There’s only one place in Paris where you can stand over a pool of koi and under a glittering disco ball. Dragons Elysées is a Chinese restaurant that delights in kitsch—and can hold, as a nighttime The Elder Statesman presentation proved, a surprising number of revelers. Even in the brand’s thick knits on a humid Parisian day, the guests didn’t have a lick of sweat beading. Just one way Bailey Hunter, the creative director, is innovating at the Los Angeles-based label.
The other way is that she is bringing the vibes back to one of fashion’s vibiest brands. Throughout the pandemic, founder Greg Chait took immense pride in the way The Elder Statesman was innovating and bringing most of its operations in-house. A new yarn-spinning technique, he said his Paris event, would take at least a week to understand, and he extended an invite out to L.A. to see the brand’s technical prowess in progress. But for all the ways the label reimagines its lightweight wovens, its groovy patterned knits, and its hand-done embroidery, crocheting, and dyeing, the special sauce of TES is its mood. That radiated during this crowded Parisian show. Chait and Hunter should stick with the idea and bring their party-presentations to more locations around the globe.