Admired Attire: Christophe Lemaire

Of absolute favourites, beloved pieces, and everything else we always reach for in our wardrobes; that is the theme of our new series entitled Admired Attire. Each episode, we will be presenting pieces (clothing, footwear, or accessories) which are essential to our wardrobes and giving them their moment to shine. Today’s focus will be a pair of trousers by Christophe Lemaire.

The July heat was searing between the glass façades of Frankfurt’s skyscrapers. Primarily looking for a place to cool down, I stumbled into a shop. Barely taking in my surroundings, I walked past rack after rack of clothing. Already mentally prepared to leave, I was steeling myself to brave the scorching temperatures when I caught sight of a pair of trousers. It was love at first sight. The high rise, the two internal pleats, the straight legs, the wide hem, the thin cotton fabric with the slightest sheen, and that colour! The interplay between the rich ochre and the sheen is absolutely astonishing. I was transported back to summers spent in the south of France.

Upon trying them on, it was the high rise and the straight cut that convinced me immediately. Add to these the wide hem breaking slightly on the shoe and the effect of endless legs is complete. From the side, the silhouette is long and boxy, with a timeless elegance. This generous and airy cut makes everything look and feel effortless. Trousers like these are the perfect response to the skinny jeans which dominate the urban landscape nowadays. A wide cut leaves much to the imagination and that is the way I like it. Newly acquired pair of trousers by Christophe Lemaire in hand, I stepped out of the shop into the long-forgotten summer heat.

I like to imagine Lemaire designing these trousers while thinking back to his childhood in Dakar and his time spent working at Yves Saint Laurent’s studio in the 1980s. Of course, he is older now and has since gone solo, but, while his collections consist of classic pieces (there is not a trend in sight), his personal history always feels present. Suits are cut wide and combined with loose-fitting shirts and t-shirts. Coats are often belted and closely resemble kimonos. While most looks are monochrome with earthy tones and muted colours, there is always a light sprinkling of colour in each collection. The result is a timeless range defined by its consistent design and uncompromising quality.

About five weeks after my serendipitous encounter with Lemaire’s work, I met with Maximilian to have my measurements taken for a suit. As if by coincidence, I was wearing the trousers by Lemaire. I had combined them with a loose-cut grandad-collar shirt which, although not by Lemaire, plays in to his aesthetic. What is certainly no coincidence is the fact that some of the key characteristics of the trousers’s design (most notably the high rise, the pleats, and the wide straight cut) were incorporated into my order from Mr Mogg. And so it was that only a few weeks after stumbling upon one of my new favourite pieces, another found its way into my wardrobe. However, that is a story for another time… I am off to the Côte d’Azur. Au revoir et à bientôt! YYS/MM/DC

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