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Radical elegance linked with functional outfits ? This summer Véronique Leroy explores the world of uniforms, combining, military garments and fitness centre uniforms with both subtlety and directness (alluding to Claire Devers and her film “Noir et Blanc” which won the Camera d’Or, and to Claude Miller’s film “Mortelle Randonnée”). From these imagined worlds comes a “washed” femininity that is both graphic and sexy.
Fabrics are the collection’s lifeblood. They dictate the construction and combine suppleness and rigidity in sensual or crisp textures, with matt or shiny tension. Terry cloth – a recurrent signature – is woven or knitted, its light fluffiness allied with soft fur. Starched double cotton poplin holds its own while embroidered macro denim adds a touch of intrigue, as does transparent vinyl. Both take chances with their embroidered abstract “wood grain” patterns. The vibratory effect increases when vinyl and terry cloth are superimposed, creating rippling destabilising waves. Mini patent leather fringes are hybrid and hypnotic.
Skin and cream-toned beiges explore a cosmetic palette invigorated by the strong, clear freshness of optical white, cool dewy lustre and denim blue. Saturated black and off black, studded with white, are appealing and assuring.
Powerful, graphic shapes borrow from the radicalism of uniform cuts. Nothing decorative. Two contrasting lengths coexist. A false length with an edgy mid-calf hemline, flared construction, stretched downwards, lightly padded shoulders. Dresses play their flattened, folded pleats with patterned edges, or hang with confident, loose box pleats. Skirts are long or mini. Waists are high, as if suspended. Ultra-short, elasticated shirts combine radicalism and femininity, while the mini- skirt – out-of-view over the last few seasons – makes a reappearance with even more elegant cuts. Terry cloth minis patterned with overstitching to give structure, are rounded and knotted like a towel, or honeycombed with flatted box pleats. Legs and waists are parts of the new codes of seduction.
In footwear, height jostles with fabric. Strappy, square-based high heels, covered in terry cloth, stand alongside unusual simple terry cloth spa slippers and, for a more urban look, men’s leather moccasins. Military-style brooches, clipped on dresses and jackets, display names or identification markings.