In the often-cacophonous world of runway fashion, Christophe Lemaire has mapped out serenity as his stylistic turf. In his second women’s ready-to-wear collection for the leather goods powerhouse, the French designer continued his fascination with humble, Asian-inspired silhouettes, earthy colors, and the most sumptuous fabrics money can buy.
Forgetting the soundtrack of white noise, cricket chirps and Oriental thrumming, this was a whisper-quiet show. Clotted cream came to mind as a group of models milled in one gallery of the Jeu de Paume museum. They were dressed in Mao jackets, pleated skirts and loose robes with kimono sleeves — all in the supplest of leathers, meaty linens or crisp cottons.
Spice shades came next, including dusters and tunics in cinnamon suede, building up to a vivid orange shirtdress with a Nehru collar and a pajama-like blouse and pant combo in a mesmerizing Yves Klein blue. Lemaire used the house’s scarf prints sparingly, adding panels of silk to lighten up a long duster. It’s a short trip from serenity to snoozeville, so the designer was wise to break the calm with some more rugged fare, especially for a brand with horse-riding roots. Looks included utility vests and jackets, and a handsome hunting coat with a stiff, leather-lined collar.
A little sex appeal also quickens the pulse, and a suite of short color-blocked shifts plus a slinky jersey gown with a suede sash and racer back were the wake-up calls.