“In the world of the fashion industry, I feel like a lumberjack or something,” Jean Touitou said of his modest Fall/Winter presentation amidst elaborate Paris Fashion Week shows. But as he reminded the audience gathered in his 6th arrondissement headquarters, “ready-to-wear is something you’re supposed to be wearing on the street, and not fancy dresses.”
After an aside about how fashion people “fall in love with their own unsatisfaction” (which he deemed a style breed of Stockholm Syndrome), he presented the newest A.P.C. collection by way of four themes.
The first was inspired by his move from Tunisia to France, when he discovered “white Catholic nonchalant shit—chic!” he corrected. Touitou summarily dismissed the idea of “another girl in a motorcycle jacket,” which was actually nice to hear. He proceeded to present thoroughly good-girl attire: prim blouses, knee-length skirts, belted dresses, and T-strap heels.
The next five looks were inspired by French students, notably the extra-ambitious ones who study for two years for le prépas (incredibly difficult academic exams that, if passed, lead to the most elite schools). White button-downs peeped out from under navy sweaters, which were paired with unisex-style navy bomber jackets, navy skirts (both knee-length and mid-thigh, all sans tights) and round-toed flats.
The third theme was attire for drizzly vacation spots, “where nobody from the fashion coterie knows how you’re dressed.” The looks included a patterned jumpsuit, dark denim overalls, and several jackets (one zip-up, one double-breasted, one three-snap). All were worn with boots, which appeared to be rubber but were in fact leather. Touitou announced that he is now not only a designer but also a tanner, out of necessity—“the big fashion groups are taking all the skins,” he groused.
Last up were airline-inspired ensembles, stirred by Touitou’s “fantasy of a perfect stewardess.” He deemed these professionals of the sky “renaissance Virgin Marys” (?!) and then segued into how gay stewards on budget airline Easyjet were pushing stewardess colleagues to “be more feminine.” Verbal flights of fancy aside, the looks were chic in, again, demure navy, including a gold-buttoned cape, knee-length dresses layered over long-sleeved tops, navy tights and T-strap heels.
Touitou may himself trip on the tongue, but his designs for A.P.C. cater to the decorously well-behaved.