Boys Exit Courrèges

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Parisian fashion houses don’t stop playing musical chairs. While Clare Waight Keller and Natasha Ramsay-Levi are presenting their debut collections at Givenchy and Chloé respectively this September, Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant exit Courrèges after just two years of creative direction. The couple was hired in 2015 by French advertising executives Jacques Bungert and Frédéric Torloting, who acquired Courrèges in 2011 from the brand’s namesake founder André Courrèges. Although Courrèges was the 20th century synonym of fashion modernism in Europe, the maison‘s name appears to be not as well-known as Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel or Balenciaga today. Actually, reviving Courrèges seemed to be complicated since the very beginnings. First, other old French brands like Paco Rabanne and Vionnet where being revitalised at approximately the same time, evidently with greater funds and patience. Second, Sébastien’s and Arnaud’s sophistication and desire to keep Courrèges a rather quiet, celebrity-free brand is hardly possible in today’s industry – unfortunately. And that’s quite a pity, as their collections intriguingly redefined Courrèges codes in a truly modern way – no big venues or fuss, but  pure focus on the clothing.

According to the official statement, François Le Ménahèze, who was named president of Courrèges in April 2017, will announce the brand’s new designer when the time comes. But what does the future hold for the extremely talented Meyer and Vaillant? It’s worth remembering that the duo set aside their well-received by editors and retailers label Coperni Femme to focus on Courrèges. Will they return to their roots? Or are they planning a new venture into another fashion house? For now, lets look back at the boys’ achievements at Courrèges.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Colette Closes its Doors

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Sometimes, innocent morning scrolling on Instagram hurts. My heart ached, while I was reading Colette’s latest post. Hoped it’s a late prima-aprilis kind-of-pun. But when all Parisians started posting the signature, blue dots, this became a fact – Colette closes its doors. The boutique on rue St. Honore was founded in 1997 by Colette Roussaux (who decided for retirement), and has been led by her daughter Sarah Andelman in recent years. “It’s the only shop where I go because they have things no one else has,”Karl Lagerfeld told BoF last year. “I buy watches, telephones, jewellery there — everything really! They have invented a formula that you can’t copy easily, because there is only one Colette and her and Sarah are 200 percent involved.

An era ends on the 20th of December. By that time, the most famous spot in Paris will reach its 20 years of ‘hype’ existence. When I visited Colette for the first time in 2007, it felt like a fashion mecca, where everything, BUT everything was (and still is) the ultimate holy grail. Colette became the example for all concept stores around the world to follow. The idea of having high-end brands like Dior together with streetwear favourites and niche books felt like out of this world, like total non-chalance. And it was the Colette’s founder who did that first. If you think of the number of collaborations Colette has done with all their brands – from sequin totes by Ashish to the current Balenciaga installation – its a chapter of fashion history on its own rights. As for now, the official statement of the store says: Until our last day, nothing will change. Colette will continue to renew itself each week with exclusive collaborations and offerings.

In other words, it’s another sad, sad day for the fashion industry.

 

All photos come from Design & Culture by Ed archives.

Celestial. Valentino AW17 Couture

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Whenever a priest wearing a soutane crosses the street, you can’t help but look at the way his garment flows and shapes in motion. Pierpaolo Piccioli, the creative director of Valentino, had a vision for his couture collection: to grasp the sense of holiness and striking simplicity behind canonical robes he observes everyday on the streets of Rome, and convey it in the most haute way. Floor-sweeping capes had a ceremonial aura about them, just like sharply cut coats. If you think ‘Vatican’, you think ‘ornamental’ – Piccioli’s take on sacred is a lot more modern, but equally celestial.

Valentino’s collection might be the couture season’s most intriguing line-up, and if you’re still not convinced, note the one-of-a-kind metal bags with enamel mosaic details made by Harumi Klossowska De Rola especially for this occasion. Each of the bags’ shape reassembles an animal’s head – put together, they symbolize the seven deadly sins. How ironic, thinking about the sources of fortunes of some of Valentino’s richest clients…

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Witchy. Rodarte SS18

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Americans in Paris – I love seeing them here. Proenza Schouler‘s spring-summer 2018 was already a very good sign. The same day, Mulleavy sistersRodarte line-up was a feast for the eye in pure form. The show was staged in a Parisian cloister with a garden patio, where the models strolled around in witchy dresses and badass leather gears. All those ethereal and rebellious elements of a Rodarte woman symbolised Kate and Laura’s romantic sensibility with a sophisticated vision of femininity.

Throughout the seasons in New York, Rodarte reflected on womanhood in various ways, from skate girls to punk princesses. Spring-summer 2018 was “the most Rodarte collection” the sisters created, where they mixed all of their magical ingredients into one delightful potion. Like fairies, the models had baby’s-breath tiaras on their heads or carried huge bird of paradise bouquets. Some wore scarlet red gowns, some pastel pink ball-dresses, but all oozed with a carefree, A Midsummer Night’s Dream sweetness. There were the leather pieces, too, which are Rodarte’s signatures – this season ornamented with metallic bows. I guess the Mulleavy girls deserve a loud ‘bienvenue’, just like the Proenza Schouler boys do.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki (backdrop: stills and elements from ‘The Love Witch’ film from 2016).