For its spring show, A.P.C. splashed out on an outdoor sound system, drawing guests into a Left Bank courtyard decorated with flag garlands, a beverage cart and tents displaying merchandise —  future products from three collaborations in the pipeline: JJJJound in November, Carhartt WIP in January and René Tadeo Holguin in March.

“I realise that the older I grow, the less subtle I want to be,” Jean Touitou told the crowd, waving a finger at the setup. DJ Prince, a teenager from the U.S. — found on Instagram — stood ready to spin Eighties tunes to spur the models down the runway.

The lineup was A.P.C. through and through — a sparse selection of prints with checks or flowers, stripes on occasion; more choice in the jeans department, offered at times with matching shirts or in the shape of a sleek boiler suit. Dresses, too, were sprinkled into the mix, trim, attractive and deceptively simple.

Sensible, all of it, with just the right register of chic to keep things from getting too ho-hum.

Moving with the times — the streets will soon be going all dressy — the bomber coat moved to preppy territory this season, tan with a collar, and flaps on the pockets; a pale blue blouse was trimmed with a ruffle — around the neck and running alongside the buttons. 

But here was the less discreet part: the back of many of the outfits were stamped with messages. 

“Poetic persistance” read an otherwise straightforward men’s short and shirt combo that came in a stark, evergreen color — the writing was all caps, in red. Next came a handsome ivory jumpsuit — short with a collar, a surefire, all ages hit — for women. There again, words on the back: “naïvely conceptual.” And so it went. Decrying a lack of poetry in the world, Touitou suggested it could be used as a “tool or a weapon” to live in these times. Hard to disagree with that; wearing words, like wearing artwork, is a stickier matter.

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