Études already had the theme chosen for its spring collection before the pandemic shut everything down: “Yes, Future.” They had also begun working, so what could they do other than continue moving forward?
“Basically we didn’t stop, we just kept the flow going and tried to catch up with everything,” said Aurélien Arbet, speaking with the other designers Jérémie Egry and José Lamali on a Zoom call.
American landscape art was the starting point, and the trio thought about what it means to create art in nature. “We took it from there — it helped us pick up colors, fabrics, shapes,” said Lamali.
Their presentation film sends viewers on a contemplative stroll in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, focusing on one model at a time, filing past graffiti and vegetation that sprouted up in the sidewalks during lockdown.
The designers blended American workwear codes with French tailoring, yielding a street-savvy lineup infused with personal, original details. For example, using a Liberty fabric inside out gave a faded look, bleaching further altered the pattern. They layered a boxy, short-sleeved shirt with a long-sleeved UV-protective layer underneath: The sun has grown hotter, even in Paris, they observed last summer. Transformable clothing continues to hold sway, and the trio offered coats in a recycled nylon material with sleeves that could be partially removed.
While fabrics were raw and recycled, and the silhouettes relaxed, the collection felt crisp — that would be their French design sensibility, no doubt.
They collaborated with American photographer Roe Ethridge, decorating shirts with his contemporary, still-life imagery. Ethridge also produced the lookbook from New York, which was shot in a Paris studio.