For the two designers of the new clothing line Baron Baronne, choosing whether to dress women or men seems to have been no easy taskâ€”at times, it looks like they couldn't decide at all. The label, which means Baron Baroness in French, presses itself against the edge of womenswear, taking up the hazy space between the two nouns in its name. "I've always admired a man's cloakroom, a man's suit," says Sibylle Genin, one half of the twosome. "The masculine forms of the suit can really enrich the look of a lady."
Genin and her co-conspirator Lambert Perera CortÃ¨s met while studying at the Ã‰cole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. "I came from Barcelona," explains CortÃ¨s, "which is a city with such inspiring architecture. There is so much innovation, while at the same time, respect for tradition." Genin, meanwhile, grew up in Grasse, surrounded by "that French chic that has a touch of sobriety." After her stint at Felipe Oliveira Baptista and his at Lanvin, they combined their sensibilities, launching Baron Baronne last year. When Genin and CortÃ¨s do supply outright femininity, they do so in tempered doses. Tulip-shaped skirts are delivered amid a rack of schoolboy-uniform-like walk shorts. A dress rendered in lush blue silk fastens in the back like a double-breasted blazer. With all this, as CortÃ¨s calls it, distortion and destruction of classical dress codes, will Baron Baronne ever make men's clothing for men? "Men can wear our designs," he says. "We don't want to divide into two collections at this point, but maybe someday we will." For now, though, we'll tag this article "womenswear."