In Spring 2019, French fashion label A.P.C. launched "interactions" — a series of succinct micro-collections made in partnership with the brand's creative friends. The first was, notably, Kid Cudi — and the two, together, made styles (colorful knits, biker jackets, and jeans) that were devoured by fashion plates. In keeping with the practice of phoning friends, it's only natural that the brand would eventually call on Charlotte Chesnais, the fine jewelry designer who consulted on scores of ready-to-wear pieces for A.P.C. over the years. Finally, for its Spring/Summer 2021 collection, the duo launched A.P.C. x Charlotte Chesnais: an "interaction" filled with styles steeped in sumptuous comfort.
In order for Chesnais to create for A.P.C., it all came down to invoking a feeling, and a nostalgic one at that: “it’s always been an A.P.C. destination, a first vision of the rue de Fleurus, the specific smell of the first candle when you entered the store, the military canvas curtains in the fitting rooms and the raw jeans that were so stiff that you weren’t supposed to wash them," she said in an official release. "The beneficial rigour of a radical and pragmatic wardrobe. I was 18 years old and I remember it very well.” The profundity of this memory became fodder for the collection, which revives the hallmark visions, smells, and textures that the label is known for.
Arriving on Nov. 10, the collection fuses Chesnais' sensory memory with indulgent fabrics. There's two key materials acting as the collection's main vehicle: Lurex (a knit topped with a metallic layer), and white wool (undyed, virgin wool). “I wanted this proposal [for my intention] to be fairly free, like this Lurex knit that seeps into everything, from the jumpers to the jean cuffs!" said Chesnais. Every drop has its "star," so to speak — which, in this case, is its white faux fur jacket, which Chesnais modeled for the campaign, as well as the rest of the pieces.
The decision to cast the guest-designer as the model was, in fact, a well-reasoned one: "It’s truly the image of a young blossoming woman for infinity and beyond," said Jean Touitou, founder and creative director of A.P.C., in the release. "Of course, another female model would have ‘done the job’ too, but it wouldn’t have been as on-point, both aesthetically and morally speaking.”
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