PARIS — Do dresses with six-figure price tags have a place in fashion magazines at a time of economic crisis?
And can couture have a bright future when one of its most acclaimed practitioners, Christian Lacroix, is in receivership?
Those are among the questions weighing on the industry as the high fashion shows get under way here today.
Still, executives cite an expanding global clientele for couture and continued press interest, albeit now skewed to emerging markets.
What’s more, couture’s remaining players (not surprisingly) insist the pinnacle of fashion’s pyramid is still relevant as it exemplifies savoir faire, craftsmanship and elite service: virtues that have come to the fore of consumer consciousness after an overdose of hype and bling during the luxury boom.
“It is a powerful tool to educate the customer about our brand,” stressed Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion at Chanel, which will parade Karl Lagerfeld’s latest collection to about 900 guests under the soaring glass roof of the Grand Palais at sundown Tuesday. “In couture, the objective is to be perfect. There’s no compromise on excellence.”
“There is a demand for sophistication,” agreed Sidney Toledano, president and chief executive officer at Christian Dior, which is staging two shows today in its salons on the Avenue Montaigne. “It’s about the real value of names like Dior: the savoir faire, the notoriety of our atelier.…This contact between the hand and the fabric — inspired by a great designer — is something important we have to continue developing.”
Toledano said his main concern is preserving the artisans and suppliers that nurture couture — not the small number of big players. “It doesn’t mean because you are few, you have to stop doing it,” he said.
Pavlovsky called 2008 a “record year” for Chanel’s couture business, with a 10 percent sales uptick over the previous year. Sales for the white-themed summer 2009 collection slipped about 15 percent, reflecting recessionary times, but hardly prompting alarm.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)