Olivier Borde Autumn/Winter 2012

French fashion designer Olivier Borde has produced a considerable amount of work for several seasons that has won him awards and plaudits from buyers and press worldwide. The attention to detail and quality revealed in close inspection of Borde’s purposefully distressed garments confirms him as a designer for whom fashion is a form of craftsmanship that respects historical heritage and cultural influences. In the world of fashion, where creativity can often be marred by the pressures of fast-paced production and scintillating celebrity lifestyles, this is most definitely an attitude and ability to cherish and celebrate.

Borde graduated in 1996 from the Ecole Superieure des Metiers Artistiques de Montpellier. Although he initially favoured menswear, he started making a name for himself after being appointed creative director of French womenswear brand Ichthys in 1999, a post he held for five years. He then joined forces with Charles Anastase to launch the eponymous label. This joint venture was awarded the Andam Prize and saw their garments being worn by well-known personalities like Beth Ditto, Kylie Minogue, Chlöe Sevigny and Diane Kruger.

Borde split from Anastase in 2008 to focus on his initial plan to create new menswear classics. His signature collection debuted to critical acclaim at the Festival d’Hyeres after being selected by a panel including Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci and retailer Maria Luisa. Building on this auspicious start, he was selected by Vogue Italia as one of the Top Emerging Menswear Designers in 2009 and has been produced collections that have garnered accolades along the way since then.

To develop a range of men’s and womenswear for Autumn/Winter 2012, Borde sought inspiration in bohemian cultures and outdoors lifestyles (such as gypsies, hippies, and rural communities) as cultural embodiments of an alternative sartorial heritage. The fabrics chosen for the garments mirror this influence, with an abundance of distressed tweed, herringbone, wool and corduroy, whereas the palette drinks from natural wintery tones, including navy, black, dark green, grey, purple and violet accentuated by occasional dashes of cream and gold. The silhouettes are also inspired by nomadic cultures as portrayed in late nineteenth century literature and art manifestations, with fitted blazers and jackets clashing with baggy trousers tapered below the knee, or long coats mixed with slim-fit trousers.