A long way to go for Longchamp
Sep 8, 2019
No one could fault the staging of the latest runway show of Longchamp, presented in Hearst Plaza at Lincoln Center this Saturday, the first full day of important shows in the New York runway season.
The audience perched on bleachers around a giant black marble pool. At the center of which was a massive and marvelous six-ton work of sculpture by Henry Moore entitled "Reclining Figure," a 1965 bronze work of a mother and rock rising from the water. One critic once argued that it recalled the rocky columns of Norman seaside town Étretat, which seemed ideal for a venerable French brand showing in Manhattan.
The house had also picked a dream team of largely French backstage staff: show producers Bureau Betak built a neat set of metal pergolas, Michelle Lee assembled a great, young, novel cast – opening with Kaia Gerber and mingling in the luminous Chanel favorite Lily Stewart, while Guido Palau finished the looks with sleek chignons, and Pat McGrath with moody mauves.
However no amount of light-handed styling from Marie-Amélie Sauvé could turn this collection into a hit. The weather gods were kind too: huge, high cumulus clouds and giant shards of blue sky. The only problem was that the clothes were largely formulaic, at best.
Too many just okay black nylon parkas, calico kimono cocktails, and plissé silk skirts, for some odd reason worn with athletic bras and Oktoberfest slippers. What on Earth was going on when they were editing this collection? And, quite frankly, the less said about the leatherette shorts, the better.
There were a few charming, mint-hued coats, and long, pretty sundial-print dresses. Moreover, the new selection of carry-alls and micro-pliage clutches all looked great.
It was just that the clothes that “accessorized” these accessories were often modest and mediocre. In a sublime setting this was, without question, a missed opportunity. In a word, Longchamp’s plans to build a real fashion division have a long way to go.
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