by Stephen Garner

Palmiers du Mal makes its return to the market for spring 2020 with a brand-new collection of rakish Riviera-wear inspired by the artists and casual debauchery of the Cote d’Azure. The collection, dubbed The Fauvist’s Cabana, explores the use of unexpected colors, patterns and shapes manifested in leisurely layers and a fluid gender dynamic embodying a utopian Mediterranean existence.

The Fauvist’s Cabana is filled with pool, sea, and easel-side delights. A full-length button-down caftan references a painting smock, while North African wraps in two new shapes allow for a multitude of layering possibilities to accommodate a Mediterranean climate from dusk to dawn and beyond. Created from entirely Japanese textiles, the collection brings back the signature Palmiers du Mal double-tie noragi and Italian smoking jacket, now produced in double-faced velour in the feverishly saturated colors of the Roman coast.

For the first time Palmiers du Mal introduces short pants, from the tidy mid-thigh version to the more voluminous long short. A practical cardigan, also rendered in velour and velvet, provides a base for a playful, lascivious skirt, complete with button-fly access. The sensuous hand of the fabric belies the opulence of the Palmiers du Mal playboy, the licentious persona around whose travels the collection percolates. Finishing off the layered looks is a lightweight, deconstructed cotton double-breasted blazer – a casual realization of the Riviera staple, ideal for throwing on at a moment’s notice when the sultry mood or the late-night fête demands.

“We’ve been pushing a decidedly louche aesthetic since the inception of Palmiers du Mal,” said Shane Fonner, creative director. “Spring 2020 maintains that sensibility but in a softer, more romantic and considered manner. There’s a flagrant optimism actualized through the flowing proportions, drape and vibrant colors, as well as pieces that recall an artist’s atelier on the Riviera.”

The latest Palmiers du Mal offering showcases a continued evolution of a hyper-romanticized paradise of mind. “The Fauvist’s Cabana is resort wear meant to be worn while indulging one’s most decadent desires with regard for neither repercussion nor judgment; the sartorial realization of a consequence-free environment,” maintained Fonner, as the brand edges towards the opening of the first in a series of hotel and guest house projects. “There’s a palpable languor in this collection, some of which is derived from our new Los Angeles studio and travel to the Balearics this spring. I’m eager to dive more deeply into an immersive lifestyle experience and hospitality project framed by the Palmiers du Mal construct – a real physical iteration of the brand.”

The gender-agnostic collection continues to use universal shapes, reinforcing the exotic fetishism that defines the shameless romanticism of the Palmiers du Mal brand. And Fonner adds that the brand’s production has been moved to Los Angeles, which allows them better control of production and to keep costs at a manageable level. The new spring 2020 collection retails between $275 and $1,495.

This collection, the sixth from the brand, is now being presented by appointment only in New York.