The Right Balance. Lemaire SS22

If you read me, then you know I’m a sucker for Lemaire! What Christopher Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran create every six months is just so well-balanced, and it perfectly fits my personal style. For spring-summer 2022, the label has no shock value intentions, instead, it delivers functional, timeless and beautifully tailored garments that are the perfect building blocks of a summer wardrobe. The designers offer a post-pandemic line-up of essentials – from classic, crisp white shirts and chic jackets made in Japanese denim to flared skirts in light-weight duvet and billow-y day-dresses in the most charming earth tones. You just hope those clothes will go out to the office, and not end up behind the computer monitor. The Lemaire woman and man never try too hard. The clothes are neat, but never uptight. The silhouettes are over-sized, but not slouchy. The colour palette is all about sun-burnt neutals, except for some items that come in idyllic watercolour prints. And as for the accessories, you just can’t miss the over-sized necklaces and vests made from wooden beads (like the once you see on the seats of your grandpa’s car), just as the signature “Croissant” bags in new colour-ways. Some things are great the way they are, and I always find Lemaire’s calm approach to fashion as a sort of relaxing comfort zone.

“Live” collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Feeling is Luxury. Lemaire AW21

I love Lemaire and I will acknowledge this a hundred times. I just don’t know how Christophe Lemaire and Sarah Linh Tran do it every single time. This level of goodness should be illegal. The co-ed autumn-winter 2021 collection is a dream, from the clothes (drooling over each garment, really) to the model casting. Partially as a result of confinement, the designers framed the development of this collection according to shifted criteria of demand: feel was as important as look, and adaptability inside and outside our front door paramount. The result was a hierarchy of layerable garments that began with a base of pajama-like pieces in cotton, silk and fine knits, in typically evocative earthy tones. These were arranged under mid-layers of Mod inspired tailoring and workwear sourced pieces, softly rendered but structured in appearance, plus Shetland knits and turtle-necks that were themselves contained within a protective carapace of excellent outerwear choices. These included a supremely livable-in reversible shearling, and greatcoats worthy of the name. Parkas and Afghans came trimmed in Mongolian wool (those pieces are delightful…); trenches and macs featured beautiful abstract marbled print; billowing robe-coats in down or alpaca were enveloping and arresting. Tran noted her favored heel height had been reduced in slouchy uppered boots as a result of her appetite for walking as much as possible when the opportunity presented itself, while men’s footwear included commando-soled slippers and the usual impeccable boot. Bags had a pouch cut like a mitten for double usage. Tran said: “during the confinement we were fantasizing about going out into the streets of Paris, and we were inspired by the idea of the flâneur from Baudelaire; going in the street with no special agenda in mind.” Taking pleasure in a purposeless saunter is a purpose in itself, and this was a collection beautifully built to enhance mindful loitering in every milieu. Added Lemaire: “Luxury is more about how you feel in the clothes than the image you project to others: this we have always been convinced of. And it’s more relevant than ever today… the changes in the rhythm of life and our habits have encouraged us to be even more attentive.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Stable and Slouchy. Lemaire SS20

At Lemaire, references and messages are absent, or very subtle, and comparing to most other labels, here the clothes do the talking. Christophe Lemaire and Sarah Linh Tran‘s woman doesn’t change from season to season – her style is consistent, just as the label’s style. For spring-summer 2020, the designers used a colour palette full of timeless neutrals, which perfectly fits their new bodysuits, pleated stone-colored chinos with a rib-grazing wrapped waistband or over-sized waxed-cotton coats. The brand showed a handful of belted styles, all of them easy enough to be tossed over a handbag strap when it gets warmer. In the designers’ words, the collection is about “stable, but slouchy” shapes. Its impossible not to be convinced by Lemaire’s comfortable elegance this season.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Classics. Lemaire SS20

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When so much is going on in menswear (especially this season), there might be a need for something classic. In this case, you can’t go wrong with Lemaire. Christophe Lemaire and Sarah Linh Tran‘s spring-summer 2020 look-book is the perfect balance of softened workwear and tailored essentials, all kept in a colour palette of powdery, earthy tones. Shirting and loose tops came in prints produced in collaboration with a marbling designer, originally a specialist on bookmaking. The collection subtly nodded to Rüdiger Vogler in 1974’s Wim Wenders film Alice in the Cities, but even not knowing that, you’re completely convinced by this line-up. That’s the power of Lemaire – references are low-key, uninvasive, and you’re focused on the clothes.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Definining Elegance. Lemaire AW19

I could write and write about each and signle look coming from Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran‘s autumn-winter 2019 collection. Everything’s just so beautifully balanced and refined. Lemaire might be defining elegance this season – I mean, just look at this all-knitted look feauturing a sweater with big shoulders and waist-highlighting button-down skirt. From masculine coats to evening dresses, there isn’t a thing about the collection that isn’t compelling. The blouson jackets with leg-o-mutton sleeves have this chic, slightly vintage-y Parisian feel about them, just like leather jackets or business-ready blazers. Some things don’t change, like Lemaire’s season-to-season goodness – and I’m fine with that.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.