Saturday, April 14, 2007

libertin's sleight-of-hand couture

On a cold languorous mid-winter Saturday afternoon and after a luscious lunch at a little Lebanese restaurant near the Eiffel Tower, we summoned the strength to divert ourselves from heading straight home for our usual sieste. There was a particularly zesty event that we simply could not miss... our first subversive (of sorts) fashion show in this consummate city that has seen them all and done them all!
We had met the equivocal Libertin Louison, a young Belgian designer with long black hair and wrapped in a long black skirt, at his tiny boutique on one of the narrow medieval streets in the Marais. The wistful wisps of black fabric hanging vaguely on the two sparse racks and draped, barely, on the one mannequin had piqued us enough to enter this minimal goth meet japanese zen dollhouse.
I had not dared to try on anything in case I insulted the avant-genius by putting my head through the wrong opening... or worse, emerged from the change-tube all twisted up with the confounded piece on upside down and backwards!... (- inside-out would have been a non-issue!)

A surprise invitation came for the debut of his Collection Couture printemps-été, and we had our chance to see how all those nebulous jigsaw puzzle pieces actually fitted together on real live skin and bones!
When we finally found the venue's address that chilly afternoon, the building looked suspiciously in the mid-stages of a demolition. We entered with trepidation through the still standing doorway and followed the thumping music up the fairly stable stairs.
Seated spectators lined the maze of hallways on the top floor. Standing room was three rows deep and we were squeezed in so tight that if the floor collapsed, the many other bodies would hopefully help break our fall!
The pageantry had already begun, as one stunning model after another slung languidly by. All were pasted up in multiple configurations of oddly shaped black swatches and embellished with black prototypical accessories, especially those who were topless... while the bottomless ones, well!... nobody was really looking at what they were wearing! (If I had tried on those pieces at his boutique, I would have doltishly assumed that the openings must be for my head!) Concise instructions were obviously necessary to indicate the purpose of every cavity in each of his cunningly composed poly-apertured habillement!

excerpted from "Libertin's Sleight-of-Hand Couture... as drolly admired by Mme. V" by g. verster, 2004
[regrettably, Libertin is no longer using his sly dexterity with the scissors to conjure up more nimble little numbers, but has since followed his nose back to Brussels where he now dispenses his own line of scents and body creams infused with, yes, I am quite sure I read this right, donkey's milk!...the name of his new perfumery is "Technique Indiscrète" on 21, Rue de Flandre]