When Ines de la Fressange came out with her first collection for Uniqlo in the spring of 2014, I went nuts. It was my first time to really love a designer collaboration. While most people lined up for high street collabs with couture and luxury brands, I raved about the basics that IDLFxUniqlo came out with. It was all about easy-to-wear basics with that Parisian je ne sais quoi that Ines embodies. Lots of boyish shirts, shrunken blazers, slim trousers, longer shirt dresses with a 1940’s silhouette (lawn dresses). I was able to throw the pieces together without giving it much thought. It was very Parisian Chic, her guidebook to French effortless style.
Every season since then, Ines came out with Uniqlo pieces and I continued to shop. Admittedly I preferred the spring-summer items over the fall-winter lines, simply because of the fabric used and the fact that I live in the tropics. I’m all about cotton and linen, and Uniqlo uses both fabrics so well.
This season Ines’ latest collaboration with Uniqlo does not disappoint. It showed three themes — voyage, uniform, and sport.
My favourite of the three themes is Voyage. I’ve been doing a lot of travelling the past couple of years. IDLFxUniqlo has been part of my staple wardrobe. This season, they use a lot of “French Linen,” which is a premium type of linen made from natural and high quality linens produced in northwestern France and Belgium. The fabric is extremely breathable, has outstanding water-absorbing properties. The fabric does not stick to your skin and is nice and dry to the touch.
My 13-year-old daughter, Sophia, took the next two photos of me in our garage. I’m wearing my favourite pieces from the Voyage theme — the heavy linen jacket and the linen relaxed trousers — which were sent to me by Uniqlo. I’m wearing them with Robert Clergerie loafers. The jacket has this crisp, refreshing feel of linen material. The large flap pockets and safari-style design complement the natural texture of linen. This jacket is heavier than the other linen jackets and tops. It would be perfect for spring days in Toronto or Hong Kong. But it’s too hot to wear in the Philippines, unless you’re guaranteed to stay inside an air-conditioned room all day. I got it anyway because it is one of those timeless pieces that I know I will wear for many years. The pants, as the name suggests, is very relaxed. It features an elastic waist with a drawstring cut loose in the hips and narrow towards the cuffs. I have these pants from an earlier season, and they were my travel uniform!
My favourite pieces from the current collection — and I only have one out of the three. Very sad. I have the 3/4 sleeve striped dress. It runs a bit short, so I wear them with shorts underneath. The slub long sleeve dress is the perfect anything dress with lots of pocket. I wish I had bought this. My biggest regret, not buying this wool blend navy blazer. It is structured and perfect for more serious occasions but also good for layering while traveling. It’s so elegant. Sadly, it’s sold out in the Philippines.
I also stocked up on these. A cotton ribbed blouson jacket, perfect light jacket for spring. Or all year round if you’re in Manila. And this shirt is pure love. The ruffled neck and cuffs – such a great detail in what otherwise would look like a very masculine basic shirt. And look how it flares out in the bottom.
I’ve been really pleased with all my IDLF pieces. This was her fifth collection. I hope it never ends. Though Uniqlo seems to be churning out more interesting collaborations. I’m just glad I got some very good pieces that will stay in my closet for a long time. Here are moments in the past when I wore IDLFxUniqlo pieces…
A throwback to IDLFxUniqlo’s first collaboration from March 2014. This lawn dress is still with me. I love the vintage silhouette. And I’m a fan of shirt dresses. I’m not a fan of wearing prints though, but this one has a graphic quality despite all the flowers. This makes the cut for me.
Also from the 2014 spring-summer line, this casual cotton “suit”. I dressed it up a bit with my Jewelmer strand when I wore it back when I hosted the Salon Talks during Cebu Design Week in 2014. This is still the suit that I bring when I am traveling in case I need a serious outfit. It is light weight and unlined. I also love wearing these separately.
From the 2015 spring-summer collection, another shirt dress cut loose in French linen. This is me in the fall of 2015 in the French countryside, when I chaperoned my daughter at camp in Gerardmer. This dress never makes it to the back of my closet. I always wear this when I need to rush out of the house, like say to pick up my kids at school or run to the grocery. In this photo I’m wearing the dress with staple, the Birkenstock Gizeh in black patent leather.
And here’s something crazy real. My sister and I at the Port Credit playground in Toronto last 2015 summer. Those pants are also IDLFxUniqlo. It’s in cotton-linen with a thin pinstripe. I can wear these with clogs and wedges, but I also love wearing them with slip ons. The socks bit isn’t too chic, but with five small kids around us, my sister and I didn’t really care. This was taken one morning before I even took a shower. Haha. Note that most, if not all, IDLFxUniqlo trousers are cut low on the hip. It’s not a problem for me, but may be an issue for taller people. Best to try them on.