One of Delvaux’s premier silhouettes is entrusted to Parisian designer JEANCOLONNA, a master of sly subversion, elegance and wit.
Exceptional design trains and retrains the eye with constant consideration and contextualization of materials, proportion and the calculus of an exacting point of view. With that in mind, Delvaux has sought the collaboration of JEANCOLONNA to challenge one of la Maison’s most emblematic designs with his deft irreverence. The result is the L’XXL.
An icon of Delvaux’s collection since 1958, the Brillant is a continual subject of reinvention, its proportion and construction a source of playful surprise. Its newest iteration, the L’XXL, reflects the incomparable, subtly unorthodox instincts of JEANCOLONNA, whose iconoclastic collections of the 1990s pioneered and predicted today’s inclusive, fluid cultural movement by three decades.
JEANCOLONNA’s treatment of the Brillant, newly oversized and deconstructed in camouflage Dream Calf leather, is rooted in deep respect for Delvaux’s canon of craftsmanship, luxury and refinement. His innate understanding of the world of Delvaux and design allows him to upend perceptions, tweaking conventional notions of taste and status with a sophisticated sleight of hand.
JEANCOLONNA simultaneously confronts, challenges and honours the codes of Delvaux by playing the extraordinary against the ordinary for a sublime tension. For the first time, Delvaux fuses camouflage, a motif that has punk, street and utilitarian connotations, with its exquisite Dream Calf leather. Combined with L’XXL’s amplified proportion and raw edges, the new silhouette has an attitude of spontaneous nonchalance. Impossible to confine to a gender binary, day or night, it defies classification and expands ideas of decorum. The L’XXL is noble without being precious.
It is precisely this rare alchemy of savoir-faire and impudence for which JEANCOLONNA is known. His work in the 90s was a clever indictment of good taste and staid bourgeois ideals, flouted and redefined with his creative cohort, including Glen Luchford, Bettina Rheims, Nan Goldin and Camille Bidault Waddington. JEANCOLONNA’s language of cultivated transgression is anchored in an integrity of design shared by Delvaux.
The L’XXL transcends gender and all preconceived notions of identity and occasion: it is a bag for endless purpose and possibility.
“Fashion is more than just a story about pants and skirts, it’s a phenomenon.”
Born to French parents in Algeria in 1955, JEANCOLONNA set out in 1975 to study medicine in Marseille, but found himself so drawn to the world of fashion design that he dropped out and took up a degree at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture just one year later.
JEANCOLONNA began his career by joining Pierre Balmain’s atelier in 1977. By 1990 he had founded his eponymous label, JEANCOLONNA, proposing a new uniform and language of expression for a generation no longer confined by the rules of yesteryear. Understated, minimal, androgynous and nonchalant, the collection was an instant success. Exposed seems, frayed edges, unexpected materials and strategic slashes are among the brand’s most recognisable codes. His runway shows were radically short and resolutely modern. Gender, age and size norms were subverted, creating a thoroughly inclusive ethos that shook the Paris fashion establishment to its core.
JEANCOLONNA worked closely with several of the era’s most celebrated iconoclasts. Kate Moss walked her first runway show for Jean. Photographers Bettina Rheims, Glen Luchford, Nan Goldin and Jeff Burton shot his look books, musicians Alain Bashung, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Joey Starr were his muses. Each collaborator shared his desire for breaking barriers and societal norms.
For Fall-Winter 2023, JEANCOLONNA collaborated with Delvaux to create the L’XXL, a soft and supple and remarkably oversized evolution of la Maison’s signature style, le Brillant. The L’XXL has no gender, and does not close. The encounter between the Belgian Maison and the French designer might seem accidental. On the contrary, this collaboration is a coming-together of two uncompromising yet corresponding visions, both possessing a strong desire for reinvention, while preserving each party’s total integrity.