La Comédie Humaine, or the Gallic Interpretation of Masculine Elegance

Founded in France in July 2011, La Comédie Humaine is a new and promising menswear label whose name was inspired by the title of the famous sequence of short stories and novels produced by nineteenth-century writer Honoré de Balzac. As a brutally honest description of French society (that eventually became the genesis of the Realist movement in literature), Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine analysed social mores and the role that clothes and sartorial codes played in constructing the notion of the individual.

The Paris-based fashion label produces its garments and accessories predominantly in France and has adopted the rooster as symbol of Gallic elegance and defiance, in a way similar to the one use by Balzac himself in his narratives published in the collective tome Scènes de la Vie Privée et Publique des Animaux (Public and Private Life of Animals) with illustrations by caricaturist J.J. Grandville.

The timeless chic attitude to fashion in La Comédie Humaine’s clothes and accessories (of which a stunning large leather tote in tan and black has caught my attention) has garnered the attention of fashion journalists and buyers and made them popular items in several stores in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea and the USA. I find their seemingly simple garments very appealing and their focus on masculine elegance a strong reason to keep examining their progress in the sartorial realm.