Fashion, Know how 3 avril 2013

Karuna Balloo, horticultrice textile

Karuna Balloo réalise des fleurs abstraites, élaborées grâce à l’origami, une technique japonaise de plissé.

Karuna Balloo

Des fleurs contemporaines aux pétales triangulaires, superposés, agrémentés de pistils. Des fleurs inédites qui rappellent parfois le volume d’un dahlia ou d’un camélia... Karuna était prédestinée à devenir horticultrice textile. Lors des festivités sur l’île Maurice, où elle est née, elle a toujours vu sa mère avec une fleur dans sa longue chevelure noire. Réminiscence d’une tradition indienne, que les femmes de la famille n’ont jamais abandonnée... « Mon père, lui, était jardinier », précise-t-elle. Très jeune, elle prend conscience qu’une fleur dans les cheveux adoucit le regard des gens. Elle en fait donc son signe de reconnaissance et les porte tous les jours. Karuna est la version contemporaine des Guillet, des Lemarié et de toutes les autres fleuristières d’autrefois. Ces petites mains, qui réalisaient des roses, des œillets ou encore des violettes, à accrocher sur les chapeaux, ont malheureusement disparu dans les années 60. Quand le pape a décidé, qu’entrer dans une église tête nue n’était plus sacrilège... Comme elles, Karuna passe des heures à couper, coudre, plisser délicatement les tissus précieux pour les transformer en pétales parfaitement identiques. Un travail fou de précision qu’elle réalise avec de l’organza vintage, la soie idéale. Comme un encouragement, Karuna a hérité du stock d’une ancienne fleuristière. Dans son atelier, elle entreprend alors un véritable voyage dans le passé... Elle découvre des mètres de ribouldingue (un tissu des années 1930 à la surface nervurée) que l’on n’utilise plus aujourd’hui, des boîtes jaunies emplies de pistils et de pétales de velours, des micro-bouteilles de teintures étiquetées Nymphéa ou encore Bouton d’Or, des outils. Ainsi, elle ressuscite des techniques anciennes et les réinterprète, en les hybridant avec d’autres procédés. Le nouveau bonheur des dames.


Fashion, Jewellery @en 27 mars 2013

Head in the stars

Today’s creators are sharp business people, well versed in marketing. But behind the scenes they still remain artists behaving some quite irrationally.
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trio-vca2Collection Palais de la Chance Collection - Van Cleef&Arpels (2012)

Home page picture : Porte-bonheur room - "Christian Dior... Homme du siècle" exhibition (Granville-2005)

The latest collection from the jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels entitled “Palais de la Chance”, celebrates superstition through around a hundreds pieces featuring clovers, stars and beetles. Louis Vuitton stages its take on luck in its Christmas windows with flour-leaf clovers and bones. Although superstition remains a taboo subject in the jewellery world, its creators seek to conjure up destiny with strings of secrets and strange happenings. In the past, Castillo from Lanvin made all big decisions on the 13th of each month, 13 being his lucky number. Mademoiselle Chanel preferred the number 5. She named the first model of her fashion show number 5 and after 15 years absence she chose February 5th 1954 for her return. Today, according to close sources, Albert Elbaz always creates a red dress for his collections and Karl Lagerfeld utters a cry each time he sees a hat on a bed or a table. But shhhhh! Few and far between are those who dare tell! “Needles falling to the ground are a sign of bad luck, confides an x-collaborator of Tom Ford’s. He doesn’t hesitate quickly picking them up either!” Extremely superstitious, the Italian Ricardo Tisci, currently artistic director of Givenchy, wears charms around his neck that he fondles all day long to keep in contact with his nearest and dearest. The Sardinian, Antonio Marras, refuses to part with his “legaccio rubio”, a blood-red ribbon typical of his country of origin. In fact, in the 19th century it was given to emigrants to help maintain spiritual contact with their homeland which is of much the same colour. With each new collection, Guillaume Henry, artistic director of Carven, pays a visit to Saint-Expedit, the patron saint of youth and desperate causes at Paris’ Saint Roch church. “All creators are more or less superstitious, but mostly it’s about certain rituals they have invented which are important for them”, points out the luxury consultant, Jean-Jacques Picart. To find out why most fear talking about them… At Christian Dior, they have always known that superstition brings the house just a little bit more soul, and have never ceased highlighting its founder’s obsession for signs and predictions. Mr. Dior consulted his fortune-teller for everything and nothing; for choosing a new florist or determining the right day for a presentation of a new collection. All anecdotes, which today form part of the house’s DNA and yet never overshadow Mr. Dior’s businessman-side. Behind these secret undertakings, all attempt to control the uncontrollable. “It’s about guessing the fashion trends in six or twelve months time,” explains Guillaume Henry. “It’s anguishing because inspiration is so fragile and impalpable. It’s an real energy, proper to fashion designers.” As though it comes from another world.

Fashion 15 février 2013

Guillaume Henry : (extra)ordinary

Under the artistic direction of Guillaume Henry, Carven has become an emblematic brand of new fashion, labeled “contemporary”.
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Collections - Carven

This young creator has instigated a new segment positioned above Zara and H&M but under fashion houses like Céline or Balenciaga. He’s come up with a new and leggy silhouette consisting of basic items like trench coats, black dresses, white shirts, suits and draped dresses. The rigorous cuts are not at all marred by ornamentation; Guillaume Henry prefers a roomy armhole, a drastically shortened Perfecto or to bring a new context to materials he uses. The designer has also eliminated all excessively expensive and overly fragile materials, resulting in draped dresses cut from non-crease machine-washable jersey cotton. Guillaume Henry affirms his position as the deserving inheritor of Madame Carven, who in 1946 created a more simplified wardrobe as a response to her dislike for the narcissistic and pompous style of designers of the day. By choosing Guillaume Henry as creator, Carven’s president Henri Sebaoun made the right choice, for he himself prefers clothing to fashion. Henry succeeded in synthesizing all he’d learnt at the Ecole Duperré, a school considered more as a creative laboratory, with his time spent at the more management and marketing orientated Institut Français de la Mode. His experience at Givenchy as 1st assistant to Ricardo Tisci fused together with another as designer for Paule Ka. The former involved in an overly creative style which proved difficult to wear and the latter, a 3-year term at Paule Ka as designer where he learnt to create series of designs under budgetary constraints. Guillaume Henry is however, fascinated by normality. A quite uncommon leaning for many of today’s fashion designers, who reserve it for unrealistic creative ambitions and the pitfalls of stardom.


Elsewhere, Fashion 5 décembre 2012

Rabih Kayrouz, poete of the cut

This creator proves that oriental fashion cannot be summed up in just sequined evening dresses.
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Rabih Kayrouz - Spring-summer 2013

Rabih Kayrouz’s rise to the forefront displays a less ostentatious facet of the Lebanese world, light years away from the likes of Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad. Easier to wear, his garments resemble sculptures with pure and structured lines which can be seen in this black organza dress with its flowing back. Fabrics are in muted colors and are unhampered by ornamentation, ribbons or bows. “My women are angels”, states this one-time egerie of Saint Laurent Loulou de la Falaise, full of enthusiasm. A Maronite Christian, he doesn’t correspond to any cliché proffered by his country. His reference is to another, much more discreet Oriental world. “I turn more towards feelings and emotions”, he points out - he is an adept of the traditional dance, the dabke. As a pure aesthete who lives in unusual places, his Parisian workshop is a gigantic artist’s studio given a new history, as it was once the Petit Théâtre de Babylone where the first performance of Waiting for Godot was held in 1953. In Lebanon, his traditional-style abode is in the light-colored stone of Batroun, a seaside village spared from tourism. Today, the name Rabih Kayrouz is synonymous with modernity. In the trendy city of Beirut bubbling with energy, he is the pet of Lebanese who fall more and more under international influences. As successful in Kuwait and Bahrain as in France, Rabih Kayrouz manages to satisfy two very radically different cultures.