PARIS — “Everything comes from the fact that I really believe that Roger Vivier changed the silhouette of women through shoes,” said the footwear brand’s creative director Gherardo Felloni at “Maison Vivier,” the fancy presentation format showcasing the seasonal collections of the company.
For fall 2023, Felloni went full couture through rich ornaments and ’50s references that cast a new light on his work at the brand. While remaining faithful to the house’s codes, this collection pointed to a more daring direction that, rather than just honoring the founder’s legacy and archives, more reflected Felloni’s own aesthetic.
Think of knee-high boots cut in taffeta or embroidered with feathers, sequins and pearls; sandals wrapped in maxi bows; suede platform styles with a cascade of ruffles, and leather bags with draped effects, all complemented by a plethora of crystal-encrusted jewelry or coming with matching new items extending beyond the brand’s usual territory, such as statement wide-brimmed hats or richly embellished gloves, belts, stoles, vests and boleros.
“They make an entire silhouette,” said Felloni, crediting the brand’s founder for building a look from the shoe up. “So that’s why I tried to make like 20 of them,” continued the designer, adding the trickier part in the process “was to do ruffles and pleats with leather. For example, the cuissard boots in suede and nappa that come with the belt, those were really challenging.”
Showcased across several rooms in different colored set-ups and with models coiffed in the style of the early ‘60s and donning the full looks, the new collection garnered the attention of guests including Ciara, Gwendoline Christie, Carla Bruni, Emilia Jones, Halston Sage, Nicole Ari Parker, Camille Razat and Coco Rocha, among others.
“It was a real pleasure to escape into a world of sumptuous dreams,” Christie said. “I felt as though I were inside the movie ‘Who Are You Polly Maggoo?’ as we experienced a romantic jewel-toned salon, with mannequins brought to life serving fierce glamour and a filmic soundtrack elegantly provided by a live orchestra.”
The collection particularly spotlighted the graphic Choc heel, first introduced in 1959 by Vivier, who studied sculpture at the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris and considered heels “the most important detail” in shoemaking as “like the nose on a face, it is what provides character.”
Another signature included the Viv’ Choc Me bag, offered in a soft, padded and draped version punctuated by a rounder Roger Vivier buckle to reprise the curves of the Choc heel.