PARIS — French fashion’s governing body, the Chambre Syndicale, is testing ways to pad out a thinning couture week calendar. Its president, Didier Grumbach, has asked budding designer Maxime Simoens to stage his first runway show on the sidelines of presentations by official members of the tightly regulated haute couture ranks, such as Chanel and Christian Dior.
Simoens will show Wednesday at 4 p.m.
At a preview in his atelier, the designer said he will present what he described as “act two” of his spring 2011 collection. The line already has been sold to retailers, but has not yet been shown to press.
Around eight new pieces have been added to the collection, which was loosely inspired by Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette.” The line will be delivered to stores shortly after the show. Simoens said he wants to tighten links with consumers and find a way of giving fast-fashion copycats the slip by getting his designs into stores closer to his show.
Joining Simoens on couture’s “off” calendar are Julien Fournié, showing Tuesday, and recent ANDAM nominee Alexandre Vauthier, who showed today.
Among other calendar news, Gustavo Lins and Christophe Josse both have been granted the official haute couture seal.