The collection, presented in a salon at the Ritz Paris, was strangely wrinkled. Not to worry — it was all part of Inès de la Fressange’s vision of Parisian chic. “People are scared of linen and see it as a difficult fabric,” said the designer. “But I wanted to show that things needn’t be perfectly ironed. It gives the feeling that you’re still on holiday.”
Nevertheless the effect was scruffy, and diverted the attention from the stronger points of the collection. There was a pair of “new denim” straight leg trousers in dark blue linen, created in reaction to the Parisian heat wave; a cowboy style red shirt — “because you can look Parisian wearing a shirt from Texas” — and an elegant two-piece beige checked suit, that de la Fressange herself was wearing.
Masculine-inspired tailoring was as efficient as always, but the designer seemed tired of churning out the same old “Parisienne” ideal. “People always think that chic has to be conventional, when there isn’t necessarily a link between the two things,” she said. “I’m bored with conventionalism.”
In reaction to that, the collection went full Seventies, with colorful printed silk shirts and flared trousers. The whole offering seemed to miss the target. It looked good on de la Fressange — who paired her checked suit with one of the printed shirts — but will prove more difficult for women who aren’t former supermodels.