Maison Kitsuné is a funny expression of our globalized times. The look of the brand, which is multifaceted and comprises both a record label and a fashion house, leans heavily on American sportswear style. Its ethos, meanwhile, is rather Japanese in terms of the fetishistic eye for detail that founders Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki apply to the make of these erstwhile casual clothes. But their effect, ultimately, is very, very French—the individual pieces have an unmistakable rigor, but the way they’re worn is with that ur-Parisian insouciance.
This season, Maison Kitsuné’s collections for men and women had a particularly American patois, in that the reference was, generally, mid-century rock ‘n’ roll. There was a bit of mod olde England in the mix, as well, especially so in the menswear’s lean, double-breasted velvet suits. But the general vibe was more heartland than that, what with looks like a suede bomber with a contrasting black goat-hair collar and a dense flannel-check jacket with sharp, angled pockets. The kids at the sock hop never looked so refined. But they were present in spirit. The women’s collection erred—as French brands often do—toward the gamine: to wit, the pale blue coat with velvet trim, which looked up-sized from Bonpoint. But there was nothing underage about this season’s extra-skinny denim, and pieces like a zigzag alpaca sweater gave things a pop of early eighties, Mudd Club electricity.
As a general matter, Maison Kitsuné’s clothes for women are less accomplished than the ones for men—there’s less specificity, in either the details or the look as a whole. But in both collections there are desirable items, perfected in that finicky Japanese way, and expressing that untouchable French cool.