Crisp. Clean. Utilitarian.
A wardrobe fit for a quasi monastic traveller was on offer at Christophe Lemaire. There is something ineffably charming about the Lemaire aesthetic, and at once, deeply Parisian. Only the Paris he evokes is the multicultural hotpot of a multitude of cultures. In all things, the sharp intelligence of Lemaire can be felt, as evidenced by the well-travelled influences that can be seen throughout his collection. The idea, after all, has always been of building an essential wardrobe that draws in time and space from Americana to Indochina, via Maoist details, all elements that point to hardy, long-wearing staples.
For summer, his proclivity for carrot-legged trousers and looser shapes comes across as a bid to capture a certain nonchalance, where garments recapture their protective nature, skimming the body rather than constricting it. The simplicity and sharpness that Lemaire imparts hinges on adding a multitude of nuances to workwear inspired pieces. But that is not to say any of it would look worse for wear. Staying on the right side of nostalgia, he proposes the memory of an old-fashioned gas attendant's overalls, the long proportions of an Eastern tunic - part kurta, part djellaba, a familiar sight in popular Paris, and even the man's pajama suit.
And when he tries his hand at denim, still feeling something of a novelty despite having been introduced two summers ago, the nonchalance is a state of mind, not a drop in neatness. It is serious, and seriously sharp.
This won't win him those hankering for the next big trend but whispers sweet nothings to anyone who won't palate something as dated as the season's print or a logo. It is quintessentially Lemaire and yet, while others may find themselves stuck in a rut with this, with him, it has the appeal of timeless durability.