Hermes’ next womens’ design director, Christophe Lemaire, presents his Spring 2011 RTW collection during the Haute Couture presentations in Paris providing a provocative if not compelling preview of what’s to come.
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Christophe Lemaire Spring 2008, shot by Sybille Walter, styled by Samuel Drira
Nueve Musas is beyond delighted to report that Christophe Lemaire will be taking the reigns of Hermes’ women’s wear after Jean Paul Gaultier presents his last RTW collection with the esteemed leather house for Spring/Summer 2011. Congratulations to Christophe and best wishes to Jean Paul in the next chapter of his career.
Lemaire makes a strong case for minimalism, cleaning up and simplifying the easy and relaxed look he has been developing for several seasons now.
Renee Perlee, circa 1930
Lemaire’s mastery in reinterpreting what has to be one of the most banal brand heritages is without out a doubt unsurpassed in the industry, not even by Mr.Lagerfeld who’s quarterly staged reincarnations of Coco Chanel keep the company’s name at the top of the fashion heap. This season he looked to muse Renee Perlee, a woman whose beauty and personality was a great inspiration for photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue. Even when Lemaire does tennis (which is almost every season) he ingeniously manages to never make it actually about the sport but always keeps the ease and simplicity that has made tennis sportswear so classic. Therein lies the secret of Lemaire’s success with Lacoste. His 1930’s leisure references are brilliant and would make a fine collection with or without the alligator. Now, if the company could only make a push to get these clothes in the actual stores we might see Lacoste utilize their talented creative director’s vision and elevate themselves beyond mere polos.
Lacoste creative director Christophe Lemaire resumes his relaxed volume and natural textures for fall 2009.
Christophe Lemaire Menswear, Sprinng 2009
Within the past few years Christophe Lemaire has redefined Lacoste’s role, more than a purveyor of status enhancing polos, it now sells the French chic and casual swagger you’d expect from an international tennis star. Yet his own line is notably more inconspicuous, quieter, and less dedicated to the demands of merchandising and retail. It’s Lemaire at his heart. He works with fabrics that provide a natural feel, linens, summer weight wools, and vintage cottons used for Judo, all dyed up in a neutral palette. Lemaire’s shapes are simple and unisex, taking inspiration from the far and near east- they are beyond any cultural/geographical association. His clothes are a foil to the affected taste of contemporary fashion, subdued and sensual, almost all references removed. Only the elegant and essential remain.
The cosmic utopian vision of the 60’s space age designers spoke to the sudden affirmation of the potential of humanity, the realization of sending a man into outer space, that the stars are within our grasp. Designers like Courreges, Cardin, and Rabanne codified this world of tomorrow with structured minimalist couture, clothes that removed the references of our earthly experiences, added a protective element, and assured a medieval simplicity of life.
For fall 2009, in the wake of a recession and a reassessment of values, designers echoed the optimism and sparseness of those old masters, trading softness for their structure, calmness instead of restlessness, and a cautious procession towards the future over their race to tomorrow. And yet, these clothes aren’t the ramblings of far out futurists, they are very much for the here and now.