Officine Générale Men’s Collection Spring 2023

We were in the courtyard of the Hotel de Soubise – a big-budget establishment – ​​and the gazes emerged languidly, arranged in stories of colors that moved slowly on the cobblestones under the declining evening sun. It was Officine Générale’s 10th anniversary show and yet this critic’s first encounter with the brand (there are many brands in the world). To me, it was reminiscent of some J Crew presentations seen at New York Fashion Week during the Golden Age a decade ago, when Mickey Drexler, Jenna Lyons and Frank Muytjens pulled off that rare trick of alchemizing a clothing brand. of medium mass with luxury-level qualities of desirability and discernment.

And through a combination of slightly tapered trouser shape, leather sandals, and leather jewelry, it also slightly echoed the aesthetic – if not the levels of workmanship, Of course—by Veronique Nichanian without equal men’s fashion at Hermès.

It was also one of those shows where you end up playing some fantastic personal shopping, because it was less of a hard-hitting fashion pop song and more of a carefully crafted piece of sartorial mood music. I walked away with the denim work jacket from look 24, a long-term wardrobe perspective, and the nicely patched olive pants from look 35, which, despite a slightly coppery sheen in the sun, were well worth a list adventure. of wishes. At the end of this sweet spectacle, the founder Pierre Mahéo emerged to deserved applause.

As illustrated by the decline of J Crew’s aura over the past few days, while it’s hard enough to create that mid-mass sizzle alchemy, it’s even harder to ensure the spell stays uninterrupted. As Mahéo hinted in his notes, this requires a spirit as much an entrepreneur as a designer. Behind the scenes, he pointed out that around 80% of sales are currently made outside France and was pragmatic and refreshing about the formula he found. He said: “I think there’s an evolution in what we’re showing today in terms of style and fit, but the basis is fit, cut and fabrics… The formula is just offering good material at a very good price, made in Portugal and Italy.” You can’t argue with that.