New York-based menswear label Palmiers du Mal introduced its latest collection, 2018.01 – “Palm Wednesday”, last night at The Rose Bar inside the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York. The collection was inspired by a “hypothetical corrupt clergy: The Young Pope has gone on safari and returned to the Riviera with his cadre of louche associates – sinful nuns, bishops, and cardinals, indulging their every carnal, Dionysian desire.”
A progression from previous seasons, the collection adds in numerous new shapes, many of them completely gender-neutral. Capelets executed in luxe faux furs, Italian smoking jackets reeking of sensual, loungey evenings spent beneath the Mediterranean sky, and the re-emergence of caftans enhance the laser-sharp resort focus for the brand, rendering casually elegant proportions draped in velvet and animal print.
Luxury Japanese fabrics dominate the collection, with five innovative takes on the concept of a “formal lounge pant,” ideal for living that perfect day. A traditional military piece, the gunner smock is reincarnated in floral and zebra, featuring a racing stripe that resonates throughout the collection, and grounds the ecstaticism of the collection’s brazen textiles with a pale rose palette. The safari elements pair with the sun-washed colors of the “Spanish Riviera” and Barcelona’s Gracia neighborhood, where some of the collection was first sketched.
“This season we truly embrace storytelling as a means of ascertaining clarity on the infinite questions our global climate presents to us,” says creative director Shane Fonner. “In the face of so much uncertainty, we more deeply explore the concept of Utopia; of living one’s ideal day in one’s ideal place – the creation of a reality in the fullest sense of the word. The collection is inspired by not only the abstract notions of a particular time and place, but also the community of people we choose to associate with and the physical structures we inhabit.”
As a result, we see an exploration of colliding worlds, with brash Dalmatian print splashed against a creamy velvet, a wild French-made African tribal mask textile (exclusive to the brand) with soft silk rose piping atop sumptuous ecru French terrycloth. “The rules we’ve grown up abiding by no longer make sense,” says Fonner. “Despite the chaos around us, we can find and create beauty. Through transformation and creation of a physical space, like a hotel, which I hope to have the opportunity to pursue soon, I believe fashion can speak to a broader ethos, offering not just escapism, but hope.”