I have such a sweet spot for Lemaire. I’ve said it plenty of times, and I will say it again: this is the brand that utterly satisfies me in the context of my personal, day-to-day style. Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran just never disappoint me. For autumn-winter 2022, the designers-slash-life-partners turned to the idea of “traveling somewhere” – something we all fantasize about in our harsh, pandemic reality. The destination was purely imaginary, an Impressionistic landscape painted on a 30-meter backdrop by the playwright, scenographer, and theater director Philippe Quesne. It proved a strong foil for what Lemaire described backstage as a nomadic tribe, and the show notes called “an urban horde of modern-day hunter-gatherers.” “Dressing up is a little bit like traveling,” Christopher mused. “You get dressed up, you go to someone, or you have a destination in mind.” Hence a collection composed of thoughtfully layered pieces that neatly spliced ease, movement, and a sophisticated take on functionality. Softly tailored outerwear in the form of a tobacco trench, a coat that can be worn like a blouson or a gilet, a black overcoat with a white lapel and lining, and an elevated take on the denim jacket looked like they could walk straight off the runway and into the streets of Paris to take on a life of their own. A blouse with a red marbled print – the result of a collaboration with theartisan Frédérique Pelletier – brought a bit of psychedelia to a lineup focused on elevated effortlessness. Discreet luxury is, after all, Lemaire’s home turf. Presenting men’s, women’s, and unisex looks on a diverse cast further underscored the designers’ interest in fashions as worn out in the real world, as opposed to on glossy paper, Lemaire allowed. “We can only do half of the job,” he observed. “The rest is the way people move, how they embody that style, and personality.”
This was one, big, star-studded Ami collection. “We have done two digital shows and now we’re back. It’s a kind of resistance,” said Alexandre Mattiussi backstage at his autumn-winter 2022 fashion show. “We wanted to stay brave – because it feels like [in Paris] we can still go to the restaurants, we can still go to the cinemas and theaters, why would you want to cancel a show?” He chose as his venue Palais Brongniart, the old stock exchange building at Place de la Bourse. Mattiussi had the Métro on his mind. “It’s the only place today in a city where everybody is on top of each other. There’s an old lady, a guy coming out from a party, a guy who is on the way to work, kids, grandmothers, different vibes, different cultures. This is the only place where you don’t have the choice of who you will be seated with,” he observed. “It’s a democratic thing. And Ami is about dressing everyone.” So, in the Ami world, Isabelle Adjani commutes with metro, just like Emily Ratajkowski, and wear clothes that draw heavily on the French wardrobe tropes. Trench coats, shearling aviator jackets, slip dresses, black blazers, and tweedy skirt suits – all the timeless essentials, mainly kept in elegant black (and from time-to-time contrasted with neon colours, which wasn’t that necessary). Meanwhile, the big casting shots continued to ring out: Sage and Paloma Elsesser, Ben Attal (son of Charlotte Gainsbourg), and the most gorgeous Laetitia Casta, all brought charisma to the outing. Isabelle Huppert sat front row, chatting to Catherine Deneuve. That’s a very Parisian collection with a very Parisian crowd.
Hed Mayner’s autumn-winter 2022 collection exists in the space “between despair and ultimate hope“. The Israeli designer explained further: “But I am thinking about the space between you and the garment, layered and protected…you are in a bubble.” Mayner speaks like a poet and he designs like one too, operating instinctively and emotionally, more interested with how a garment will feel on the skin, move about the body, and imprint on a life than how cool it looks or how hype-y it is. It’s this humanity that has garnered Mayner fans across the world, some in fashion and some far outside it, who plug in to the gentle ideas he pushes each season. For the new season, the sloped shoulder is the big story. “It’s not just about a refined jacket,” he said, “it’s about injecting an energy, a vibe.” The vibe here is one of movement – clothes are moving, dripping down off shoulders, pooling around the ankles, or cinching up at the waist, tucking in under heels and into flat buckled shoes. Quilted faux-leather scarves and squares of Liberty fabric are hung around necks or clipped onto lapels and belt loops. In a season of statement outerwear and bold coats, Mayner’s offering will leave a big mark; double-breasted wool styles and clever Macintoshes promise artful protection against the elements. A first foray into prints, done with Liberty fabrics, is a counter to the almost-businessman spirit of his wide blazers. In sensitive pastels, the quilted pants and filmy button-downs look like something “maybe from your grandmother, or something American, even though it’s a British company.” Mayner’s clothing evades provenance like this: based between Tel Aviv and Paris, thinking in a way that’s not really of a place. But it’s certainly of our time. His clothing offers a gentle reprieve from stress and worry. Wouldn’t it be nice, lovely, refreshing to settle into to a Mayner puff of jacket?