Oh La La! Patou SS21

The fashion industry should finally give some love for Guillaume Henry‘s brilliance at Patou. I even think that the buyers should give the brand a chance. Why? Really, nobody else does French chic this good right now. For his presentation, the designer welcomed people to an absolutely delightful Patou runway show that didn’t really happen yesterday. “It’s a show with empty seats and no models!” he laughed. “We’ve turned our studio into a catwalk.” The models you see sauntering across the parquet in their puffballs, voluminous smocks, Provençal collars, and jaunty sailor hats had played their parts, sans audience, a couple of days ago at the label’s Île de la Cité HQ. For spring-summer 2021, Henry offers meringue-sque Provençal-printed puffed sleeves, a pie-frill collar, and a mini-balloon skirt, which all came from his 1980s childhood imagination. But wait, it’s not as easy as it sounds. All made from organic cotton poplin – 100% GOTS cotton, it said. “Yes, we’re 70% recycled and organic materials in this collection,” Henry exclaimed, “and we’re aiming for 100%.” This is the most modern thing about the rebirth of Patou: it comes with full-on French style, transparent sourcing, and non-ridiculous prices. “Patou is about a wardrobe, and it will always be,” said Henry. “But this time we turned this wardrobe into something more fantasy! I wanted to go back to this love of fashion I had when I was nine years old, drawing dresses in my bedroom—and nobody was talking about fear or the economy. It was just about fun, flamboyance, joy, enthusiasm. I wanted to go back to that exuberance.” And so it reads. Exaggerated silhouettes have been steadily inflating over the past few seasons. Ideal timing, then, for the comeback of Henry’s memories of being enthralled by watching the likes of Christian Lacroix on French TV news. “He was a huge influence on me when I was nine, 10, in the late ’80s, early ’90s. So I wanted the silhouette to be ‘couture’ even if you can break it all down separately.” Lacroix, as all fashion history geeks know, started his rise to fame at the house of Patou, so his puffball silhouettes, succulent bows, and French-regional references resonate happily through Henry’s collection. The difference, in the hands of the younger designer, is the practicality and sense of economy that underpins his design. The huge white collars are accessories – they’re meant to be laundered and used as styling pieces. The silhouettes that appear to be frivolous one-party outing dresses (like the captivating Provençal look) are often actually skirts and tops, intended for multiple reconfigurations. “A blouse, a skirt, and a dress,” as he put it. Smart, chic, fun, sustainable. Et voila!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

5 Things To Love From Dries Van Noten’s SS20 Sale

I rarely write such posts (maybe I should change that?), but this is an exception. Taking one last look at my favourite collection of spring-summer 2020 season – the historic Dries Van Noten x Christian Lacroix line-up – and picking the ultimate five things to love from its sale. Why? Well, this collection continues to be my obsession. The details, textures, colours, Dries’ style combined with Christian’s sense of couture… it’s one of the dreamiest collections we’ve seen in years. You might not know that during the lockdown, Dries Van Noten opened two on-line stores, which are the digital versions of the label’s two flagship stores: Quai Malaquais location in Paris and Het Modepaleis in Antwerp. There, you can find nearly every item from this collection, plus get inspired by all the styling tricks from the look-book photos. So, here are my picks (note that a lot of other gems are already sold out!):

Embellished oversized coat with multicoloured sequin detailing thoughout. I had a chance to see it IRL in the Paris store (a week before corona became official in Europe…) and it’s a masterpiece.

Embroidered, cropped bolero jacket in black – it’s so rich! And you can style it in multiple of ways, pretty much with anything. That’s the magic of Dries (with a pinch of Lacroix!).

Love a big polka dot. This mid-rise one (with a foldover waist and grograin tie) is brilliant.

The collection’s signature florals made it to these denim pants. Again, wear them with anything!

Not sure if these boots are made for walking, but platforms and jacquard are always a good idea.

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Want more Dries? Click here!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki. Photos from 7-9quaimalaquais.com. 

Dries Van Noten x Christian Lacroix in Paris

Three weeks ago I’ve been to my beloved Paris – the pre-coronavirus-outbreak times… – and now is the moment to share some of my highlights. A trip to the Dries Van Noten store on the Left Bank is a ritual, but this time, it was even more important because of the very special collection that is there. I mean spring-summer 2020, the one where Dries collaborated with the legendary designer Christian Lacroix. You might have already observed that I really fell in love with this one-of-a-kind collaboration. Or better, say match; dialogue; meeting. When this bacame a fact during the last Paris fashion week, in that very moment the planets moved or maybe the time stopped. This collection is something you never thought you needed in your life. I’m still in absolute awe, while going through the looks over and over again. “The idea is to bring fun ideas, nothing too serious, things that I think perhaps we have lost a little in fashion”, Van Noten told the press back then. “I wanted to do something joyful”. Dries and Christian weren’t acquainted before their collab (it came up spontaneously), but their contrasts became actual similitaries once they started working together. They fulfilled each other. Lacroix’s iconic legacy of ‘never too much’ combined with Van Noten’s mastership of colour-and-print balance. Looking at the final result, all the Lacroix signatures are in place, filtered through Van Noten’s sensibility: polka dots, broad stripes, animal prints, ruffles, matador jackets, gigot sleeves, silks woven with scaled up, bright flowers, pouf skirts, duchesse satin and grosgrain. The vocabulary of Dries Van Noten is fused with that of Mr. Christian Lacroix throughout: said jacquards have been scanned and appear as prints across cotton and organza; lightweight polyesters, made out of recycled plastic bottles and coated papers rustle alongside precious French silks; basic white tops are decorated with a single overblown embroidered sleeve here, jeans with an appliquéd feather or feather print on one leg there. If Mr. Lacroix was among the most feted couturiers of the latter part of the 20th century (in his own words, he “failed with ready-to-wear”), Dries Van Noten is one of the pret-a-porter leaders of today. It’s a match made in heaven. Such fashion wonders happen very, very rarely, so seeing them IRL, in the charming Van Noten boutique, was an ecstatic experience. Below are photos I took there, mixed with my new collages feauturing the collection photographed by Tommy Ton. As most of us are staying at home now, here‘s a link to the interview where both designers talk about their work – and even if you’ve seen it, it’s worth rewatching!

7 Quai Malaquais – Paris

(The place is temporarily closed. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)

Photos and collages by Edward Kanarecki, photos of the collection photographed by Tommy Ton for Dries Van Noten.

The Look – Dries Van Noten SS20

The remarkable Dries Van Noten & Christian Lacroix collection for spring-summer 2020 is still on my mind. It was a true fashion fairy-tale that you never thought would happen (or even expect to happen!). One of the most spectacular looks? The fuchsia parachute dress worn non-chalantly over a polka-dots shirt and brocade shorts. Here, it’s remixed with John Baldessari’s take on Alberto Giacometti, Marlene Dietrich photographed by Irving Penn and Isabelle Huppert as Orlando at the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne in 1993.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

A Match Made In Heaven. Dries Van Noten SS20

Here’s my ultimate favourite of the season, even though we’ve still got a couple of PFW days to go. Dries Van Noten collaborated with legendary designer Christian Lacroix for his spring-summer 2020 collection. When this bacame a fact yesterday in the afternoon, in that very moment the planets moved or maybe the time stopped. This is a real, real fashion moment of 2019. This collaboration is something you never thought you needed in your life. I’m still in absolute awe, while going through the looks over and over again. “The idea is to bring fun ideas, nothing too serious, things that I think perhaps we have lost a little in fashion”, Van Noten told the press. “I wanted to do something joyful”. Dries and Christian weren’t acquainted before their collab (it came up spontaneously), but their contrasts became actual similitaries once they started working together. They fulfilled each other. Lacroix’s iconic legacy of ‘never too much’ combined with Van Noten’s mastership of colour-and-print balance. Looking at the final result, all the Lacroix signatures are in place, filtered through Van Noten’s sensibility: polka dots, broad stripes, animal prints, ruffles, matador jackets, gigot sleeves, silks woven with flowers scaled up and brighter, pouf skirts, duchesse satin and grosgrain. The vocabulary of Dries Van Noten is fused with that of Mr. Christian Lacroix throughout: said jacquards have been scanned and appear as prints across cotton and organza; lightweight polyesters, made out of recycled plastic bottles and coated papers rustle alongside precious French silks; billowing trains grace nothing more haute than a parka, albeit gold. Basic white singlets are decorated with a single overblown embroidered sleeve here, jeans with an appliquéd feather or feather print on one leg there. If Mr. Christian Lacroix was among the most feted couturiers of the latter part of the twentieth century (in his own words, he “failed with ready-to-wear”), Dries Van Noten is one of the pret-a-porter leaders of today. It’s a match made in heaven. I guess this is the collection where all the money should go to when it hits the stores. Such fashion wonders happen very, very rarely. To learn more about the designers’ meeting of minds, watch their interview here.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.