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Agnès b.

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THE agnès b. style

“When I was little I would read everything I could find about Versailles: Saint Simon’s Memoires, texts written by the curators. I dreamt of becoming a museum curator. And my grand-mother talked about the 18th century as if it were yesterday! This town gave me my Cartesian, logical, rigorous side, and at the same time my more whimsical, baroque facet.”

Since the very beginning, agnès b. has always designed clothes that never go out of fashion, compiling her own stylistic vocabulary from a combination of classic codes and street trends. The snap cardigan, overalls, dungarees, petticoat, striped t-shirt, perfecto, sweatshirt, pinafore dress… so many essential items that can be adapted to any style suit different generations. With the varied colour schemes, tone on tone, deep black, pinks that veer towards reds, motifs inspired by nature but also street art or references to period garments, the aestheticism of agnès b. is rich and diverse.

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the snaps cardigan

“A long time ago, I designed a cardigan for myself. I wanted a sweatshirt that opened at the front, with lots of press-studs to make it resemble an 18th century garment, an item of children’s clothing for adults or vice versa.”

artist's t-shirts and artist's series

“It’s a work of art and at the same time you live with it, sleep with it, it wears out and you love it all the more, you lose it, someone else finds it, it is passed round. Even if it is not a very valuable object in itself, you become attached to it because it bears a particular significance. It is a formidable medium for a work, ideas, a gag… to affirm oneself, too.”

the working clothes

“At the time, I found fashion too complicated. I wanted to start again from scratch, taking working clothes as a basis. I brought a new take on painters’ trousers, the waiter’s jacket, the builder’s dungarees…”

the striped t-shirts

In 1977 agnès b. met a rugby shirt manufacturer. These shirts are made in thick striped cotton cloth, and agnès b. had the idea of using them to make collarless tee-shirts, which she dyed to obtain special colours. This tee-shirt was one of her first successes, and features regularly in all her collections in various versions, with long or short sleeves and broad or narrow stripes.

the message t-shirts

agnès b. loves sprinkling messages over her tee-shirts: now, along with “b. wild”, “b. cool” and b. “happy” we find more unexpected phrases like “Nothing fools nobody”, “We’re going to Valparaiso”, “Rock’n roll is not dead” or occasional messages of solidarity, as for the tsunami of March 2011: “Long live so courageous Japan”. agnès b. also puts messages on the clothes in the children’s and “le petit b.b.” collections.

the photoprints

“It can be an image taken from the beaches of Brittany, of neon colors, of Tokyo, New York graffiti…” Passionate about photography, agnès b. decided to use clothes and style as a medium through which to show her pictures and images. Screen printed on a t-shirt, a skirt or a dress, the photo style underlines and punctuates every collection.

the prints

agnès b. makes use of an infinite pallet of prints. The most iconic – hearts, stripes, polkadots, flowers and gingham – are joined by leopard and paisley.

© Thierry Lefébure, 1988

the white shirt

We don’t speak about her white shirt but about her white shirts; They are an iconic part of the house. In cotton, in seersucker, with simple buttons, with snap buttons or just zipped, with or without sleeves, with pointed, Italian, round or officer neck, with lavaliere, frill or without, large or fitted, mannish style or just blouse style. Sometimes even printed… Definitely something for everyone!