Riccardo Tisci is the go-to guy for America's new cultural heroes. He's the one that dresses Kanye West and Kim Kardashian - America's new royalty - and the one that is best pals with Rooney Mara . He'd hinting at this in his collection with those familiar stars and stripes - now a signature - and that eye-popping version of the American flag on a simple sweatshirt. That colourful approach is apt given Tisci's love for an strong print, but also given the multifaceted, multi-cultural view of the world he usually likes to champion. This season it was L.A skaters and tech nerds that had caught his fancy, hence the seventies computer prints that decorated most looks. He'd mixed this with African ethnography such as bold Zulu and Masai icons. So far, so unsurprising.
Just as the prints struggled to walk the line between deliberately repetitive and predictable, the silhouette also barely differed from last season, or indeed the season before that. You could take this as Tisci celebrating his role in single-handedly establishing a completely new set of menswear shapes that have filtered down onto everything from neighbouring Parisian runways to the sportswear worn by young urban joggers (see those leggings and running shorts) or you could take it as a sign that he's got over comfortable with churning out product that pulls on in those American stars while filtering down to streetwear-loving wannabes worldwide.
But the real bum note of this collection was the inclusion of those barely-dressed female models - one in a corset so tight her breasts spilled over the top. This is a vision of femininity that doesn't really have a place anymore, despite its continued popularity in rap videos, ironically exactly the place where this collection will be worn with vigour. It was a jarring take on womanhood compared to the empowering, 'future feminism' affair on show at his womenswear collection. Just like those retro prints it seemed from another era. If Tisci is looking to make developments he should do them with his shapes, not his strengths. His keen understanding of women is one of his unique selling points, he shouldn't undermine that, especially not on his menswear runway.