12 posts tagged "Robert Clergerie"
Should any of you ladies out there find yourself lacing up a pair of menswear-style oxfords today, spare a thought for Robert Clergerie. The venerable French footwear brand, which turns 30 this year, was the first to create a classic men’s-style oxford for women (on a man’s last, no less), and the ones Clergerie turns out today are, arguably, still the best. You can pay homage to Mr. Clergerie himself (pictured, bottom right), in fact, if your oxford-o-philia is intense enough: The shoemaker has made a rare trip to New York City and is celebrating his brand’s birthday this afternoon with a fête at Bergdorf Goodman. A trip to the BG shoe department will confirm that Clergerie’s footwear mastery is not confined to the lace-up alone. Some highlights from the Fall ’10 collection include a curvilinear wedge with crisscross straps and a pair of hiking boots with a clear lug sole. (Not to mention the ace Robert Clergerie par Opening Ceremony range, available at O.C.) Clergerie still makes all his shoes by hand at his factory in Romans, France, and he’s still a stickler for comfort—as fans including Lauren Hutton and Blake Lively would undoubtedly attest. Here, as a birthday tribute, a few images from the Clergerie archives.
Think Mediterranean. Opening Ceremony is: The Spring ’11 collection Humberto Leon and Carol Lim showed this morning conjured a whistle-stop trip through the French Riviera, complete with mariner stripes and blooming rosettes, followed by a seafaring pilgrimage to Morocco. The Moroccan pieces included intricate embroidered knits—a development from last spring’s India-inspired collection, O.C.’s first foray into embroideries. “I love the embroideries; they’re really different for us,” Lim noted. “And I love the sheers. That was a big theme, too.” Notable among the season’s transparencies were clear plastic rain jackets studded with life-size flowers, also in clear plastic. An unremarked-upon theme seemed to be the mock turtleneck, which showed up in signature Opening Ceremony full-skirted minidresses and printed crop tops. Elsewhere, Leon and Lim built on a few of their ongoing collaborations, including those with Robert Clergerie (look for the flat patent-leather platform sandals in mustard yellow and red) and Pendleton. Lim pointed out several diaphanous pieces in snakeskin-printed silk, remarking that she and Leon are easing Pendleton into territories other than the boiled wool items for which it’s known. “Slowly but surely,” she said. And another iconic American brand is about to get the slow-but-sure Opening Ceremony update now, too: This morning, O.C. revealed the first fruits of its collaboration with Hickey Freeman, suitmaker to (among others) President Barack Obama. The suits will be in stores in November.
“Rich” is the word Carol Lim and Humberto Leon kept coming back to as they described the Fall ’10 Opening Ceremony collections this morning. They were rich in color and rich with embellishment, that’s for sure. Standout pieces included maxi and baby-doll dresses in an eye-blazing digital print, skirts and tops covered in Technicolor sequins, and a moto jacket covered with matte metallic studs, which looked as though it would have done Michael Jackson proud. Fur—a new addition to the line—felt rich, too, but the debut material given the most play for Fall, and tricked out in the largest variety of ways, was velvet. Velvet turned up on laced boots (both from the OC label, pictured, and from the expanded Opening Ceremony par Robert Clergerie line ), and it got quilted for a group of soignée separates fit for hipster Marie Antoinettes. (The association may not be coincidental: In September, Opening Ceremony launches its “France” year.) But anyone laying bets on the OC must-haves for the coming season would be well advised to consider the printed velvet items previewed today, notably, the lace-up ankle boots, Peter Pan-collared minidress, and asymmetrical skirt that all came in either a blue or pink-toned abstract velvet print. This isn’t the first velvet we’ve seen from designers this season, and it won’t be the last. Is it the wave of the future? Many of the editors snapping shots today certainly seemed convinced.
It’s been a good run. Chiropractors and podiatrists the world over have no doubt scooped up a fair number of second homes thanks to the craze for skyscraper platforms and wedges, but the glory days may be coming to an end. Flats have shown up on several runways this season, and in the front row, fashion-forward types have been trending toward easy-on-the-arches footwear such as desert boots and Dr. Martens. Now Robert Clergerie is giving the look his own spin: He’s tricked out desert, hiking, and combat boot styles with a clear lug sole for Fall ’10, revealing a metallic inner sole. That’s a neat little optical trick, but unrepentant heel-wearers can have fun with optics, too: Clergerie also embedded tiny mirrors in the backs of his heels.
Great minds, as they say, think alike. So it pleased me greatly to find out that Vena Cava designers Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock, two girls for whom I have a ton of respect, are going to be using the Clergerie shoes I’ve been obsessing on since March at their show tomorrow. “I have no idea why Clergerie is so under-the-radar,” comments Buhai. “Lisa and I went to the store today, and they’re just our favorite shoes out there. Refined, comfortable, a little eccentric, but never too flashy, you know?” Alongside the Douz platform I wrote about, the Vena Cava Spring ’10 show will feature the Dorine bootie that may have superseded it in my affections, and pairs of wood-soled Mary Janes Buhai says reminded her and Mayock of the shoes they wore to high school in the nineties. Also featured at the show: Robert Clergerie himself, who happens to be in New York City for a rare visit, and who will be checking out the Vena Cava scene, naturellement. According to Buhai, he’ll get to see a modern, outer-borough version of bon chic, bon genre. “This collection is really about what we want to wear and what our friends want to wear,” says Buhai. “Casual, Brooklyn-girl style.”