerous platforms at our disposal to get our fix, how much time do we spend thinking about the medium through which we are receiving this information? Lucas Ossendrijver’s Lanvin SS18 menswear collection was a meditation on this and other questions that the culture of our digital age is confronted with - the result being a collection that provided the modern urbanite with the perfect on-the-go wardrobe.
Technical jackets and tops appeared in a palette of metallic greys and blues and reminded one of the physicality of the hardware that dominates our society. Other tops and accessories such as belts were given small, neon trimmings that resembled the tiny wires that are interwoven underneath our glass screens. This part of the collection resulted in looks that were heavy on sportswear, with the high neck zip ups and neon accents recalling the 1980’s sportswear that found its way into hip hop.
There was also a more romantic side to the collection, which manifested itself through one of the season’s most popular pieces: the sweater vest. Don’t expect to see it with anything layered underneath it on the streets this/next summer. Subtle adjustments in styling also revealed a Lanvin boy who was a bit unkempt, too busy to even be glancing at his reflection in the shop windows he passes in order to adjust his off centered shirt collar, misbuttoned cardigan, or asymmetrical sleeves. This was also a charming detail present in Marni’s collection this season.
Ossendrijver’s accessories also worked to tell a different side to the story. Rather than constantly looking forward to the latest technology, there was a faint yearning for the past. This was communicated initially through the small, leather, compact camera crossbodies of the 90’s and early 2000’s, by now totally dated technology with the evolution of the cameras of smartphones. The idea was taken further with talisman-like, carved wooden hand necklaces (Which brought to mind the charms and pendants sent down both Prada’s and McQueen's runway), and then culminated in a small leather flute-holster. In all, a great collection by Ossendrijver, with the audience's focus solely on the runway, and not their iPhones.