On the night of Wednesday September 6th, I went home after school to put on My Jean Paul Gaultier inspired outfit that combined my old edginess with the chic style that I learned from the Parisians. I started with a sexy blue V-neck shirt and a pair of black slacks. I then dressed it up with a studded belt and pinned striped vest from Hot Topic. I then completed the outfit with a necklace with a “Celtic Heart” on the end, shoes from Zara, and a beret. As a man, it is usually only socially acceptable for me to wear “safe” outfits. I decided to take the opportunity of Fashion’s Night Out to express myself a little bit more than usuam through clothing, which in my opinion is what Fashion’s Night Out should stand for. That is why I was left slightly disappointed that night. Continue reading →
Recently I was let out of work early to go spend the rest of the day at the Saut Hermès! It was a glorious sunny day in Paris in the middle of March, and life felt like a million dollars. I walked from work to the Grand Palais where the 3 day jumping contest event was being held for the 3rd consecutive year. I love this building that was built for the World exposition of 1900 with a glass and steel ceiling, it has a yesteryear yet modern style that I never get tired of and reminds me of the Crystal Palace of London built for the World exposition of 1851. Continue reading →
Fashion, Future, Fournié: Paris Couture Spring 2012
Fashion is ever changing, and Haute Couture is “the best laboratory [to experiment in] for fashion design”. Parisian designer, Julien Fournié, chose to enter the world of custom fitted garments not only because of the tradition of couture lying in Paris’ history, but also because of its role in the changes of fashion and his strong belief in its future. On January 24, 2012, Fournié presented his Spring-Summer 2012 couture collection, Première Extase, at the Showcase as a membre invité by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.
Me with Quinn of Quinntessential Style front row at Julien Fournié
This young designer is fashion-forward, maybe even ahead of our time. While working on his collection, he collaborated with Fashion Lab, created by Dassault Systèmes, a technology incubator which enables the collection design process to transform its 2D aspects into 3D, allowing the exploration of line within the designs. “Thanks to an original online digital library, [designers can] investigate materials to visualize, study, improve a virtual prototype before they make the real-life… piece, accelerating and enhancing thus [the] creative process before they get to work on the real-life mannequin”. With such advances in the design process, “codes of Haute Couture are being redefined for generations to come”. Considering the ‘trickle down theory’ of fashion, eventually standardized sizing may not be necessary, made-to-measure garments could be more readily available at lower costs.
His collaboration with Fashion Lab is a reflection of his belief in the future of fashion and how “this field of excellence will develop” especially if it continues to include future technological improvements. Fournié and Fashion Lab worked on reproducing fabrics’ would-be reactions, using digital tools. A few kinks need to be worked out though in regards to the custom fit of the garments, which became apparent with the tugging of several hemlines.
All in all, the end result of this technological partnership birthed a line of youthful, vibrant, tropical looks from the ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ 2.0. To the soundtrack of a thunderstorm, Fournié’s ethereal beings guided us through a rainforest. Some dresses resembled hibiscus flowers with pleated, undulating yellow and pink floral structures blooming from the shoulder and wrapping around the body. Others sprouted plastic fringe that reinforced the rainstorm soundtrack with every swish of the hip.
Julien Fournié at the Showcase (Images by Quinntessential Style)
It’s nice when young designers who don’t have the backing to start on their own, can find a venu where they have the chance to launch perhaps themselves into a career or at least get recognized in public. Designers can further their careers by getting their MFA degree. This competition is an annual contest, Podium Jeunes Stylistes, and in it’s third year. It is a leg up for these kinds of designers and serves the very purpose of helping them get recognition.
The cotestants are given a theme : this year was “Schizophrenia”; a material : silk crêpe this year; and a limited amout of time : 100 days. They are required to create two couture pieces and one prête-à-porter piece. They are judged only on the couture pieces. The winner recieves the opportunity to have training at ESCP Europe for Paris Factory Mode & Design as well as having their winning creations put on display at the Apparel Sourcing Paris trade show Feb. 13th-16th. Presiding the jury was Monsieur Christophe Josse himself and at his side as the honorary president of the jury was Monsieur Michael Scherpe.
I was thrilled to be invited to this event, because I am always intrigued and excited to see young fashion as it emerges. I think that some of the rawest creativity comes out when designers are young, and it is important to allow that side of the fashion world to breathe. These are designs that are not yet deluded by demands of the markets and number crunchers who want to sell, sell, sell… These are artists allowing their creativity to run wild in their truest expression of themselves and their ideas! It’s young and fresh and full of hopes and dreams.
Podium Jeunes Styliste 2012 : Photo by Romain Nicolas
See all the designs from the 15 finalists at the show in Paris at the Westin hotel February 8th. Photos by Romain Nicolas.
Left : Lou De Testa / Right : Paul May
Lou De testa (Contest Winner)
Check out our quick pre-show video of her explaining her designs, which are focusing on the contrast between confinement and aggressivity. She shows this in the difference between sharp metallic embellishments versus soft feathery embellishments, or the clothing columes and color contrasts. Lou is 24 years old and full of energy! She has already won other fashion design awards and has worked at Vogue USA and Alexander Wang. She has created her own brand two years ago.
Lou De Testa : photo by Romain Nicolas
Lou De Testa : Photo by Romain Nicolas
Lou De Testa : Photo by Romain Nicolas
Paul May (Honorary Jury Prize)
We were especially impressed by his craftmanship and so was the jury as they decided on their own accord to award this young man with an honorary mention, that was so deserved. It should be mentioned that Paul May was the only contestant to create designs for men for this contest.
I saw many people writing posts at the end of December with a retrospective on the new year to come. I didn’t want to spend too much energy reminiscing on the past year here on my blog, since I already did a retrospective for my 2 year blog birthday in October, and well, I would rather look forward to 2012. Not that 2011 was a bad year! Au contraire!!! It was an amazing year! I changed jobs and Chéri asked me to marry him!!! Those two events topped the best-of list for my life in 2011.
But 2012, I know, will be a profound year. And I want to leave all doors and windows open for all the possibilities that might let them selves in. My most anticipated event for this year is my marriage to the love of my life next June. Beyond that, the sky is the limit!
So in honor of my hopes and dreams and all things me for this years’ possibilities, I thought it would be best described in a collage of photos and images compiled to set the mood….
I hope your new year is looking as bright as mine is. Cheers and wonderful things to you all!