PARIS, France — Christophe Lemaire said his inspiration was Russian folk clothes, the kind worn by characters in an old Tolstoy story. Maybe that accounted for the huge wrap coats, the long tunics, the voluminous pants with a lowered crotch. (The ghost of Rudolf Nureyev lurked.)
But those pieces also echoed Lemaire’s early menswear collections, when there was a sense of adventure and excitement in exploring other cultures. This season, the Lemaire team recaptured that old momentum with a collection that embraced colour, volume, pattern and texture to an unusual degree. Coats of curly wool blended with alpaca and shimmering tonic wool knits provided the texture. A bubblegum pink rollneck was a shot of colour in amidst the earthy tones that Lemaire used to favour for his fashion nomads. They would also have loved the leather slippers and the ease of baggy drawstrung pants. But the real highlights of the collection were the dark overdyed paisleys and the marbled prints by L’Atelier de la Folie, a company which normally prints paper for books. It was a pleasure to see Lemaire embrace this decorative spirit.