Lemaire is a brand that emphasizes the understated, the slow, and the sensible. For autumn-winter 2023 fashion show, Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran shaped a charming, cinematic mise-en-scene featuring their friends and models wearing timeless layers. “We are always interested in showing our style in a situation that is not a conventional fashion show,” said Lemaire. “We are very much inspired by cinema, music, and people on the street – we are always trying to find a balance between reality and something elevated.” The first look, a female model in a typically swathing dark khaki coat, crossed in front of us – walking urgently – before disappearing into an elevator. Then, from both left and right, more models arrived, walking in couples, alone in contemplation, in chattering groups. One guy ran, halted, and ran again, as if in search of a pickpocket he’d only just realized had snatched his billfold. A woman all in gathered black – roomy pants, heeled boots, and a short trench with a large pouch-like bag tucked at her right hip – leaned against a pillar and waited. Soon enough a guy moved in to make conversation. The format effectively delivered the message that this was a collection that could function admirably in real-life. From the bird-whistle neck charms and the torch key chains, onto the Croissant bags and those body-hugging pouches, through to the pieces printed with instinctively psychedelic artwork by returning collaborator Noviadi Angkasapura, to the new-but-retro padded garments, there was a crowd of worn elements to watch and cherish. Especially enjoyable amid all the usual black and khaki were the meanders into richly dark green, unusual especially in menswear. As per, the fullness, the drape, and the silhouettes were exactingly crafted to transport you – just like the show format – to some imagined Paris between the 1960s and now where every citizen was the main character in their own impeccably costumed and multifaceted movie.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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