An artist's studio? A stylish girl's apartment? A fashion show? Or maybe a little of all three… This was the setting for Christophe Lemaire's quietly pitched, subtly chic presentation for the Spring season.
The proceedings began as a tableau vivant, with a model in gray-blue pajamas sat on a bed in an artfully decorated studio, the audience intruding on her peace and quiet. Eventually she sprang to life, going about her everyday business as a stylish girl: She doesn't get changed, but just puts on a pair of tan high-heeled sandals, slips a dark navy, oversize duster coat around her shoulders, and walks out. She was then replaced by another model in the mise-en-scène, who continued the little play with the precisely chic capsule wardrobe. This perfect and perfectly banal domestic setup was surprisingly effective in conveying the message of Lemaire's clothes: a seemingly effortless, easy French elegance that you can live your life in.
"This is workwear and easy wear but sophisticated," stated the designer after the fashion-play had come to an end. "I am trying to make clothes that are like friends for women." And friendly they are indeed, judging by the expressions on his model-slash-actresses' faces; you got the feeling these are the kind of girls they wish they could be all the time. And not just because a model's lot is not a happy one—although by this point in the season, it really isn't.
"The problem with the fashion system is that it is always about the spectacular, it becomes about disguising the woman," said Lemaire. "I want my clothes to be about being yourself, being who you actually are." And for many designers this season, that has seemed like one of the sanest responses. Now where can you get that rattan furniture to match the new you?