For Vanessa Seward & A.P.C., Third Time’s The Charm

A.P.C. is no stranger to collaboration. The cult Parisian label, led by creative director Jean Touitou, has joined forces with an  unpredictable cast of characters from disparate places within the sartorial zeitgeist, including Carhartt, biannual interiors publication Apartamento, Nike, and of course, Kanye West, whose eight-piece collection of streamlined basics sold out within hours last week.

But for those looking for A.P.C.’s take on urbane, no-fuss femininity, no combination has been quite as fruitful as that with Vanessa Seward, now maturing into its third season. “Each season we try to work on new ideas while keeping the identity of the collection,” Seward says.  “It’s a challenge for me, as A.P.C. has the rare ability to create simple but perfectly proportioned designs, which are very carefully edited from the start.”

Seward designed for Azzaro for nearly a decade and once worked as an assistant to Karl Lagerfeld. For fall, she balances an understated ’70s glamour (evidenced in a campaign lensed by Self Service‘s Ezra Petronio) with Puritan shapes in utilitarian textures, such as corduroy, and cut-outs accented with lace. Anchored in beiges, blacks, golds, and reptile-textured lamé couture fabric, the capsule also marks Seward’s first foray into knitwear with A.P.C., a series of merino pieces embellished with grosgrain ribbon.

The collection also welcomes Seward’s second original print, created in collaboration with artist Jason Glasser and inspired in part by Celia Birtwell and the archives of Swiss textile giant Abraham. “I admire Jason’s work a lot, so I was really happy when he accepted to work on this project with me,” Seward explains. “I showed him the beginning of my research on the collection and examples of prints I liked, and he came back with this print, which I fell in love with immediately. Titled “Wave Woman,” the print abstracts the image of a reclining nude, her red hair falling over her shoulders, with that of an undulating ocean wave.