Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Work in Progress at Lacroix

None of us need to be reminded of the closing of Christian Lacroix in 2009. Lacroix ever the artist and showman whose talent we will never doubt saw his costly haute couture line send his business to the creditors. Since closing Lacroix has been busy with a stint at Pucci, and various other endeavors including interior decoration, stationary design and coin design.

So, it came as a bit of a surprise when hearing of a 2012 Fall Winter collection for men. Ok, while not designed by the master himself, the house has re-launched (via licensing) with Sacha Walckhoff the founder’s assistant of 17 years, overseeing design. Previously Walckhoff had heavily contributed to just about every department of the brand.

Recently at Lacroix’s flagship boutique in Paris’ left bank, a full runway show was presented albeit, a humble one. The interior, currently going through renovations, had bare walls and floors, and felt like a chic squat party. On the outside, a simple sign hung stating “Lacroix: work in progress.”

The offerings for men sent down the catwalk were a far cry from the Lacroix we have grown to love. These were wearable, elegant designs, with elements of the founder’s signature touches coming through in discreet touches such as linings, small details and collars.

A fully functional line of clothes appeared for the man about town, with wonderful small references to the house’s heyday. Overall this was a highly polished and elegant collection. Although jackets and trousers were a little short for my liking, I am sure with some discreet tailoring these would be perfect!

“This season, we had time to work with artisans,” Walckhoff stated at the end of the show, “and focused on traditional techniques and finishing.”

A little early for Lacroix to have a catwalk show? “It’s a crazy I know, but it felt right, especially in this space,” he said. Couture, or even womenswear, yes, that might have been too early–but menswear didn’t seem to infringe on Christian’s territory. “The past is the past. This is simply a new chapter.”
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