Raging Designer: Karl Lagerfeld curated by Sébastien Jondeau

Designers have many origins, though Sébastien Jondeau is surely something of a first. He is a professional kickboxer.
 
On Wednesday, Jondeau presented his second collection for the house of Karl Lagerfeld and, hang it all, despite his pugilistic precedents, the clothes were actually very good.


Sébastien Jondeau - Photo: FashionNetwork.com/ Godfrey Deeny

 
Much of the inspiration comes from the ring, like the track pants with broad and bright vertical side stripes and waistbands; or T-shirts that show Jondeau, boxing gloves up and ready to rumble.
 
“I know I am not Virgil Abloh, but maybe one day. Anyway, I love what he does,” said Jondeau, as he tried on a series of looks for FashionNetwork.com.
 
“The idea for this collection is me on my way to the boxing ring,” said 43-year-old Jondeau, who was brought up in the rough-and-tumble neighborhood of Garges-lès-Gonnesse.
 
Jondeau, who started boxing at aged 16, has a decent record; winning eight out of 10 professional fights; in rings ranging from Paris, Nantes and Lyon.
 
Also impressing were the suede jean jackets and sleekly cut blazers in technical mixes of wool and elastic. Jondeau’s first collection goes hits retail shelves next month; these clothes early 2019.  Notable also a great series of black-and-white Expressionist sweatshirts and T-shirts with the name Karl in Japanese. “
 
“They are a reflection of what I wear, Tom Ford three-pieces or Dior Homme suits,” concedes Jondeau, who showed in the upper floor of the Karl Lagerfeld’s St Germain boutique done up like a boxing dressing room. He fought in the under-81-kilo category, but now weighs 84.


Photo: FashionNetwork.com/ Godfrey Deeny


Jondeau is best known as the right-hand man of Karl Lagerfeld, though with many monikers including chauffeur, guardian and frequent model in Chanel shows and videos. He has no training as a designer, so it would be easy to mock his claims to entering that profession. He has not even visited the factory where his capsule collection is made, though clearly was involved in its creation.
 
However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and this collection had plenty to recommend – well-cut, highly wearable and really rather plausible.


 

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