Is it possible to combine country-style attire with overall urban-chic vibes? Sophie Delafontaine, Longchamp’s creative director, took this challenge when designing her Longchamp fall/winter 2016-17 ready-to-wear collection, fearlessly mixing these two worlds just to create something anew. Unveiled at Paris Fashion Week, the collection celebrates Longchamp’s iconic legacy as well, as it both travels back in time looking for retro sources of inspiration and is filled with leather fabrics and statement handbags from the brand’s most famous accessory line.
Specifically created for the “woman who is in the city but has heard the appeal of nature and the forest,” as Delafontaine herself declared backstage, the Longchamp fall 2016 collection focuses on relaxed lines when it comes to shirts and tunic dresses, and on sharp and clear cuts when it comes to coats, miniskirts and clutches, accentuating the sharpness through hefty suede materials and layered striped patterns. Never boring, although at times repetitive, the lineup is an overall well-served combination of solid-colored proposals (among which juicy orange, opaque yellow and rich dark red undeniably are the main protagonists) and quirky prints, wherein animal-printed designs and zigzag brushed stripes got blended so skillfully that they almost became indistinguishable from one another.
Luckily, for those who really enjoy Longchamp’s designs but are not that keen on wearing animal and camouflage patterns, Delafontaine brings in reversible proposals too, which turn the designs from animal patterns to solid olive and black in the blink of an eye. Such a choice denotes a willingness to carefully listen to her customers’ desires and to what they have to say regarding fashion, but also for added diversity and versatility, making sure each person finds something true to her style in the collection.
While most of her fellow colleagues opted for floor-length frocks, Delafontaine enjoyed baring the legs more, covering them just with horizontal striped stockings or, to further accentuate their curves, with velvet/suede materials. Shearling and rabbit fur inserts add an overall sense of low-profile opulence while also pointing out the collection’s ‘when two worlds collide’ message, being represented by the label’s signature canvas handbags. The accessory line lets itself get carried away by the looks’ motifs, proposing exactly the same patterns with a sophisticated, yet traditional Longchamp twist.
With its clear cuts and delicate silhouettes, the collection doesn’t showcase any kind of dramatic figure, as it seems to be specifically designed for elegant indoor events (both at the countryside and in the city), or, why not, for a long day spent at the office.
Photos courtesy of Vogue