Les rêves sont le luxe de la pensée… Nous sommes là pour les exaucer.
Dreams are the luxury art of thought … We are here to fulfill.
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IN MY DREAMS, I dress like the femme fatale of the 21st century. She is the woman who wears an evening gown with as much elegance as she would, plainly put, kick ass in a little leather two-piece suit. She prides herself in versatility. There’s flexibility (in every aspect, but of course, from dress to yoga poses) no matter the occasion; she’s a chameleon. And yet she glorifies the idea of the uniform. Her restless nature may consistently crave change, but the one thing that never fails to ground her is the uniform. A black pant, black shoe, cashmere tank, and leather jacket. Always armed at the ready to take her from day to night. From this to that.
It’s an ode to femininity and feminism: a mélange of Carine Roitfeld’s less-than-subtle hints at being all woman, plus the sleek practicality that comes with androgyny. The key piece is the leather jacket. Iconic, structural, pragmatic. A symbol of the rebellious and the free; of rock and bohemia; of sex and power and youth and fetishism. It’s both masculine and feminne – but not so androgynous. It’s fantastic, the feel of supple leather against bare skin, the smell of a new jacket, the look of leather on and with everything. It’s transformative.
It’s no wonder, then, that I have the highest regards for brands – Andrew Marc, All Saints Spitafield, and Preen to name a few – that have mastered both the craftsmanship and design of the leather jacket. My loyalty is solidified if they have perfected the leather handbag in their line of work; I would wear them and them only, forever.
Add to the list LAS8 Paris, a fashion house exemplifying French style through exquisite execution of high quality. Luxe is the standard; there are no exceptions. It can be said that LAS8 Paris gives new definition to modern luxury, but I think it keeps alive the very ideals that made Paris the fashion capital of the world. LAS8 Paris made a promise to craftsmanship – and that promise is exactly why it reamins one of France’s “ultimate luxury leather ‘manufacturers'” today.
As if to remind both itself and others of its standing, the LAS8 Paris Atelier is located right in the heart of the city. There the designers create for the Parisian Woman, the ever inspirational, international icon.
“Classy and ambitious, independent and sophisticated, a little over confident and a little fragile, this uncatchable woman lives and makes the Parisian dream.”
That is the woman of the LAS8 Paris house, the woman to whom they dedicate perfection.
With expertise in jackets and garments custo-made and tailored for the individual, there’s hardly a breath of doubt that the brand’s savoir-faire is in traditional craftsmanship. Perfection and nothing less to produce a unique piece by one artisan of the atelier. Think of them as the Hermès Birkin of jackets – where every step fo the process is handcrafted and inspected to pass quality control.
Each garment is made with only the most exquisite and rare leathers from around the world – all meticulously researched and handpicked by the two founders. Australian crocodile Porosus. African crocodile Niloticus. Stingray from Thailand. Pythons from Singapore. And French-plunged lambskin, of course, because French tanneries have provided quality leathers for centuries back.
These founders, Philippe Anton and Fabien Paludetto, pore over every facet of the design and execution process. The two became close friends whilst studying in France, eventually building together a shared dream. With passion and perseverence they’ve launched their first collection this year – one that exudes luxe sex appeal. It’s a representation of who they are and what they want LAS8 Paris to be: refined, exotic, individual. There’s mystery in being so secretive and selective. You want. You crave. You obsess. You lust.
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The IVRESSE is intoxicating – a mélange of materials that bring dimension. A majestic fox fur collar adorns the fitted leather coat; and touches of python offer a subtle yet luxurious finish. but it’s the cut of the garment which makes the piece – slim to hug the body’s curved for a striking balance between classicism and freshness.
I say without hesitation that the OPUS is my favorite – a jacket that oce existed only in my dreams. Anton and Paludetto say it “frames the female silhouette at her very best.” Photos only confirm that claim; I can only imagine how it fits – and feels – on the body, Over a thin tank, or over a dress, or on bare skin. It must be as sensuous as the sensuality it exudes. There’s a sort of primitive yet elegant nature in the OPUS design, emphasized by the rarity of the crocodile leather. It’s noble. elegant. Fierce. All enforced by a back panel made enticely of shark skin. She who wears the OPUS is a woman required to possess power and determination.
Then there’s the EDJO, named after the cobra goddess who protects the King and his people. The ode is in the slim fit and its collar; it’s a design resembling the world’s most sovereign snake and its flaring hood. She who wears EDJO becomes her.
The FERENTINA (another top favorite along with the OPUS) is divinely named and rightfully so; she is the goddess linked to a sacred source of water – from which she draws her vitality – and the woods and earth – from which she draws her fertility. With the different skins at interplay, the jacket FERENTINA enhances a dynamic and assertive silhouette. Its majestic collar and elbow stingray remember water and vivacity. The interior of the fox collar provides softness and protection. All the finishing touches are decorated with stingray to highlight the exclusive nature of this creation. Only the LAS8 designers describe it justly. My own would do by the FERENTINA no right.
I melt at the description: I have a soft spot for allusions and symbolism. But this is a weakness well justified: it’s a striking and elegant jacket.
The final piece in my group of favorites: the HOR. It represents juxtaposition. day and night. Black and white. Dark and light. The stingray is the moon; the lambskin is the sun. This is a cropped design done right: a high neckline is countered by a clean bolero cut. The HOR is elegance and sensuality exuded in the most effortless manner. Alas is the beauty of balance appreciated. Let the HOR be evidence of the importance of harmony.
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In my exchanges with Philippe Anton he tells me the “collection always looks better in [reality],” that he would love to have me visit the showroom and try his creations. He’d organize a little shoot with a photographer. Anton is too humble and kind. I’ve already fallen for them within moments of scrolling through the lookbook – his reassurance wasn’t necessary; he’s much too unassuming.
One day, when I go back to Paris, I’ll sashay into their showroom, slip into one of their leather somethings, and swoon at my reflection in the mirror. I’m easily overwhelmed by all things of exquisite craftsmanship and by the smell and touch of supple leather against bare skin. It’s intoxicating; it’s also amongst my list of vices.
One day, I’ll be back in Paris. With a best friend, a lover, or alone. Whichever gets me there sooner.
I’ll be back, Paris.
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LAS8 Paris Maison de Couture
3 Place Boulnois, Paris