In this pandemic-influenced season, many designers opted for simple look book images to introduce their spring collections.
Not Davidson Petit-Frère.
The designer not only created an expansive women’s collection for the first time, but he showcased that alongside his men’s wear in a film featuring an Emmy-nominated actor — and customer, Michael K. Williams of “Boardwalk Empire” — that he wrote during the pandemic.
He penned the script for the film, “Destined,” after losing his grandmother to COVID-19 earlier this year. It features a Black “protagonist,” he said, who is a white-collar criminal and showcases him driving around in a Rolls-Royce, wearing Audemars Piguet watches and Oliver Peoples glasses as he sips Champagne and woos women in the Baccarat Hotel on 53rd Street. This Black James Bond-like character is dressed to the nines in Frère, the designer’s luxurious tailored clothing, as are all the other characters in the film. Petit-Frère even has a cameo.
“It was therapeutic for me,” he said of “Destined.” “It was a way for me to honor my grandmother.”
The collection was handmade in Milan and Naples from silk, satin, linen and wool. Although still heavily skewed to tailored clothing, it also showcases some more “versatile pieces,” he said, such as bomber and trucker jackets as well as fine loungewear pieces. including cashmere hoodies.
The line complements its solid palette with several vibrant prints including a Laguna print, a black-and-white marble brocade and a color-blocked print that Petit-Frère embroidered on men’s blazers and slim women’s suits.
The prints, in vibrant orange, cream and his own version of camouflage, may be too elaborate for most men to wear head-to-toe, but are better suited for eye-popping sport coats or for women’s two-piece dressing, he said, referring to them as “red-carpet pieces.”
Frère’s signature color is mauve and the designer hopes one day that will become a trademark of his collection, much like blue for Tiffany and orange for Hermès. A lofty goal indeed, but no dreams are too big for Petit-Frère, who also expects “Destined” to be made into a full-length film with a release date of fall 2022.