Sunday, September 03, 2017

A most sophisticated trip to the Eaton Centre

Who is Inès de La Fressange, and why does her name being on an item of Uniqlo clothing make a person ("a person") that much more intrigued by it?

For reasons stemming from the timing of poodle-grooming and the necessity of a TTC day pass for this, I had an excuse yesterday to check out Inès de La Fressange's new line at Uniqlo. I realize this isn't the most exciting use of the one true weekend day of a long weekend, but it seemed like it would be relaxing. Which I'm going to have to say it was.

To be clear, I know exactly who Inès de La Fressange is, or as much as is possible from having read various La Fressange profiles over the years, retaining dribs and drabs. She's very tall and thin. French. A former-and-current model - not young, but so French that she gets to embody glamor at any age. But I doubt the idea is to appeal specifically to whichever subset of the population has read these profiles. It is, I suspect, her name - French and aristocratic, but with Inès suggesting a still more cosmopolitan sophistication.*  It costs 75 euros to have her name on an otherwise nondescript t-shirt. A sinkhole investigation finds a whole Fressangian merch empire akin to the part of Hudson Bay where they sell everything, including all these random wooden paddles, in the store's trademark stripes. No La Fressange paddles, I don't think, but door stoppers, dog leashes...

What does La Fressange's involvement entail? Presumably she's not personally stitching together each garment. Has she designed them? (She's evidently designing something.) Does she serve as muse for a Uniqlo designer (maybe?), or does she get a catalog to look through and say whether or not she approves of whichever style having the stamp of La Fressange? How do they decide that Fressange-anointed items should cost $10 more than their regular-Uniqlo equivalents? If still - and pardon this most peasant of observations - less than, say, Aritzia, which was what brought me there in the first place.

$50 plus tax later and I'm the owner of dark red thick-wale corduroy miniskirt that has Toronto winter (by which I mean fall) practicality written all over it. I'd like to think La Fressange would approve. I also kind of think I once saw her on the street in New York, and that she smiled at La Caniche, but it's possible some other tall, French-looking woman did this.

*Wikipedia tells me her full name is Inès Marie Lætitia Églantine Isabelle de Seignard de La Fressange - the capital "La" explaining why her last name isn't just "Fressange" but rather "La Fressange," which is spectacular - and that her grandmother was part of a French-Jewish banking family, which makes Inès herself vaguely Jewish, which makes me basically Inès de La Fressange.

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