“Perfect when dressed and stunning undressed.”
Karl Lagerfeld On Baptiste Giabiconiarl
In this Fashionbeans style icon series, we have already featured a couple of well known male models such as Mr Dolce & Gabbana himself, David Gandy, as well as Mr Hair himself, Jon Kortajarena. Both of these models excel not just with their looks and overall appearance, but also their personal style which were both distinctly different. This week is the turn of so-called Mr Chanel, Baptiste Giabiconi, who is THE current star within the male model industry.
I have to confess that I have not known about this man for very long and I would assume it might be the same case for most of you. But having done my research he’s an impressive man from whom you can draw lots of style inspiration from.
Firstly a little bit of background so you get an idea of who he is. Three years ago Baptiste worked at a helicopter plant in Southern France where he dreamed of owning a pizza truck. Being the son of a mechanic, the world of fashion had never dawned on Baptiste, and he certainly never dreamed of being a model. Maybe not the best way to introduce the world’s number one male model, but the story does get a lot better. When he was at his local gymnasium, he was referred to a photographer that then introduced him to an agent in Paris. He worked on a couple of magazine shoots initially, but then was spotted by someone that would change his life forever. Karl Lagerfeld booked Baptiste for a couple of test shoots and suddenly the transformation from young working man to Lagerfeld’s personal muse began. Not bad for someone who had never even been to Paris before.
Baptiste has never looked back. Working on tens of campaigns with Lagerfeld – including short films, editorials and runway shows – Baptiste is in high demand, climbing the model ranks to the peak where he has been for some time. “There is no other model in the business like him” according to Lagerfeld, as Baptiste is able to “act and transform himself”. To top it all, Lagerfeld made the quote at the top of the article when comparing him as the male version of Gisele Bündchen: “Perfect when dressed and stunning undressed”.
Enough of his glittering career, style wise he is an inspirational figure. Of course with him being a model for Chanel he has accessibility to a vast range of clothes that most of us only wish we had access to. However you can dress just as well as Baptiste by spending a tenth of the value of the clothes he wears. The most important lesson we can learn from looking at his look book above is the sense of knowing what items will work TOGETHER, no matter what they may look like separately.
Baptiste wears clothes that you might not necessarily consider as being suitable for wearing down the street – yes I’m talking about the denim short shorts, but I have to say I like it. The combination of the shorts with the black boots and the check shirt/printed jacket may not fit everyone’s taste, but it is cause for applause because he wears what he wants and owns it. Obviously outfits with as much flair and statement pieces as he wears would be most suited to the major high fashion cities (London, Paris, the big European Capitals etc.) but you can take away important aspects of his personal style such as how to layer, mix patterns/colours and in particular how to make traditional outfits your own with key accessories and pieces. I particularly love how he has mixed in a desert scarf and pocket chain with a grey formal suit [top left], and used a wide oversized tie [top middle] with a three piece in order to create his own youthful and edgy take on such a standard outfit.
This leads me onto a detail I’d like raise about the clothes he wears. Baptiste’s clothes more often than not have a printed pattern which adds character to the outfit. If you’re a bit bored of plain pieces, then trying a jacket with a print design on it, or a patterned trouser may be an ideal way of injecting some life into your wardrobe and personal style. Even adding a print patterned scarf to a tailored outfit adds character to the look. Just remember to keep the rest of your outfit more solid and muted, in order to not become an over the top caricature. What I have also noticed is that Baptiste’s sometimes uses velvet trousers in his tailored looks. This is a great twist to the standard suit and adds a character and personality to it. Velvet is particularly big this season, as it is being heavily promoted by the likes of Tom Ford in his own tailoring collections. As an everyday male, experimenting with different materials is definitely worth thinking about, as it will make you stand out from the crowd and adds texture to your whole wardrobe. If you’re not too keen on the idea of velvet trousers then something more subtle like a tailored blazer with a velvet trim is perfect.
Finally, as you can probably see, Baptiste certainly has a penchant for jewellery. Now sometimes it can look over the top, but I think it is a great way of adding some individuality to a look. Matt Allinson went over men’s jewellery earlier on in the week, but using a pocket chain or a couple of bracelets or neck chains can just add that little bit extra to any outfit and separate you from the crowd. When Baptiste uses just a couple of pieces it looks great, but he can go the other way and use 5 rings, a couple of bracelets and neck chains on top, which ends up a little bit much. So try incorporating jewellery into your wardrobe but keep it subtle and not garish.
Obviously I am not saying that this look is suitable for everyone, but hopefully during the style breakdown you picked up key points that will work for you. Mixing textures and patterns into your wardrobe, experimenting with your layering and adding some personal touches through accessories is something we can all take away and consider integrating into our personal style.
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