True Colors: Leonard Paris

There’s a time for politics, and a time for beauty. (And maybe it’s my preference for the latter that led to my review of Maria Grazia Chiuri‘s latest collection.)

There’s no point in trying to intellectualize (or god forbid, politicize) a collection like that presented by creative director Christine Phung: it just is, and gloriously so.

One of the great joys of fashion is escapism: as Carine Roitfeld calls it, “the dream.”

Carine Roitfeld calls it “the dream.”

Living Le Rêve

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As much as we need fashion to be a voice, positioned as it is in the crossroads of beauty, society, and culture — able to serve as a powerful fulcrum, to mix metaphors — we need the dream as well.

Indeed, Leonard founder Daniel Tribouillard (in conjunction with brand namesake, textile maker Jacques Leonard) was all about beauty, pursuing it all the way to Japan, where he was invited to modernize the kimono.

If the Fall-Winter collection presented at Paris Fashion Week has a ’70s vibe, that’s probably no accident, as we’re been seeing that on the runway for about four seasons now. But whereas most designers are content to stick to the safer parts of the era, that interface so well with our own — the narcissistic disco bling and “party all night” messaging of popular music — Phung gives us Leonard’s take on ’70s patterns: patterns being, of course, Leonard’s area of mastery.

The key to success or failure in this pursuit is color combinations: and with this much going on, the balance must be masterful, as indeed it is. From double-breasted blousons with butterfly prints to splashy kimonos — even ’70s-patterned intarsia furs paired with of-the-moment blue-green ombré hair — Leonard pulled out all the stops.

The result? A collection that resists comparison with anything else shown this season.

Indeed, a collection that’s modern, fun, beautiful … and unmistakably Leonard.


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With love,