Maybe because it has only been available in a few stores in Paris and a small number of retailers in France and in a select few countries, menswear label Bill Tornade (founded in 1977) is one of those brands that have not managed to garner a sustained elevated cachet with contemporary consumers. However, its collection for Spring/Summer 2013, designed by Bella Saakova and Francis Ronez and shown during the official calendar of Paris Men’s Fashion Week, caught the attention of The Style Examiner for being a very wearable range of garments with interesting twists that deserves some just praise and consideration.
For Spring/Summer 2013, Bill Tornade’s aesthetic is, like so many labels these days, inspired by a chic and retro 1960s aesthetic. In addition to reworking denim to look crisp and elegant in its dark blue hues, the collection relied on a sombre palette of grey, black, blue, khaki, beige, and white, here and there interspersed with discreet dashes of bright orange and against elegant prints, such as abstract florals or literal photographs of palm trees against the sunset, or nocturnal depictions of Manhattan’s skyline. Colour blocking abounded, and so did fabric panelling, which was at its most successful in a leather blazer that mixed black and dark blue panels.
Leather also featured strongly in outerwear formats, namely blazers and blousons, and cotton knitwear was overall successful, with nice examples of V-necks or cardigans layered over polo necks. These sturdier garments contrasted with relaxed clothes, such as shorts, vests, and T-shirts. However, it was the diversity in suiting that caught our attention and revealed Bill Tornade’s experience in mastering menswear designs and tailoring: wool and cotton blazers came in diverse incarnations, from cropped to boxy to unstructured, while trousers were either casually cropped or stylishly elongated in slim cuts.
After watching the show in Paris, The Style Examiner couldn’t help but wonder that, as contemporary French fashion brands (such as The Kooples or Sandro), gain popularity and expand internationally, Bill Tornade is a label that deserves to be analysed by investors looking into brands with creative global potential. We have no doubt that this is a fashion brand whose clothes would have mass appeal to fashion-hungry men worldwide.