Christophe Lemaire’s work is one of infinite softness, and this is all the more evident upon reading “suggestions of a vestiaire [sic] for the Summer of 2014,” from the show notes. There is nothing imposing about his work, but this tranquil approach makes it all the more powerful, as his women – he insists that he dislikes too literal references and so envisions femininity as multiple – travel the roads less travelled.
Like his summer 14 menswear, of which this feels like the natural counterpart, his womenswear borrows references aplenty from southern Asia, palpable in the monastic purity of outfits, the effortless combination of a thick canvas cape thrown over the shoulders. Simplicity highlights the exquisite materials that Lemaire likes to work with, that indigo workwear chambray that contrasts beautifully with washed ginger and watercolor hues. No fault can be found in the straight collar of an oversize shirt, nonchalantly worn over a slightly pouffy pleated skirt, nor in the checked shawl, tucked in at the waistline to form a blousy top. Feet are small and despite an all too easy reference to Lemaire’s “other job” at Hermès in the short fronts and protective gaiters, it is more the nimble and minute foot of the martial arts practitioner than an equestrienne’s get up.
Supremely confident, his woman – for in truth, she is but a multifaceted individual – walks by nonchalantly through the shabby-chic kitchen of the house in which Lemaire showed. True luxury needs no opulence when dealt in such a self-confident manner.