Jun 12, 2015 Fashion
Anatomica is a small boutique in the heart of the Marais in Paris, selling clothes based on vintage cuts from as far back as 1839 through to the 1940s.
On the wall there’s a sign that says, “Malgré nos bons conseils, le client reste maître de la taille qu’il achète.” (“Despite our good advice, the client remains the boss of the size he buys.”) You can feel the frustration and Frenchness of the whole affair. Once, I told the owner I loved the jacket I was trying on, but felt it wasn’t fitted enough for me. He forgot the sign and started lecturing me about the beauty of an intentionally loose-styled jacket.
This is the perfect shirt. It has simple, confident lines, with no unnecessary detailing, and is made from a quality fabric that holds its form and doesn’t crease like a bastard. For me, Balenciaga exemplifies sophisticated, refined French fashion.
Comme des Garçons Play wool jumper (main photo)
When I was first in Paris 15 years ago, I spent far too many hours scouring vintage clothing stores and markets looking for perfect examples of French nautical stripes. At that time, the only option was the infamous clothing produced by Saint James in Brittany since 1889. The wool jumpers were so tight they almost suffocated you (a result of needing to provide warmth to fishermen).
Funnily, it was the Japanese who finally offered up French nautical perfection. This Comme des Garçons jumper is immaculately cut and has matching stripes. Fortunately, their “Play” heart logo, which I always thought would look better on a packet of Skippy cornflakes, was easily unstitched.
It’s not fashionable right now, I know, but I still love this wool jacket I bought in Germany. It’s part of a suit adidas created in the 1970s for sportsmen to wear to drinks or formal occasions after the match. I have a collection of them, each with beautiful, elegant lines and simply cut. And no sports brand can better the three stripes. It’s graphic perfection.
I have several S.N.S. Herning jumpers, but this roll-neck sweater is a favourite: Danish fisherman tradition combined with a contemporary styling twist. Too warm for Auckland really but, fuck it, I sweat it out.
Brogen Averill has his own design company, Brogen Averill Studio.
This story first appeared in the May 2015 issue of Metro. Photos by Angie Humphreys.