On Tuesday, the last day of the Paris Fashion Week, Gauchere joined fashion’s top flight after presenting its collections off-calendar for several seasons, and staged a successful maiden show. Marie-Christine Statz, 37, a designer fond of carefully constructed minimalism, introduced a comprehensive, coherent wardrobe built around a powerful style.
Ample suits, oversize jackets and men’s shirts, statement trousers and overcoats are the foundations of Gauchere’s Fall/Winter 2020-21 collection, which also features calf-length dresses and skirts. Most of the garments are made in wool or flannel, a few stand-out looks also featuring soft leather for trousers and shirt dresses, as well as fine knitwear.
The clothes are precisely cut and rigorously monochrome, in a neutral, highly masculine palette in which greys predominate. The cuts are sharp, and the volumes are mostly accented at the shoulders. Dresses cinched or tied at the waist with sliding belts fastened at the back emphasise this power-shoulder effect, as do the pagoda shoulders featured in some dresses and sleeveless jackets.
“Men’s tailoring is at the heart of the collection, but it’s a relaxed kind of tailoring. I wanted to play with the rules of executive style by emphasising the shoulders, to empower women,” said Statz, talking to FashionNetwork.com backstage. “For this first show on the official calendar, I wanted to send a very clear message, focused on a notion of Brutalism and on an imposing, extremely minimalist silhouette, always inspired by menswear,” she added.
Statz is a perfectionist, her painstaking couture featuring details that are sometimes invisible, such as the double-breasted jackets that cross over from left to right, a hallmark of her label – which is called Gauchere from the French word ‘gauchère’, left-handed, as Statz is. An overcoat can also be worn as a cape, thanks to slits under the sleeves. A shirt leaves one arm completely bare. The back of a grey flannel jacket is streaked with tassels, giving it an unexpected cowboy feel. An oversize shirt is made of pin-stripe fabric.
Germany-born Statz grew up in Düsseldorf and graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York, before settling in Paris, where she specialised at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne (the Paris couturiers’ union chamber). She worked at Narciso Rodriguez, then at Diane von Fürstenberg, before launching her own label in Paris in 2013.
“I began with only 35 items, which were bought by Le Bon Marché with my first collection. Little by little, the label expanded, attracting an increasing number of buyers. We currently have some 30 clients, notably in Asia, South Korea and the USA,” said Statz, whose organisation, between the atelier and the showroom, has a staff of between 15 and 20. Gauchere’s fabrics are all sourced in France and Italy, and between 60% and 70% of the collection is made in France.
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