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Interview: Alexandre Vauthier, haute couture differently

 

In this fall-winter 2016 season, the designer at the head of this independent house that keeps on growing, once again stunned the public with the sheer joy of his work. An encounter...

Portrait: Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

 

In this fall-winter 2016 season, the designer at the head of this independent house that just keeps on growing, once again stunned the public with the sheer joy of his work: rethinking the vocabulary of Parisian haute couture, celebrating his unique savoir-faire and applying it intelligently to the themes and styles of a contemporary wardrobe. Satin tuxedo belts and others in leather, knotted, extra-long all structure the silhouettes like games of building blocks. His tailoring expertise comes into play with tuxedo dresses, sophisticated jumpsuits and spencer jackets. Dressmaking (flou) is almost ironic with the featherweight transparent dresses that reveal the body more than drape it. A military theme is developed through safari jackets, shirt dresses trimmed with button tabs and crystallised camouflage print cargo prints. Crystals, feathers, sequins, every haute couture ruffle is radically played down. The result: a perfectly contemporary haute couture. And yet the bombastic silhouettes with their joyful mix will undoubtedly be snapped up by Rihanna, a devotee of Alexandre Vauthier since his beginnings. An encounter with the designer… 

The Alexandre Vauthier fall-winter 2016-2017 haute couture show

 

Numéro: Bella Hadid, Jourdan Dunn and Cindy Bruna all walked for you this season…

Alexandre Vauthier: I'm so thrilled these girls, who are dreams come true, were happy to be there. They want to take part in the show and to wear my clothes. I think they're very excited by the energy of the show, but also by what they can express here through the clothes. I really try to balance my line up of girls because it's very important to me to represent a varied slice of femininity. I want to mix up different physical genres, the sensuality of Bella Hadid and the elegance of Guinevere. 

 

The Alexandre Vauthier fall-winter 2016-2017 haute couture show.

 

You presented very voluminous floor-skimming dresses in taffeta for the first time...

It's true that's a new thing. I'd never done that kind of dress before. I've always been fascinated by 1950s haute couture, but never wanted to include it in my collections because I didn't think it was of the moment. But this time mixed with the rest of the collection, it was the right thing to do. We started from volumes based on the work of Charles James [an Anglo-American couturier from the 30s to 50s renowned for his sculptural volumes] that we re-appropriated, adding safari jackets and creating hybrids with fishnet to modernise them.

 

Photo: Mehdi Mendas.

 

Tailoring has always been part of your world; here it’s even more important.

Tailoring expertise is one of my true passions. This time, once again, we really worked on the cut, and developed it here as jumpsuits and evening dresses.

 

Did you have those extraordinary crystal covered fishnet tights made especially for the event?

Absolutely, they were hand-embroidered. We even did a whole bodysuit based on that design.

 

Interview by Delphine Roche

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