Men’s Fashion – E. Laval

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It has been a good season for menswear in Caledon and other Victorian Sims. Several new designers have hung up their shingles and offered their collections to the gentleman shopper. One of the most anticipated of these is Miss Eladrienne Laval, who recently opened a men’s haberdashery in Caledon Mayfair.

Miss Laval has opened her door with a reasonable number of selections, leaning heavily towards waistcoats which are clearly her raison d’etre. One of the highest compliments I have for her is that all of her creations are clearly part of a collection, rather then just a few stray bits of inspiration which is the norm amongst new designers. She clearly put careful thought and attention into what pieces she would make for her opening and how they would fit into her overall look. This is highly commendable and bodes well for her future as a designer and as a businesswoman in the metaverse.

As for the waistcoats themselves, they come in two lines at the moment, a grouping of silk paisleys and a series she calls her Namesake Collection, each named for an individual though only Telemachus Dean is known to me.

In the illustration above I am modeling her Alex and Telemachus Waistcoats. They are both nicely cut and well seamed. The textures are certainly vibrant (which is often lacking in menswear designs) though for me they are a trifle on the loud side. I feel that I would prefer them to be a bit more understated. The Alex waistcoat especially is of such a curious color and powerful pattern that it is hard to see one actually wearing it. However, it is lovely to see a new designer breaking out of the tendency to play it safe by using too many solids. The texturing she is doing takes artistic courage, even if I feel she may have gone a little too far in this initial collection. It is far easier for a designer to reign themselves back then it is for them to push themselves farther.
Both waistcoats could also stand a bit more shadowing and shading, which is made all the more difficult by the vibrancy of the textures. I got the sense that the pockets and lapels were simply black lines drawn onto the texture, whereas shadowing and more detail work would give a greater illusion of depth and dimensionality.

With her waistcoats she includes a shirt, prim ascot or tie and a pair of Herringbone trousers. The trousers suffer from the same sins as the waistcoats, but even more so. The black and white herringbone texture is so powerful and dominant that it actually seems to tax my graphics card. I would tone the texture back, or include a more sedate pair of trousers as well.

Above I am also modeling Miss Lavel’s Black Cutaway jacket. I was much more content with the texture of the jacket, in that it is just as rich and complex as that found in the waistcoats but more understated. The cut of the jacket is good, but I found, like the vests, more detailing and shadowing at the pockets, lapels and other points is needed to give the coat more depth. However, I found it to be a very worthy Cutaway, again due to the courage of the texturing.

All in all I found Miss Laval’s premier collection to be a taste of things to come. Her texturing and sense of dramatic style are commendable especially in a young designer, and as her skills with shadowing and confidence in her ability to edit textures increases, I feel we will see even finer work displayed in her Haberdashery.

I would unhesitatingly recommend that any one looking for proper Caledonian menswear seek out her pleasant shop in Mayfair.

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1 Comment

  1. Why, thank you Baron. I shall take your recommendations into consideration.

    The “Alex” is actually my bestseller, so many like it very much. No, the lapels and pockets are not “simply black lines drawn.” I knew about your preference in terms of shading/shadowing and more somber colors, etc., so I took that into account while reading this.

    And actually, all of my ensembles come with a solid black pair of trousers that would have probably been more to your liking. Thank you very much overall for the review and for featuring me today.


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