Lemaire showed at the same library as the last season: The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF), which was a fitting setting for Lemaire’s aesthetic. The solemn chic of his attire has something intellectual about it—studied, subtle and sophisticated.
Access to the runway, however, was not the same as before. Upon entering the huge research library, attendees were faced with a VIGIPIRATE anti-terrorist warning sign—an explicit reminder that the Charlie Hebdo massacre still has repercussions on the city’s day-to-day life.
Past security, the fashion flock headed through the library’s Allée de l’Encyclopédie, a long glass walkway studded with information about plants and animals. The runway stood at the other end in the Galerie Jules Verne.
The AW ’15 collection featured dramatic ponchos and sweeping capes, mid-calf-length skirts, cropped-above-the-ankle wide-leg trousers and thick wool outerwear in classic gray and navy. The styling was natural—hair loose and long, except when tucked into wool neck warmers. Makeup was minimal, aside from a ring of taupe eye shadow. Everything felt eminently wearable and polished.
Many of the looks had a menswear slouch—roomy, but never oversized. There were girlish flourishes here and there: A ballerina pink high-neck sweater, a butter cream off-the-shoulder top and several deep V-neck dresses. Some ’90s-inspired layering was in the mix, like a dress over trousers and a deep scoop dress with a shirt underneath. Accessories included wedges in calf leather, a black schoolboy satchel, an oversized red scarf and one cheeky (so to speak) butt-shaped handbag. The final look was a plush and creamy-hued stole, closing Lemaire’s show with a sense of warmth.