The worst nightmare for a fashion designer is loosing the right to his or her name, that and a steady paycheck.
Christian Lacroix found himself in the midst of all of this and then some a couple of years ago when he lost his fashion house: an intimate group of 12 disciples sent scrambling for jobs by the owners: Falic Fashion Group a duty free retailer trying to survive the E-commerce onslaught and dwindling returns brought about by a crippling recession. Getting back up on his feet was not the easiest thing to do, especially when you kept getting hit…
For Christian however it provided the impetus to launch into a number of gigs from costuming ballets and operas across Europe, to acting as an artistic advisor to the French mint, to jumping into furniture design. He even secured a perfume contract with Avon for his coquettish fragrance Christian Lacroix Rouge; finally he sought refuge with the High Street Barcelona based Spanish apparel company Desigual.
A man that for twenty years had been heralded as the pride and joy of French fashion and among the best of Couturiers the World over, was now making knit sets South of The Border, But what started up as an infelicitous sequence of events has turned into a better life for Christian and a better product for Desigual.
“Monsieur C. Lacroix”, the name he designs under now and the Spanish high street chain, Desigual, known for using a kaleidoscope of colors, have been together for almost a year, so far so good…Lacroix, of course, is also known for his use of vibrant shades and textures.
His Marvel Comics etched head shot portrait on the label gives him an action hero cum designer presence, a bit resembling Professor X (Charles Francis Xavier alter ego), maybe a bit more light hearted…maybe. Nevertheless, his contribution is hard to miss and so well played in the hands of his new acquired team that one cannot help but see this as a tragic story with a silver lining and a happy ever after looming high above the horizon….He is been proposed to a new generation of buying public and admirers that most likely weren’t even born when he broke into the scenes as the Savior of French Couture….
He says of the first time he saw Desigual clothes on a girl in Paris:
“As I watched her, I could recognise in her a member of my own tribe. It was an explosion of colours and patchwork under the elegant, discreet and always monotonous French sky. It was fantastic, truly love at first sight, a breath of fresh air, all multicoloured, scorching, revitalising, radiating Mediterranean colours and flavours and creeping into this global and colourless magma inhabited by zombies and clones.”
The creative team at Desigual are equally enamoured:
“Monsieur Lacroix and Desigual are getting to know each other. The aim: a breath of fresh air for the brand, Lacroix-style clothes within the Desigual universe. It is all about uniting creativities; brains and hearts working together. But as in any relationship, there is always a beginning. And the beginning was love at first sight.”
From the photographs, the campaigns and yes even on the racks the clothes look better than his Lacroix Bazar diffusion label did for a time and as far as missing the Couture schedule ominent pressure; maybe it is something that at one level or an other we all learn to do without and live longer…Lee McQueen was the exception.
Fashion today as I speak to people around the World about it even on a busy shopping day: a definition now much restricted to discount stores and at best some high street merchants with a penchant for outlandish promotion, is a hard roll of the dices. Desigual has a presence in Europe and on line in the United States. Unlike Christian that at one point counted Neiman’s, Saks and Bergdorf among his retailers…and a few stand alone boutiques. Who knows his presence as Creative Director maybe just the right ticket for the Spanish company to en grace themselves with some devout fashion editor and eventually carve a niche in that market, even Asia for that matter…We are however talking niche since today the carving is as hard as ever living you at times with blisters in the most unexpected of places….
Christian however seems at peace with himself and able to enjoy those little pleasures that life can offer when it becomes simple to live. The thought of being seen as a Comic book character doesn’t displease him either, I bet if you ask him he sees himself more as a Batman… or maybe just The Riddler…or at least a groovy Monsieur…
TrackBack URL :