LEMAIRE: SYNTHESIS OF FORM AND FUNCTION
LN-CC INVITES ARTIST PIERRE-ALEXANDER FILLAIRE AND PHOTOGRAPHER LAURA MCCLUSKEY TO REFLECT UPON THE POIGNANT MINIMALISM OF LEMAIRE AUTUMN/WINTER 23.
Joan Didion, the intellectual’s style icon, published one of her greatest works in 1979.
Originally taped to the inside of her closet as a guide to effective packing for last-minute assignments, ‘To Pack and Wear’ comprised an anonymous selection of skirts, jerseys and sweaters that demonstrated the Californian-born writer’s penchant for comfort, practicality and nonchalant elegance. Consciously or otherwise, it is this baton of considered cool that designers Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran continue to perfect season after season.
Eschewing grand or erudite concepts, Lemaire looks instead to the everyday elements of our lives and asks what we need to traverse it. For Autumn/Winter 23, the answer comes in the form of distinctly urban silhouettes. Together, magnified collars, ample pockets, robust lace-up boots and infamously capacious bags form a protection against the hazards of the daily commute, endless to-do lists and overflowing inboxes.
Inspired by Lemaire’s synthesis of form and function, Pierre-Alexandre Fillaire’s voluminous sculptures anthropomorphise each garment as a vital extension of our existence. Through Laura McCluskey’s lens, we encounter a sweater strung upon a frame in place of a canvas, a bag restfully propped like a pillow on a shoulder and a hooded sweatshirt emanating curiously from a wooden stool akin to a tree trunk. By subverting the familiar expectations of nature, LN-CC follows in Lemaire’s footsteps and seeks out beauty in the seemingly mundane.
“The ample, almost oversize volumes lend movement to garments tightened by ties, loosened by a long collar opening, or pulled taut by a string of off-center buttons. The wardrobe shifts between forms and functions.” - Lemaire
Whether in the throes of rush hour or traversing the tightrope of typing while walking, Lemaire’s dissonant materials allow for the effective shedding and sheathing of layers. Silk streams emerge defiantly from maxi-parkas, airy dresses are cocooned in oversized wool coats and flowing skirts are juxtaposed against thick knits. The inherently modular nature of the Autumn/Winter 23 collection forges outfits that can be continuously reworked and transformed over time.
Lemaire’s ethos is a simple yet sanguine one – to make clothes that we can wear and, but also keep. In an age of fleeting trends, the power of lasting sophistication has never been more relevant. If Joan were still around, it would certainly not be hard to imagine a Croissant bag or a leather mule making its way into her suitcase.