PFW: CHRISTOPHE LEMAIRE F/W 2014

A break in the rain this morning, with some much appreciated sunshine, seems to have Paris bustling . While still a bit brisk, there’s a lot of people out and about and it seems as though every last one of them was especially aware of it being Paris Fashion Week as they dressed this morning. Street styles are amazing here, which in a way puts added pressure on the designers to present collections more impressive than what one sees on the rue.

Christophe Lemaire manages to be very impressive this morning with a ready-to-wear line for this fall/winter season that holds to the labels sporty image, but is still incredibly sharp, one might even say professional in its appearance. This is a set of well-designed, very well thought out clothes designed for women who won’t allow their busy lives to be an excuse for not looking wonderful.

Of course, what one immediately notices in this collection are the coats. There are, essentially, two basic styles utilized. The sport coat is made of a moisture-resistant high-tech fabric, gathers at the wrist, and stops just below the hips. The dress coat is full-length (mid-calf), with a shell of either wool or camel hair, and full sleeves. While there are some variations here and there, what one notices, and inevitably enjoys, is the broad collars on this coats. Visually, they do a wonderful job of framing a woman’s face. So often, we see the coat and not the person wearing it. These coats do exactly the opposite, which is a delightful experience when one views the ensemble coming your direction. Even more important, though, is that they close up to securely ensconce the wearer, protecting them fully from the elements. Beauty and functionality are handled marvelously.

Under the coats are the sort of day wear  that is also very well considered for the season. Done primarily in earth tones, with the exception of one curious print, the clothes are well layered without being bulky or in one’s way. They are more closely fitted at the top, especially in the sleeves, which is much appreciated in an office environment especially, or anywhere one doesn’t need their clothes getting in the way of their work. Skirts and slacks are more full, however, giving one plenty of room to move, sit, and bend without stretching anything to the point of potential embarrassment. Fabrics are basic winter materials: cotton, wool, and cashmere, all quite nicely styled, but in a manner that is very unassuming. If these clothes stand out, it is only because they are so subtle.

Paired either with scarves or sweaters folded quite impressively around the neck (they really should give lessons in this), there is not a look here that would not tremendously augment a woman’s collection. Comfortable, professional, well-put together day wear like this is a genuine pleasure both to see and to wear. You’ll definitely want to be looking for this collection come September.

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