It was Lucien Pellat-Finet who was given the august task of jump-starting Paris Fashion Week and the fall-winter 2014-2015 collections. Known for his elegantly cut yet cheeky artisanal cashmere and knits, Pellat-Finet presented an intimate but spirited collection at his rue Étienne Marcel showroom - one which was in stark contrast to the gray skies and early morning downpour that descended on the capital city. When asked what made his line special, the soft-spoken yet affable Pellat-Finet responded in a thick French accent, "Coupe, qualité and l'esprit," which in English means: cut, quality and spirit. And that was exactly what we were treated to.
Using only two models for the entire 30 minute presentation, the designer proffered up a collection very much in-tune with a plural accessible zeitgeist, where luxury pieces are made to look less precious, less worked than they really are. Taking inspiration from the streets, his collection was redolent of youth, notably of far-flung New York City, which was evidenced by his use of several graffiti-like motifs from famed American Haitian artist Jean-Michel Basquiat - for example, the dinosaur and the face - which were scrawled onto the front of cropped sweaters and T-shirts almost like shields. Or the iconic skull which featured prominently on the back of parkas and hoodies.
But while youth imbued motifs played a big part in the narrative, the collection was not without its more subdued ladylike pieces. At the heart of LPF - as he seems to like being called - is high quality handiwork. And one of the standouts was an off-white cardigan that had little tufts of yarn in the form of flower petals running along the bodice. This was then offset by pink beaded leaves that was beautiful as it was precise. Fabric treatment also underwent a radical look. Pieces were tie-dyed or came in styles of tiger print, snakeskin, snowflakes, and even made to look like stained glass.
At the end of the presentation, Pellat-Finet admitted that his major market is Asia - Japan to be more specific - but we believe that this easy, irresistible, off-duty collection is one that will find acolytes the world over.