LOVE BOAT: Paris has served as a fashion spot before. But the city’s most iconic monuments — the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre and the 37 bridges — as the backdrop for a single show?
That was the concept behind a J Autumn show held on Thursday afternoon on the glass boat Le Jean Bruel cruising the Seine river.
“What is a better way to combine fashion and Paris than having a show on a glass boat where you will able to see the beautiful scenery and at the same time the collections,” explained Vietnamese-born Jessica Minh Anh, an events manager whose agency, J Model Entertainment, is behind the project.
Anh picked Le Jean Bruel because of its pointed shape, making it the perfect boat, with a 330-foot-long floating catwalk and a 360-degree view, she said.
Anh, who also walked in the show, has assembled six designers from six countries, who showcased artisanal couture as well as ready-to-wear looks for fall and spring. Labels were Ani Álvarez Calderón from Peru; Gülnur Güneş from Turkey; 5.8.0 from Hong Kong; Iwi Creations from New Zealand; Ot Kutyr Atulier from Saudi Arabia, and Rouba.G from Lebanon.
Rouba.G, the designer behind the eponymous brand, said she was inspired by warriors for her collection of 20 looks called Beautiful Savages.
Iwi Creations designer Leilani Rickard, who first presented rainwear pieces during New Zealand fashion week in 2013, said she did the new spring collection within eight weeks especially for the show. It included hosiery with tribal patterns depicting traditional tattoos and microscopic images of harekeke, a common flax in New Zealand and the essence of all Maori textiles prior to British colonization.
Anh has a knack for unconventional locations.
Previous venues hosting the entrepreneur’s events including the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, the top of One World Trade Center in New York, the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the sky bridge of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
“This one is not as challenging as my previous shows,” Anh said. “We are indoor[s], as opposed to outdoor shows where the weather is a challenge. For our show at the solar plant Gemasolar in Spain, there was such a heavy storm, it destroyed the whole backstage area an hour before it started,” she explained.
It wasn’t Anh’s first show held on a boat, though. In March, Anh held her J Spring show on a glass boat cruising the Hudson River. It showcased collections including Tony Ward, Gianfranco Lotti and Ivanka Trump.