You've heard me bang on about the fact that so-called wardrobe staples that people spout off time and time again (the 'essential' Breton-striped tee is the silliest of them all…) are a load of bollocks when really each person has their own essentials that fits their persona, daily routine and personal style. The perfect black jacket/blazer though is a different kettle of fish that I didn't subscribe to until I got my Lanvin tuxedo jacket. A large drycleaning bill solely dedicated to that jacket is testament to how much wear it has gotten.
So Vietnam-born, Berlin-educated, Parisian-based, designer T√î Long-Nam swoops in and comes up with a first proper selling collection (he was a competitor at Hyeres in 2006, the same year that my friend Anthony Vaccarello won…). A mixed experience of assisting Patti Wilson, working in Lanvin menswear and Valentino as well as currently working on Superfine London points me towards tell tale clues that Long-Nam's work goes deeper than this initial A/W 09 collection of jackets and that all will be properly revealed during S/S 10.
Still, from the point of view of a perfect black jacket (PBJ..! Best worn whilst eating the OTHER PBJ….), Long-Nam has come up trumps with this collection of signature jackets, all stemming from the shapes of muscles of the human body. Yes, another collection based on body anatomy. When will it end you ask? In an all black palette however, the muscle fibre shape resulting in curved seams, round finishings and contrast of textures, can only be subtly detected and instead come across as a proper design motif in its own right. Reeling off the fabrics is a tactile mind fest in itself; perforated silk satin, cashmere, wool garbadine and lacqued crepe de chine. Added to Long-Nam's consideration for perfect ergonomics in the jackets and matching trousers and skirt, he's set out a versatile number of PBJ's that I'd gladly name as a wardrobe essential should anybody want to conduct that done-to-death question.