Olympia le Tan is all about the unconventional. The Paris-based designer made a name for herself via her line of quirky canvas and felt literary minaudieres — that is, clutches made to resemble classic novels, like Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” or J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” — which she debuted in 2009. She launched her first ready-to-wear collection last season — not with a runway show, but with a strip tease. So it’s no surprise that the designer dreamed up an unexpected spring 2013 presentation.
For her sophomore ready-to-wear season, Le Tan pulled inspiration from ’60s girl bands and jazz. So naturally, she showed her retro A- line seersucker dresses, halter frocks, checked high-wasted capris, and bikini tops through a wonderfully cheesy musical performance. Models, all of whose looks were finished with bouffant hair as well as white socks and black saddle shoes, danced and lip-synced to ’60s classics like the Marvelettes’ “Mr. Postman” or the Supreme’s “Where Did Our Love Go?” Girls in a bubblegum pink pencil skirts printed with fruits and veggies (apparently Le Tan’s father, famed illustrator, Pierre le Tan, created all the prints this season), cropped polo shirts, demure cardigans, and a range of red and white striped looks shimmied and shook. Their mouths didn’t quite match up with the words playing over the speakers in the Théâtre de la Madeleine, but it only added to the playful, kitschy nature of Le Tan’s spring extravaganza.
At the end of the show, Ronnie Spector took the stage, wearing one of Le Tan’s striped looks, and sang “Be My Baby.” Naturally, the crowd went nuts. Le Tan’s bags have also been known to send the fashion set into a frenzy. And while it was hard to see her jazz-themed clutches under the bright stage lights, the 7-inch record shaped bag in turquoise alligator certainly had star quality.
Click on the slideshow to see looks from Olympia le Tan’s srping 2013 collection.
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