The “New Deal” was an apt title for Maxime Simoens’ first pre-collection on two levels — first, because the designer drew inspiration from Roosevelt-era economic policy; second, because Simoens has a new stimulus plan of his own: LVMH recently took a stake in Simoens collection, with Sidney Toledano advising on brand strategy. As for the clothes, graphic patterns were influenced by Thirties’ Art Deco. Otherwise the lineup focused on what Simoens called “cool” daywear — tailored jackets, lean pants and short, structured dresses — done in powerful, combinations of black, white and “passionate” red. There was an architectural edge to the look, underscored by the bold colorblocking motifs, but Simoens gave the clothes more breathing room than in previous seasons via a refreshingly relaxed fit.

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