Lamine Kouyaté‘s Xuly.Bët is back on track – with a location switch from New York to Paris, where his family and children are. Born in Mali and raised largely in France, the designer launched his Xuly.Bët (a Wolof/Senegalese expression that means “keep your eyes open”) label in 1989. His guerrilla approach to shows complemented his bricolage technique and use of salvaged and repurposed materials – so yes, everything’s that’s rightly trending in the emerging times of sustainable fashion. Lamina’s comeback collection was staged in a charity shop in Paris’ 2nd arrondissement. Showing in Paris also meant some of his longest-term collaborators, like Rossy de Palma and Michelle Elie, were there, bopping down the catwalk between the 1970s office decor and bins of baby onesies. The autumn-winter 2020 line-up offers smart, yet properly odd take on everyday wardrobe. Those are essentials that stun with their functionality and sophistication. A little black dress made of a fractured pieces of stretch jersey and red seaming, paired with a veil that holds a tiny baby inside. Jeans cut precisely large and with clunky buttons. Trench coat made from 100% recycled materials. Wool blazers with hand-printed letters in gold. After the groovy show, Kouyaté was asked how it felt to be the first to be upcycling all the way back in the ’90s. He demurred, saying he wasn’t the founder of the movement, but he was certainly one of its earliest supporters. “It says something positive,” he said of upcycling textiles. “We have to.” Stores like Dover Street Market or Matches, place orders at Xuly.Bët’s.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.