At Patou, Guillaume Henry has been taking a bit of a cavalier attitude towards spring – almost literally. “I really wanted to have this fantasy in mind,” he said. “She could be a musketeer, she could be a princess; she’s the hero of her own life. She’s not necessarily the girl waiting for her prince to come.” He remembered that when he looked out of the Patou studio during the big confinement and saw someone passing who had made an effort to wear something interesting, “I wanted to open the window and applaud.” As he riffed in his effervescent way around the static exhibition of his spring collection he said of lockdown, “I was so bored of yoga pants, you have no idea! Then things started to get better and better. And we knew that we will meet again.“ With the relaunch of Patou, Henry has managed to strike an ingeniously playful balance between exaggerated couture-heritage volumes and clothes that are self-adaptable, affordable and resourced with a care for curbing their environmental impacts. This season’s pie-frill collars, organic lace-trimmed swashbuckling sleeves, pouf-y bubble-shorts harmoniously work with Instagram and TikTok- friendly PATOU logo branding on bucket hats, bags and sweatshirts. Prints this season were sourced from the archives of the great French artist-illustrators Christian Bérard and Gustave Moreau. Keeping an haute flag flying for French fashion while making a wardrobe that girls can wear on the street, for work, at parties, or wherever they fancy is Henry’s thing.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.