In Vestoj's continuing "Conversations on Slowness" series, the publication has caught up with designers whose work flies a bit in the face of the super fast pace spell that fashion is currently in the middle of. It previously met with Dries Van Noten and now has an interview with Christophe Lemaire. Lemaire, to me, comes off as a fairly quiet guy in general, but in this interview he lets out some of his frustrations with the current state of fashion, particularly about the aforementioned pace and the power of umbrella conglomerates like LVMH and Kering.
The never-ending calendar of collections causes him anxiety he says, and it's not just him: "It's very hard to achieve something you're completely satisfied with in the limited time we have now. And at the same time, this is an industry full of sensitive, creative people who are always doubting what they do. I think this is one of the reasons why fashion people sometimes behave in ridiculous ways. We overreact and behave badly." He reconciles this with a belief that the cycles will eventually slow back down. Personally, I'm not sure I believe him, though his upcoming and hotly-anticipated Uniqlo collaboration does feel like the "slow fashion" he loves.
His criticism of the powers that be is also cutting, mentioning his very PR-controlled time at Hermès, going on to say, "I'm incredibly frustrated by how enormously powerful fashion conglomerates have become. I've seen how it affects the level of honesty and freedom in what critics write. For instance, everybody knows that you can't say a word against LVMH today." We admittedly don't produce the hardest-hitting journalism here, but it's hard to disagree. Everything can be so controlled and manipulated that stories end up sounding more like press releases with dictated and scripted answers and no real insight or opinion. Christophe is just saying what we're all thinking.