Workwear, uniforms, August Sander, New Wave. Christophe Lemaire
ticked off his inspirations—not for the season, for perpetuity. Going to Lemaire's showroom in search of a shock is a fool's errand. He just keeps on doing what he does. As always, his collection was sober, quiet, and handsome. Even his floral print of the season he called "melancholic." Last season, he introduced denim, which didn't lighten things up the way a pair of 501s might. It just became a new material with which to make a work jacket and drop-crotch trousers modeled on Chinese workmen's uniforms from the early part of the twentieth century. But then, what else is denim for? Take the historical view, and it's L.A., not Lemaire, that got denim wrong. All of this is not to suggest there isn't plenty that's new and worthy in this season's offering. The convertible collars Lemaire put on his shirts, which button high for a more clerical look or low for a lapel-like style, were the kind of quiet cleverness that you'd appreciate three wears in. His knits made a case for yak wool to be a fiber to know, even if most would opt for it in a sweater rather than Lemaire's blanket poncho. Then again, it looked oddly convincing with a suit. Lemaire said that his entire Fall collection, like his flowers, was inspired by melancholia. That's the sort of thing, like Sander and New Wave, you can count on him to say. Here's hoping he smiles in private. He's earned it.