Vionnet

July 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

If Hussein Chalayan has one thing to prove to the world at this point in a career that has helped define fashion’s outer limits, it’s that he can do glamour. For his new Demi-Couture collection for Vionnet, the models had starlet hair, swept to one side. And they were wearing red-carpet dresses from start to finish. It looked like something new for Chalayan, yet at its heart was his same old fascination with the attraction of opposites.

Start with stillness and movement. One dress was a lacy white number with eruptions of red pleating. There were other dresses in which the pleats were exaggerated with fountains of fringing. A simple strapless bias-cut silk sheath toted a swatch of fabric like a wrung-out towel. That was the kind of strangely sensual flourish that distinguishes Chalayan’s own collections.

Chalayan is a fiercely technical designer. Here, for instance, there were a handful of gowns with a three-dimensional spine curving down the leg or over the shoulder. It was so weird that it shouldn’t have worked. But it did, because everything was in the same fabric. The bias swags of contrasting fabrics were less successful. But at least Chalayan never rests. And, with the best will in the world, you could imagine Madeleine Vionnet recognizing herself in the work he is doing.
—Tim Blanks
Runway Feed

Vionnet

July 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Goga Ashkenazi has been at the helm of Vionnet since the middle of last year. She had no formal design training before she presented her first ready-to-wear collection for Spring 2013. But lack of experience has done nothing to dampen her ambition.

Maybe she’s feeling emboldened by the red-carpet coup she landed at Cannes; Carey Mulligan wore the black and white finale number from the Fall Vionnet collection to the Inside Llewyn Davis premiere. Today, Ashkenazi presented what she’s calling a new demi-couture collection for the label. “We figured out how to make the dresses more affordable but use the same couture techniques,” she said. Through eliminating “the endless fittings” and selling by size with a single fitting at the end, Goga and co. have shaved one of the zeros off the end of current couture prices; the pieces will go from $ 10,000 to $ 30,000, rather than the hundreds of thousands of dollars that true made-to-measure creations can sell for at other houses.

That’s good news for customers, but there was a wrinkle with the new launch. A shipping snafu forced the team to remake ten of the eleven dresses in the collection in forty-eight hours. (The presentation was originally scheduled for yesterday.) Four other designs couldn’t be produced in the short time period because they weren’t able to source the fabrics. The fact that Ashkenazi made it happen at all is further testament to her ambition, and deep pockets.

With the exception of a lace bodysuit embellished with dripped resin that looked remarkably like encrustations of tiny seed beads, these were event dresses. From understated to less so: a red plissé gown with black tube beads embroidered at the waist and in piles at the shoulders, a green hourglass column with a built-in cape and feathers stitched into the shape of a dragon on the bodice, and a tent dress with sheer gazar insets and matte sequin embroideries meant to mimic the spines on a dragon’s back. A bit much, that one. The best of the bunch came in nude silk and a draped emerald green laminated matte satin with a papery hand. Its skirt was in dégradé plissé, but it nonetheless caught some of the cool minimalism of Mulligan’s Cannes number.
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed

Vionnet

March 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Goga Ashkenazi has made headway at Vionnet since her debut effort last season. She threw a well-attended party in Milan last month to celebrate her acquisition of a cache of Thayaht illustrations of Madeleine Vionnet designs. More importantly, the collection she presented today was more runway worthy than what she did back in September. The thunder-and-lightning opening was corny and the Ancient Greece set, complete with metal columns, overdone, but those are beginner’s mistakes, easily corrected next season. The clothes demonstrated a keen attention to our fashion times. Pants were cut high on the waist, roomy through the thighs, and above the ankle, in keeping with current trends, and she put the emphasis on strong shoulders. Hers are squared, not rounded like most of the others we’ve seen. Vionnet was famous as a dressmaker first and foremost, and there were some pretty numbers here that demonstrated a familiarity with the house’s codes, most notably a long, softly draped black dress with a keyhole bodice and a high slit up one side.

Ashkenazi’s slipup came with fur. It’s just hard to get astrakhan, fox, and other skins to do the kind of draping that silk does. For the time being, it might make sense for her to narrow her scope and pay close attention to the little things. One model carried a handbag all the way around the runway with its paper stuffing about to spill out.
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed