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A piece of Los Angeles came to Paris Fashion Week on Friday.
Designer Greg Lauren celebrated his first capsule collection for Italian outerwear brand Moncler at a Marais art gallery, with his handcrafted jackets on display like sculptures and a short film showing off his atelier and art space in the Melrose and Highland neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Lauren, who is the nephew of American fashion icon Ralph Lauren, was an actor, then a fine artist, before segueing into fashion. He launched his own collection of handcrafted, elegantly disheveled men’s and women’s wear in Los Angeles in 2011, and it is sold in Barneys New York, Maxfield and other high-end stores. He also collaborated with Banana Republic last year on a high-low version of his aesthetic.
“I think L.A. is the most creative place on the planet right now,” says Lauren, who is married to actress Elizabeth Berkley. “It’s absolutely the best place to be creating because it’s the only place that successfully has so many things coming together and working together. Obviously it’s come a long way since being a one-industry town.”
His approach is informed in no small part from growing up in the fashion industry. His father, Jerry Lauren, is executive vice president of Ralph Lauren menswear.
“I like to explore the idea of the pain under the beauty and people wearing the real sense of who they are on the outside and not hiding behind clothing,” he says of his process.
But back to the Moncler collection, which is titled “Collide.” If Italian luxury wear met Mad Max, this would be it. Lauren’s signature post-apocalyptic style is translated into Moncler outerwear that combine repurposed fabrics (military tents, duffel bags, traditional Japanese boro) with the Italian brand’s signature puffer quilting.
“I hate wasting fabric,” he says. “I’ll pull something out of the garbage and say, ‘Wait — that can be a beautiful collar.’ I love using things that are going to be discarded and turning them into something elegant.”
Lauren made a point to use faux fur throughout the collection, a more modern and humane riff on a Moncler signature.
While there are several styles in each color group (army green, black and denim), only three of individual styles will be made (prices are in the $4,000 range). The limited-edition collection of about 200 pieces total will be available this fall at Moncler boutiques worldwide.
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