The plight of the modern fashion designer consists of finding that sweet spot between artistic expression and mass appeal. Contrary to popular belief it is the masses that determines the success or failure of a designer. It really isn’t considered fashion until it is accepted by the masses, and most people aren’t into the avant garde looks that we see on the runways. The designers that survive in this world of big business and commercialism are those that find the balance between maintaining/communicating their creativity, and their ability to produce clothing that is realistically wearable. People are more inclined to dress for function than fashion as evident by the morning ritual throughout our office whereby we all change out of our Hunter boots into our heels.
I am a huge proponent of wearable, realistic, affordable fashion. Hence, my heart went aflutter when I came across a story on the Parisian label Ami by designer Alexandre Mattiussi. The menswear designer’s line presented during Paris Men’s Fashion Week looks like what your average fashionista would want her boyfriend to dress like. There are no outrageous gimmicks or themes, and you don’t have to think too hard to understand what you’re seeing. The models are multi racial and look like regular guys that you may see in Williamsburg Brooklyn or strolling through Bergdorf’s. The approachability of the pieces in familiar colors like red, camel, black, and white make you feel even more at ease with this line of clothing for everyday guys that care about the way they dress.
Mr. Mattiussi has studied and worked under some of the biggest names in fashion from Dior to Marc Jacobs to Givenchy, but decided that he wanted to make clothes that he could actually afford. “I mean, I just want a nice sweater,” Mr. Mattiussi said. “I don’t want to put zippers all over it.” Following his successful show, he didn’t opt for a swanky after party, but went for beer and pizza with friends and family. This is my kind of designer!