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Moncler Gamme Bleu: MFW AW16 Menswear Review

David Watts
26 January 2016

As we entered the cavernous catwalk space for the Moncler Gamme Bleu AW16 show we are met with a huge glass cube centre stage, wrapped in a transparent camouflage skin, housing 60 camo covered cubes inside, which suggests we are under no illusions as to the theme for the season. However, as is always the case with creative director Thom Browne, nothing ever appears as straightforward as it would seem and this is no exception.

Given military influences repeat every season (SS16 there is quite a lot of camouflauge coming through) perhaps it's a bit surprising Browne is using camo again, but then we haven't seen what Thom has in store. There is touch of the"Marmite" about Thom Browne- you either love it or you loathe it!

For AW16 it seems many designers are heavily influenced by the current state of the world, with warfare and strife that seems to leave nobody unaffected. However, this collection of 100% camouflage is more like a sign of a "dystopian future", part Terminator and part post-apocalyptic society!

The AW 16 range is some of the most impressive tailoring the Italians can produce (amazing four-button cuff detail on trouser legs) and for some the fact of being totally camouflage was just a step too far. Every permutation could be seen here, wool, knit, fur, fleece, leather, produced with embroidery, print, sequinned and studded embellishment, laser cut patchwork all presented in a reworking of camouflage colours of blue, red, grey, black and white with a Thom Browne perennial of grey check and pinstripe.

No doubt the buyers will scratch their heads when it comes to buying the AW16 collection, but when the catwalk offering is deconstructed I am sure there will be a very strong retail story for the upcoming season. As each model walked around the space he ended up being admitted by a "doorman" to the giant cube taking his place in rows, and as the show ended it began to snow inside the cube and the 60 models became captives to the fashion crowd who pressed their noses against the glass to get a closer look!

Moncler doesn't do things by half measures and as a brand is now famed for the Bicycle Velodrome, boxing-ring sparring and Grand Central Station flash-mob presentations that occur during fashion weeks in Milan, Paris and New York. For the most part it's a company that sells down jackets and with revenues increased ten fold since 2009 to 500 million euros, it would appear to be doing something right.

It admits that the Gamme Bleu shows are about marketing and spectacle, and on that front its AW16 Dystopian Camouflage didn't disappoint.

Images: Moncler, Indigital.

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