Guillaume Henry Made These Patou Clothes, and First Shoe, for Walking

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    When the going gets tough, the tough look pulled together and get going.

    Given everything that’s going on in the world, Patou artistic director Guillaume Henry wanted to “embrace the idea of a woman that walks with enthusiasm and with dignity,” he said backstage. “I really adore dressing the idea of dressing a woman that walks — and walks to something more positive.”

    To help her on her way, he offered up a realistic wardrobe that showed his deft touch for outerwear and knack for attractive proportions.

    There were roomy belted coats with XXL pockets, cropped boxy jackets with shiny buttons, separates cut from pinstriped shirting in pink and blue, belted pleated skirts that swung as models took their brisk turn down the runway.

    Colors were urbane, all flattering beiges, sophisticated khaki and plenty of black. Although the designer had promised there would be “no extra funny details or distractions,” he still scattered handful of tone-on-tone appliqué flowers in the lineup.

    Blended in were also hat tips to Henry’s predecessors at the helm of the French label. Gold buttons inspired by uniforms and plenty of flou nodded to founder Jean Patou. Dramatic volumes, particularly in a final trio of dresses, echoed Christian Lacroix’s haute couture tenure between 1982 and 1987.

    There was even a nod to Karl Lagerfeld: Henry said he’d enjoyed designing a gown for the 2023 Met Gala that offset his proclivity for leg-baring with midi and maxi lengths.

    Also ready to hit the road was Henry’s first shoe design, a pump with a stable-looking heel and a small platform that marked Patou’s opening play in the category.

    “In Patou, forward we go,” the show notes said. This well-rounded and coherent lineup should see many march their way to the store.



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