It was a breezy June morning in Paris and Lemaire’s spring 2024 collection was just that, too. Adaptability is at the heart of each garment, meticulously designed to meet the needs of the modern nomad. The LEMAIRE wardrobe is conceived as a travel companion that guarantees a personal journey towards freer self-expression while encapsulating the memory of it.
Reality is the foremost source of inspiration for Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran, and this time it’s hot summer squalls of rain that they looked to.
“We are experiencing global warming like everyone else and [that brings] a need for lighter fabrics, lighter clothes, protection pieces for the rain,” Lemaire said after models had wandered on the wet stone paving of the Pierre et Marie Curie university campus, with panels fluttering and the melancholy notes of a saxophone player to accompany them.
If adding layers when the weather turns sweltering sounds counterproductive, one need only consider how Southeast Asians dress, pointed out Tran, who said the season’s palette of earthy faux-neutrals as well as the layering that worked overtime against sudden rain or the burning sun had originated there.
As a whole, the designers said they were interested in bringing “coherence within diversity,” as Lemaire put it, describing each look as characters rather than assembled outfits. And the lineup provided handsome options for everyone, come rain or shine, ranging from lightweight hooded raincoats and blousons with wide ribbed collars, to smart long shirts that could be an outer layer, a tunic or even a dress once its hem was folded over and affixed at the waist.
Tweaking their playbook of unlined tailoring, balloon shaped trousers and longline proportions were more technical options, like sneakers and water-repellent fabrics used on smart and lightweight outerwear that Lemaire was quick to add were driven by functionality rather than look.
“We are enriching the collection season after season. It’s like our life, we gather pieces [one] after the other,” Tran said. “It’s just about adding layers of clothes that will live with you through time.”