Envers - fall/winter 2002

The elusive Tunisian winter, the unpredictable demands of desert travel, unmasked but complex masculine emotion, remnants of the Byzantine era lost in sand underfoot. Once again taking us into uncharted territory, Yves-Jean Lacasse spins world histories with his own fashion-architecture studies in the Envers Fall/Winter 2002-03 collection.

A sabbatical in North Africa has spawned a collection of new introductions.

“Mixing motifs is an important feature in the collection. To present the square European print with desert stripes,” says Lacasse.

The cultural exchange is palpable, with 19th century Britannia plaid suits in North African silhouettes and rich sand hues. Opulent purple, silver and gold lamé striped chiffon gowns scream an exotic, even sexual joie de vivre. A midnight black version has a back flap resting just above the buttocks. A cadmium ribbed sweater made with chaotic superposition techniques compliments other nuances of the male body. The classic Envers look can also be found in the smoke-blue full-length wool coat with slit pagoda sleeves and cross-strapped back fastening. A forest green jacket with sarongs and pinning across the body is one of the few demure pieces of the collection. A utilitarian aspect is coming out of the Envers design house, with the differentiation between jacket and shirt blurring a little more every season.

“In Tunisian culture, relatives of the dead don’t keep pictures of them, they keep objects. The men wear the belts worn by their friends who’ve died.”

These belts are key players in the Envers repertoire, not just for Fall/Winter 2002-03 but also in past collections.

With strong overseas sales and exposure (particularly in Belgium) and a developing, local cult following, Envers presents a new way of thinking about design that is here to stay. Lacasse makes his fashion personal and it is to this that he owes his success.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer