When we design collections, we like to imagine the men and women who will wear particular styles. These imaginary people become such vivid reference points for us that it’s become nearly impossible for me to look at a style without assigning it some form of personality. This is especially true for the Garrett Leight and Clare V. collaboration, which always reminds me of the type of women I find interesting and like to write about – those self-possessed creatures at the intersection of Parisian chic and California cool, whose defining quality is their freedom. Women like Rougir, Noix and Éclat, the three latest love babies of the GLCO x Clare V. collab.
Rougir once invited me to an art show in Chinatown, which turned out to be a performance piece involving a paint-filled Super Soaker. I left covered in green paint, vowing never to accept an invitation from that woman again. Despite the rough start to our friendship, Rougir has become a creative confidante and my go-to source for gallery openings and shows around the city. I always see her motoring down Sunset Boulevard in her bright pink helmet, covered in stickers with Waters and Warhol quotes. You can always tell which creatives are doing cool shit by paying attention to the different places her technicolor Vespa is parked: Ooga Booga on Tuesday, Wacky Wacko on Wednesday, The Shed on Thursday. On weekends, you can usually find her bouncing between Chinatown galleries, except for the first Friday of each month, when she’s dancing as her alter-ego at A Club Called Rhonda. I’m never quite sure where Rougir lives — although my bet is on the Eastside, always at the Echoplex — but I quickly learned that even my wildest theories on Rougir pale in comparison to the neon tapestry of her reality.
When I first met Noix, I was so nervous around her that I could barely meet her eyes. She’s one of those French women who seems so French — with her messy bangs, dark-lashed eyes and Birkin swagger — that you couldn’t possibly imagine having anything in common with her. This all evaporates, of course, with her easy laugh and bookish curiosity, her love of all things literature and film. One of my favorite places in this entire city is her home, a Larchmont Village guest house filled with dusty vinyl, first-edition books, and her cats Barthes and Cixous. Weeknights, you’ll likely find her sipping a Bordeaux at Pour Vous and on Fridays, you might see her in line at the New Beverly for the latest 35mm. Of all the Clare V. women, Noix is the most Parisian and I can always hear her homesickness when she plays her old Gainsbourg 45s. But when she pulls on her sunglasses and lets the California sun warm her skin, this Parisian implant has never looked more at home.
Éclat’s day doesn’t begin until around dusk. When she emerges into the night, smudged eyeliner and fur capelet in tow, her first stop is Bar Marmont, where she sips a Negroni and chats with the other Chateau regulars. There are two truths you need to accept to keep up with Éclat: one more (of anything) is always a good idea, and only losers take things personally. Éclat is the friend you’re always trying to catch up with, but since her popularity makes it difficult to keep her in your grasp, it’s best to resign yourself to the occasional run-in. Case in point: Last week I thought I saw her outside of Dirty Laundry, smoking her Gauloises. Excited to have caught her out, I began to dodge through the crowd, but a Father John Misty-lookalike beat me to her, and she disappeared from my sight as quickly as she had come.