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ART CLASS: Artist Gary Baseman took over the first floor of Colette Thursday evening at an event to celebrate his collaboration with Coach, currently exclusive to the Paris concept store. Sporting a pastel green fur coat from Coach’s spring collection for women, Baseman sketched his anime characters on the wall of the store and scribbled away in his notebook.

“I wanted to have something special to wear, and I thought I could pull it off,” he said, surrounded by his designs for the label featuring surreal animal figures, his first creations for a ready-to-wear brand.

“This is really an extension of fine art. They may be clothes, but they’re more than that,” he said, before explaining the inspiration behind the designs. “It’s this girl who’s misunderstood, who needs to stand out and have her own voice.

“All good fashion is about art, it’s about self-expression. My background is in free speech, and being in Paris right now, after [the recent] tragedy, was so important to me,” continued Baseman. “To me, the notion of being able to express yourself … art isn’t a luxury, art isn’t something for the elite, art is our approach of sharing our intimate selves.”

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