Friday, February 27, 2009



February 18th, 2009, Midtown Manhattan

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

We greatly admired/coveted the upscale VICTORINOX’s RTW separates we previewed at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City. The designer for this menswear label- Pierre-Henri Mattout, handsomely captured the “fashion meets function” mandate for the clothing line of the iconic Original Swiss Army Knife brand.

The 1909 VICTORINOX show in the Big Apple that we saw during New York’s Fashion Week “is for a very different customer than the other collection,” enthused Mattout---who graciously gave us a few minutes of his time after the runway display.

To our eyes, these garments are for a younger, hipper customer, one with an ‘American’ need for modern sportswear fused with streetwear edge plus dabs of European traditional slim silhouettes.

According to the program notes, Mattout was inspired by some Amish clothing unearthed in a vintage store and a serendipitous encounter with Amish teenagers in Times Square on a “rumspringa” year of livin’ the contemporary life away from home.

This translated into wearable looks in techy fabrics…like in a car coat length trench in wax cotton, padded slim fitting purple ski pants, and some tailored pieces in “mineral grey tones for utilitarian suiting…”

The second part of the collection turned casual in a blaze of autumnal colors as in heavy jersey trousers, with the cool detail of field padding emerging from the waists, long johns under long athletic shorts like old school skate/snowboarders, patchwork tees made from leftover scraps of fabrics, (yeah-eco)… and a very chic take on the American classic Varsity jacket that reminded us of the wares from the French label Hoon that is sold in Paris’ cutting edge boutique, Collette.

Accessories included wool caps and extra long scarves that we think will end up in gal pal wardrobes.

THE CROWD: Lot’s of French men of course, and fashion guru/pal Marc Jacobs.

AN OBSERVATION: We’ve been backstage plenty of times, but we have never seen so many men AND women go weak at the knees when meeting the debonair Mattout. Très amusant!