Since his departure from Hermes a few years ago, Christophe Lemaire has quickly established his eponymous brand as a quality maker of beautiful menswear. In previous seasons, cocoon-like kaftan coats have been standout pieces, and that sense of well draped volume continued into his AW16 collection. Except this time classic coats were a little more fitted, a little more shaped: generously cut elegance rather than anti-fit and outsized. That’s the Lemaire way.
Looking back to the “nobility” of early 20th Century workwear, French chore jackets in dense flannels and cropped duffles in fuzzy wool turned up – as always, fabrics did lots of the talking here. Trousers came Raf-style, falling in deep, insouciant pools round the ankles and paired with deep v-necks, as if worn by some Soul Boy loafer, or Lemaire-style; that is, neither skinny nor baggy, but severely truncated and revealing a healthy amount of sock or a flash of Chelsea boot (something that felt deliciously Victorian when worn with an haute-bourgeois bohemian cape).
Lightness of Touch
That touch of the louche was also down to suits that were tailored just the right side of long and wide, untucked white shirts hemmed just so, and skinny scarves over bare skin. Lemaire’s minimalism isn’t about a buttoned up austerity or a faceless anonymity, it’s about leaving outré embellishment aside and letting his unique flair for cutting shine through. He’s got one eye to the past and one to the future: sign me up.