Lemaire S/S 2020 Paris Fashion Week Women’s

Lemaire S/S 2020 Paris Fashion Week Women’s

Scene setting: A stone’s throw away from the brand’s studio between République and the Carreau du Temple, the Ecole Duperré – a state-sponsored applied arts and design school – has swiftly become Lemaire’s fashion week HQ. Models have strutted across its classrooms in previous seasons; but, this time, Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran, hoping it wouldn’t rain – it didn’t – chose the cour intérieure for the show. It was the perfect place to observe the curiously un-Parisian architecture of the school, built between 1911 and 1913 in brick, glass and steel, more in the spirit of the Arts and Crafts Movement than in the Haussmanien codes. It’s easy to understand why the duo likes this building: its practical, no frills look befits the realist philosophy of Lemaire.

Soundbite: ‘We like clothes to be a kind of new nudity. This is a kind of makeup for the body. We also liked this idea of having fabrics with a wet effect. We wanted to work around quite defined silhouettes and wet blacks’, Sarah-Linh Tran said backstage. The show score was composed of the kinds of noises one can hear when living in an apartment building: kids playing, people climbing stairs, samples of muffled music, indistinct conversations. Life. Quite simply what Lemaire’s clothes are meant for. Shades of cream, black, smoky grey and beige covered deceptively simple clothes: liquid shiny coats and pleated trousers were paired with velvety nude bodysuits. Slip dresses were draped organically around the waist. Waxed silk raincoats covered skirts and wooden sweaters. Monochromatic suits in oversized proportions came with a slouchy, jazzy charm. As usual, it was all substance. But it was also all style.

Finishing touches: Like the clothes, Lemaire’s accessories are less about dash than real life practicality. This time was no exception: sandals were wrapped around the ankles, delicately securing the feet. Shoulder bags came in big proportions, perfect to hang a trench coat from when it suddenly gets too hot (Parisians know a bit about that). The closest the brand comes to dabbing in pure ornament might be the Carlos bag, a seashell-shaped hand-moulded vegetable-tan piece, as pared-down as it is striking. Just like the whole collection.

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