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Maison d’Exceptions: Focus on Niche Fabrics

New Première Vision area will showcase firms boasting special know-how and manufacturing techniques in textiles.

PARIS — In a bid to foster links between craft and industry, Maison d’Exceptions, a new enclosed area in Hall 5, will showcase 13 international companies boasting special know-how and manufacturing techniques in the textile domain.

This story first appeared in the September 13, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Philippe Pasquet, chief executive officer of Première Vision, said the aim is to help initiate special projects between brands and textile artisans, as the trend for hyper-luxury flourishes.

“This is about using historic techniques to create modern things, with real business potential,” said Pasquet.

Here, a selection of Maison d’Exceptions exhibitors:

JP Ollier: “We take a kind of punk approach to the way we present our ideas,” said Jean-Pierre Ollier, artistic director of Atelier JP Ollier, whose passion lies in manipulating textiles to transform their aspect and catapult them into another universe.

For a luxury evening bag for one of Roger Vivier’s recent collections, for instance, Ollier knitted silk mousseline strips “to resemble a chunky sweater, or dreadlocks.”

Anne Gelbard: Fabrics transform into works of art in the hands of Paris-based textile designer and wallpaper creator Anne Gelbard, whose past creations have included distressed hand-painted American flag T-shirts for Balmain’s spring 2011 collection, and dégradé ikat-style prints for four dresses in Dior’s lavish fall 2010 flower-themed couture collection.

People come to me for hand treatments,” said Gelbard, who works from her atelier in Paris’ 11th arrondissement. “Each piece is treated as a unique creation.”

As a creative consultant, she also works with French embroiderer Deschamps, French lace maker Desseilles and Japanese lace maker Takeda to help develop their collections.

Atelier National du Point d’Alençon (National Workshop of the Alençon Stitch): Since 1974, this body, created to perpetuate the skills of needle lace, has been overseen by the French institution Mobilier National, which is in charge of furnishing the official buildings of France. The Point d’Alençon needle lace technique, founded by Colbert in Alençon, Normandy, in 1665, flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries. Only seven people have the know-how to employ this traditional technique and it takes seven hours to make one square centimeter of lace.