On the last day of Paris Fashion Week, Christophe Lemaire took his final bow for the house of under the glass-roofed orangerie of the Jardin du Luxembourg, its floors swept with Saharan yellow sand. Framed by a flame-colored curtain, the show was sunny, optimistic, and anything but a swan song. With the designer’s focus now moving full-time to his eponymous label, he left his Hermès woman with a streak of independence—her spirit wandering in the African desert, adorned with softly layered geometries.
The opening Nehru coat in chalky cashmere set the sober tone for Lemaire’s pure, linear show, where an unerring obsession with creating fabric gestures allowed new developments to shine in both texture and form. A cascading, attached scarf was one, wrapping about the shoulders in watersnake or summer-weight cashmere, while a leather sash belt formed a curving bustle, cinching a loose silhouette. The pale desert palette was warmed with shades of deep navy, claret, and marigold—in crocodile, printed suede, and silk poplin respectively—the romance of his draping studies disrupted by lively African wax prints or the techy precision of a tape-seamed parka. Like Raf Simons at Dior and Nicolas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton, Lemaire made a strong case for city shorts, cutting his in raw denim or supple crocodile, but it was the balloon-backed blouses and shifts that spoke most of the designer’s own, curvilinear sensibilities. Either way, the totality was diverse and poetic—an accomplished end to Lemaire’s first-ever luxury chapter. And it’s a book we’re only just getting into, it seems.