Lemaire's Perfect Phone Pockets


Navy Blue Wool Double Breasted Shawl Collar Blazer. Lemaire, 2014. Photo: Kim Weston Arnold / Indigitalimages.com, Vogue



A Lemaire design motif that I love is that perfectly-sized and placed phone pocket that shows up occasionally on coats, jackets, and blazers. It usually falls midway on the torso, on the left sides of garments.


La Vie Lemaire


Aside from Margaret Howell, Lemaire might be the only other contemporary fashion brand I can't resist. There's a fluidity and movement in their designs that errs on the side of Eileen Fisher but with an emotional chiaroscuro I can't exactly place.


The brand was founded by Christophe Lemaire and his partner, Sarah-Linh Tran. Lemaire formerly designed for Lacoste and Hermès, venerable French fashion brands coveted by the bon chic bon genre set.

Of his time at Hermès, he said, "I want… fashion that accompanies the personality,” says Lemaire. “Allowing freedom of movement and gesture, [the] clothes [should] allow a woman to be herself.”


A Visual Language

Though Christophe Lemaire established his eponymous brand in 1992, it didn't fully grow into its own 'presence' until around the mid-2000's. His namesake label evolved further when Sarah-Linh Tran brought an indelible soignée to the details of the womenswear and accessories.


Other labels boldly eject the idea of "gender" from their presentations (as they should,) But Lemaire presents its garments with a certain ambivalence and subtle rejection toward traditional gender norms. This played out with Sarah Linh-Tran dressing a female model in an unaltered men’s outfit in the brand's Fall/Winter 2018 show. Given the brand’s balance of elements: structure and fluidity, male and female, it wasn’t even obvious which specific look this was.


Quotidian

I saw the above-pictured blazer on The Real Real five years ago. It became a constant in my life. The thing that lived on me and periodically, was draped over the back of my chair when I still worked in Conshohocken. It's one of those things that I find myself wearing while doing city-wides at a bar and then to breakfast the following day. At first I thought it was because it feels not unlike a sweater.


Then, I realized it was the pockets. There are six different pockets on it. Two in the front, two larger ones within it, a small ticket pocket on the left interior panel layered on top of its larger companion. Last is the one I use most frequently. Its width generally measures (X) inches and the sheer over-the-chest motion to drop a phone into it feels instinctual.