Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Eleven Paris Adds Up Apparel Attitude

Eleven Paris
While some brands aim to add attitude to their lines with advertising, some brands just have attitude. Eleven Paris is like that. The 10-something brand was built by two friends as a Parisian prêt-à-porter.

It's well known for its minimalist spirit, indie references, sporty allure, and seasonal inspirations. Add attitude to the list because even some of the simplest graphic Ts range from playful to aggressive. One of their newest additions, in fact, saves the handlebar mustache from becoming cliched.

To do it, Eleven Paris puts the iconic mustaches on several pop culture heroes with nothing more than a finger. The design gives a contemporary lift to a concept that often feels  too pat for its own good. Elvis, Jepy, Moriag, and Micky are just a few well-known faces to receive the mustache treatment.

The classically creative nonchalance marks the heart of Eleven Paris.

Elvis Moustache
Naturally, all Eleven Paris Ts for women are fitted. They are made from 100 percent cotton. The design underscores the nonchalant vibe, feeling both carefree and purposeful at the same time.

Depending on the portrait to sport a mustache gives the shirt an entirely different generational context. Whomever is decorated with the legendary mustache borrowed from painter Dali adds an entirely different context. The entire idea, as introduced so long ago, is to bridge the world of fashion with pop culture art, music, film, and society in an immediate, playful and expressive way.

The method isn't limited to mustaches. Eleven Paris has succeeded in making playful statements using any number of images that begin to feel iconic. There are fox heads that flip the bird and vintage daredevils that two friends have labeled savages.

For something with more sophistication, try on some tops.

Laldo PrintAlong with its compelling T-shirts, Eleven Paris is known to feature prints with minimal repeating patterns. The Laldo Print is only one example; it's made with a cotton-linen composite. The top features a reinforced stitch and deep scoop neckline. Although So Jeans only carries the tank, the designers also extended the pattern to a half-sleeve blouse.

Conversely, when Eleven Paris does repeat, they do it intentionally and with style. These patterns are often busy — with one or to well-designed icons purposely drawn together for a simplistic bold statement. Some of favorites include a repeating rose that becomes stripes at a distance, a white lours print on black, and blue lours print on red.

Somewhere in between is a Mickey Mouse collage that can be easily mistaken for a random pattern at a distance. And if Mickey Mouse is part of your bag, make sure to search for the Mickey denim shorts. His little face is faded, but his head is positioned to look up at the wearer when she sits down.

A couple more graphs about the Eleven Paris founders.

Eleven Paris was a collaborative labor of love started by Oriel Bensimon and Dan Cohen in 2003. Both of them graduated from Esmod, which was the first fashion school ever established in France in 1841. What some say makes the school unique is its regard for fashion design and tailoring.

Even when the brand was launching itself into the graphic shirt arena (known for its high risk and dazzling returns) the secret to success was attempting to design a line that is cool and trendy while remaining accessible to everyone.

Eleven Paris Brings In Spring At 7.9 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

The real beauty of Eleven Paris apparel is its ability to be be striking and subtle at the same time. All too often, American designers try too hard to find the edge and somehow lose it in the process. Eleven Paris keeps everything caustic, causal, and flattering. It's harder to find Stateside, but is ready for import.

You can find some Eleven Paris apparel on sale at United Kingdom-based retailer So Jeans. You can also find many designs direct. For contrast and comparison, visit Bloomingdales in the United States. While you won't find graphic Ts nearly as striking, there are a few designers who are on par with printed tops.
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