2016 Christophe Lemaire

“The best for the most for the least.” It was said that Christophe Lemaire picked up on Charles and Ray Eames' famous thoughts in an interview September 2016 on the launch of his latest collection with Uniqlo. Originaly the Eames were referring with their pithy sentence to William Morris and his wish not to "want art for a few; any more than education for a few; or freedom for a few."

Lemaire's Men collections somehow remind one on the great style of socialist writer and designer William Morris. Now I'd say, even better, with Lemaire Arts and Crafts goes Mod … for a few coy and cool that at least romanticize on socialism and democracy? Outfits, contrived and fabricated carefully into wardrobe pieces for the ones that take a little bit of distance, as the designer puts it himself.

Lemaire, Men Spring–Sumer 2017. Music: Witch, No Time, 1973 (Can’t You Hear Me?, Now-Again Records, 2016)


1860s William Morris

In a publication by Catherine McDermott (Professor of Design at Kingston University in London and now director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York) on tradition and style in British fashion (Octopus Publishing Group Ltd, London 2002) one can find a photograph of the English designer, craftsman and socialist writer William Morris taken in the 1860s where he sits in a garden on a stack of wooden planks, encircled by different sorts of large scale textiles folded and nested beside him. McDermott finds in Morris a worthy example of the up to this day remaining middle-class English male disregard for fashion. "[His] look proclaims that one's personal values are more important than fashion," consequently opposed to the standards of the immaculate Victorian gentleman of wealth and respectability. We see him wear a loose-fitting wool suit and unstarched shirt, creasy plain trousers, practical and comfortable looking outdoor shoes, long ungroomed hair and beard – scruffy, disheveled but highly politicized like the creating and thinking man himself. In a later period of his life he adopted what McDermott calls a "more extreme version of dress" compiled from indigo-dyed shirts and a suit of blue serge, which later became the antetype uniform of a defined revolutionary.