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Maison Lejaby and Lea Peckre at Paris Fashion Week

fashion & stylenews

13 March 2014
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A surprising collaboration, if one might say so... 

On one side, Maison Lejaby, a marker in cutting high-end French lingerie for 130 years and who, through its collection Maison Lejaby Couture, still works on more pieces at the boundaries between lingerie and prêt à porter, called «dessus-dessous».On the other side, Léa Peckre, a young 29 year-old designer whose first collections have revealed a pronounced passion for architectural volumes and dark colours...and who, furthermore, is fascinated with lingerie and its technical sophistication.This is how the first line of prêt-à-porter designed by Léa Peckre for Maison Lejaby was born, thus proving that the most unexpected associations are also the most fertile.

The designer was given carte blanche. «It's very important to be able to define one's own style when being in a collaborative process, especially when you begin in this trade claims Léa Peckre. Consequently, I have built a collection in my own way, following the codes of the trademark specific to Maison Lejaby». The Parisian went to Lyons to meet the teams, visit their workshops and delve into the vast body of archives. There, her mind was focused on one particular prosperous period: The stretch of time between the 80's and the 90's. 1988 was the year when Isabelle Adjani caused a sensation when she posed for Lejaby , only sporting a white bra partially concealed by her jersey. «That advertisement shows to what extent a piece of clothing can enhance a lingerie outfit... and increase tenfold the power of seduction of the person who wears it», points out Léa Peckre. In an attempt to dress women and sublimate their corsetry all the while, the designer focused on «cover silhouettes» made out of tulle. Be it under a flesh-coloured moulded dress or a more loose-fitting thin sweater/charcoal grey outfit, the netting creates a nebulous screen-like effect on the skin, thus suggesting the underwear instead of revealing it.

Another source of inspiration gleaned by Léa Peckre in the home vaults:the Nuage finery which launched in 1995 the era of invisible and ultra-comfortable lingerie and still remains a best-seller. This timelessly sober outfit has served her as a guideline to the prêt-à-porter collection which deliberately leaves out both silk and lace. «I didn't want any classicism. I wanted to bring a more modern touch», explains Léa Peckre. She has thus muddied the waters between prêt-à-porter and lingerie by crossing fabrics, techniques and their usage. On a bustier, with the help of a laser-cutting machine, the designer cut out a thick piece of cloth in order to engrave a floral pattern inspired by the Venise, a flagship model from the N°3 Collection, Echappées sensuelles from Maison Lejaby Couture. The carefully worked piece is made out of the same fabric as the cups you could find on the Nuage bras. Léa Peckre also used hemstitched neoprene, a very sensuous fabric, to tailor a pair of trousers that displays a rather sportswearish figure .In her hands, a bodysuit-one of the sexiest items in a woman's wardrobe-ends up being made out of alpaca, a soft and downy material usually meant for pullovers and coats. She also designed an item of clothing which, from a distance, looks rather like a tuxedo jacket made out of wool; in truth, it's an unstructured cross-over blouse cut in elastic and waterproof lycra conventionally used for swimsuits. All these silhouettes are monochromatic, just as the Nuage fineries were: skin is in the spotlight.

The DNA of lingerie exudes in every single item of this French made collection which can be considered as a true line of prêt-à-porter (just as the collection Maison Lejaby Couture). Such DNA, diversely included but constantly present in a contemporary and magnified acceptance, seals the collaboration between the aforementioned parties. In this spirit, the pieces presented during Paris Fashion Week are now exhibited at Maison Lejaby's Salon Couture, located at the heart of Paris. 

For Maison Lejaby, Léa Peckre has brought what's usually underneath to the outside. 

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