Ever since Christophe Lemaire relaunched his eponymous line in 2007 he has helped create a contemporary and essential wardrobe with each season by pairing the clean and calm lines of western wardrobe with traditional eastern garments. He references classic Mongolian clothing with its flat patterns and deconstructed softness, there is a heavy focus of 1970s French glamour and the fascinating nature and diversity of cultural uniforms are all key inspirations. Back in August last year I declared that Lemaire's AW09 collection was one of my favourites. It was the relaxed volume and rich natural textures of this collection that really made me stand up and take notice of this designer. In this collection he demonstrated a wonderful blend of western and eastern references and thankfully this theme has continued through in to his minimalist vision for SS10 and on to his latest offering for AW10. Now that my eyes have been treated with Lemaire's latest creations and despite a significant part of me crying out for a beautiful, long and lazy Summer, I am now longing for the time I can wrap myself up in soft, natural, voluminous fabrics such as these...
"I am interested in style more than fashion, timelessness more than trends, quality in simplicity. My ultimate goal is to bring sophistication across using simplicity."
A new luxury is undoubtedly returning to fashion; a new simplicity, a new modernity. This is nothing new to Lemaire though. His designs continually evolve to push this form of luxury fashion to new limits. Proportion, silhouette, cut, fabric and method are all central components. This is demonstrated once again quite beautifully in this collection.
The problem of timeless fashion is that it can be a tad yawn inducing. Lemaire believes as much in timelessness as he does in newness and evolution. There is a definite way to enable this vision of fashion to evolve with new volumes and proportions. Lemaire asserts that 'simplicity is more difficult to achieve than something spectacular' but I would go further and describe his designs as spectacular in their simplicity.' He is a designer obsessed with purity, always remaining faithful to his muted colour palette and clean lines. Lemaire certainly delivers a rich form of simplicity.
"When you have beautiful fabric and you reduce it to the maximum essential design - you can mix it and play with it and then you can tell your own story. I don't believe the designer can tell you which story you can tell."
Christophe Lemaire speaking in the second issue of b magazine.
Once again Lemaire has created a timeless wardrobe consisting of exacting basic pieces while experimenting with shape, cut and form. I love how the clothes appear extremely comfortable and fluid, how could you not want to wrap up in cotton fleece, silk, linen, tweed and alpaca? I for one would happily try my hand at penning an epic outfit or two. The good news for me is that b store will be stocking him again for next season so, even though I desperately want to visit his showroom in Paris, I won't have to in order to get my voluminous silhouette fix.
All images are from Christophe Lemaire's Aw10 look book