Cool T.M. and Rains make their mark at Paris Fashion Week
Cool T.M. has been a hit since its launch, mixing couture, streetwear, and irony. At 38 years old, Thomas Monet is already a veteran in the overcrowded field of emerging French designer brands, but it’s without a doubt his more than 15 years of experience in the luxury industry that has allowed him to successfully launch his brand on the verge of the pandemic. From the start, Cool T.M. positioned itself as a playful, carefree and irreverent brand, quickly finding an audience and commercial success.
Monet, the Burgundy-born designer and only French finalist in the running for this year’s Andam Prize, joined the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode’s Sphère showroom this season, which presents the most promising young designers on the Parisian scene. He unveiled a colorful Spring/Summer 2023 collection on Thursday in the unconventional setting of an ‘80s resort where kitsch vied with tackiness but of course continued to be very cool.
Between clothes and accessories, such as a chain necklace or a distressed tweed bucket hat, the looks were all very appealing. Whether in the streetwear register with oversized sweaters or with plaid dark velvet maxi-suits embellished with rhinestones, or in the more couture category, with a yellow tweed mini-skirt set, printed silk lavaliere shirts or a sumptuous white suit featuring an oversized double-breasted jacket under which an impeccably cut wrap skirt slipped over the pants.
Cool T.M. delivers a nonsensical mix, where genres clash with style. "This brand is first and foremost about attitude, as its name suggests," said Monet, who said he wanted to bring "lightness and benevolence" to the somewhat pretentious world of fashion. "I want to break down the barriers that limit us and put the human being back at the center. I want people to feel themselves, to dare. Dressing up should be fun," he added.
"I make products that inspire me in a very instinctive way. I'm interested in people's personalities," continued the designer, who designs all his collections in France and produces them in France, Italy and Portugal. Positioned in the designer brand segment, Paris-based Cool T.M offers, among other things, T-shirts from €190 to €390, shirts at €450, tweed jackets at €1090 and embroidered jackets for €1190.
The brand, which launched in 2020, seduced about 25 multi-brand retailers in its first season, continued to grow during the pandemic, and now boasts around 40 clients including some of the best boutiques in the world, from Joyce to 10 Corso Como, and from Ssense to Farfetch.
Cool T.M.'s success was built on a solid track record. After studying at Esmod Bordeaux, Monet started working for Daniel Crémieux in menswear, then moved on to Balmain, where he worked with Christophe Decarnin followed by Olivier Rousteing, whom he had met at his fashion school. He then gave it all up and launched Cool T.M. as he "wanted to express himself". His brand is undoubtedly one to keep an eye on.
Rains dreams up a futuristic and optimistic Club Kids
Rains, another brand already established in European multi-brand stores and department stores, is asserting its creative approach. After taking its first steps on the Parisian catwalks last winter, the brand (led by creative director Tanne Vinter) was eagerly awaited to present its first summer fashion show entitled "Connect".
Founded in 2012, built around rainwear and down jackets, the Danish brand's potential for summer is yet to be explored. And this Thursday, in the morning heat of the huge industrial warehouse of 104, a cultural venue in the 19th arrondissement, a colorful army straight out of an urban and optimistic sci-fi universe strolled between the walls of speakers, referencing New York's Club Kids movement of the 1980s.
The brand opened the show with a first look taken from the familiar terrain of outerwear, with an ankle-length sand-colored parka with four large pockets worn with conviction over a black T-shirt and mid-rise pants, with which Rains' lineup ventured into new horizons. The boys wore wide knee-length shorts with wide superlight nylon windbreakers and long-sleeved or sleeveless fleece jackets paired with baggy pants.
The color palette ranged from gold and silver to black, but mostly featured aqua green, electric blue and mimosa yellow. The girls wore XL jackets or oversized crop-top sweatshirts over mini shorts with black knee-high socks. Bags and accessories could be found everywhere and in all sizes, a sign that the brand wants to develop its full potential in this product category. Models wore ultra-light clogs and mules reminiscent of the pieces seen at Yeezy over the past few seasons.
The iconic piece of this collection: a cap-cape available in different sizes. The short size resembled the silhouette of a male runner. The acqua-green mid-length version which reached down to the calves gave impetus to a young woman wearing a loose nylon windbreaker in the same color over a black bodysuit and large leggings that started above the knee. The show’s final look was a long metallic gray flowy cape that moved to the rhythm of the model’s steps.
"After winter last season, we had to bring our brand's DNA to this summer collection. We worked with new, lightweight and breathable materials. It was a challenge, but we are very happy to be in Paris," explained Philip Lotko, co-founder of Rains alongside Daniel Brix Hesselager, after the fashion show. The brand has just gained a foothold in the French market and opened its showroom in the Marais district of Paris.
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