The tuxedo for women by Pallas
Numéro caught up with Véronique and Daniel Pallas, the Parisian duo who have reconsidered women’s wear by drawing inspiration from the tuxedo.
From their workshops in the 9th arrondissement in Paris, Daniel and Véronique Pallas propose seasonal collections based on tuxedos for women. A masculine/feminine vision anchored in an established savoir-faire developed since the 1960s and inherited from bespoke suits for men. Timeless and yet very much imbued with fashion bias, the spring-summer 2017 collection demonstrates once again the absolute relevance of this Parisian double act. An encounter…
Numéro: Since 2012 you’ve been creating collections based on the tuxedo. How do you renew this concept season after season?
Daniel Pallas: Right from the start we offered a range of cuts, but also pieces that are very adapted to daywear, tuxedo-dresses, pantsuits… Then we’ve been evolving the tuxedo while remaining faithful to its details. We worked on the cut and developed asymmetries. We’ve changed the collars, added contrasting piping, played with the stripes on the trousers, which this season are so wide we’ve ended up with a tricolour garment.
It’s vital that we expand our vocabulary without changing our foundations. In particular we needed the shirts and knitwear to be as well conceived as our tuxedos.
Ever since your winter 2015 collection with its 1970s disco edge, you’ve been developing a wider wardrobe including lightweight knits to be worn under the jackets, as well as shirts
Daniel Pallas: It’s vital that we expand our vocabulary without changing our foundations. In particular we needed the shirts and knitwear to be as well conceived as our tuxedos, and now they are. This season we created a lamé blouse with the fluidity of liquid mercury, but stayed focused on the tuxedo itself by offering less pieces for day. The subtlety comes in the colours: mocha and a blue, a shade we found in the archives of my father, a menswear tailor whose workshops I took over.
It turns out that even Beyoncé wore one of our suits to a film premiere! A design with tennis stripes to match one of Jay-Z’s suits.
Since you began there’s been a group of “Pallas women” who you work with and who play an important role in your collections. Who are they?
Daniel Pallas: They’re people who’ve been loyal to us since the beginning, models and stylists. These women are more than just muses; they’re close friends of the house. Around Allegria Torrassa and Nikki Pauls of the Cicciolina collective, there’s a whole gang of girls who embody the Pallas attitude.
Véronique Pallas: In our lookbook for spring-summer 2017 the models we chose to work with embody the various ways our clothes can be appropriated. Tammy Glauser brings an extreme modernity, while with Anna Maria Ciovota its pure elegance.
Daniel Pallas: It turns out that even Beyoncé wore one of our suits to a film premiere! A design with tennis stripes to match one of Jay-Z’s suits. We were thrilled because she’d translated our philosophy perfectly: the masculine adapted to the feminine.
The women who follow us all have very strong personalities, a sharp sense of style
Would you say that Pallas attracts a certain type of character?
Daniel Pallas: The women who follow us all have very strong personalities, a sharp sense of style and a perfect understanding of what suits them. Aymeline Valade for example is a friend of the house. We’re very connected to her through friendship, there’s a strong feeling there
Véronique Pallas: We recently met Tilda Swinton who ordered a jacket from us with a scarf collar and cigarette trousers.
Daniel Pallas: These women don’t share an attitude so much as a sense of confidence and conviction in their taste. We hope to continue evolving with them for a long time.
Interview by Delphine Roche