A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR: For the second couture season running, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is sponsoring a number of young designers who are showing during the spring collections here, which start Saturday. The group this season includes Carlo Ponti, Morteza Pashai, Ji Haye, Jean Luc Evrard, Seredin Vassiliev and David Vincent.
“It’s important to sponsor budding talent,” said Jean-Jacques Picart, an industry consultant who heads the LVMH program. “One never knows who will become the star of tomorrow.” He explained that the LVMH grant is meant to help offset the expense of staging a fashion show.

URBAN RENEWAL: Frederic Molenac is getting back into the couture game. Molenac, who at one point designed for the house of Gres, is planning to explore a hard-edged urban look in his spring couture show on Jan. 22.
Inspired by the culture of tattooing and piercing and the body’s internal workings, the collection features tissue-thin leather worked into feminine ruffles and steel ball-bearings trapped inside delicate chiffon. Molenac is best known for his avant-garde work in the late Eighties and early Nineties, when he dropped the shoulders of jackets, sweaters and dresses to elbow level.
The designer, who is backed by Sarah Guillet-Tenot, also an investor in Eric Bergere, is eager to break into the American market and is targeting top-tier specialty stores with his ready-to-wear and diffusion lines. All come under one label, Frederic Molenac, because “I believe in an exchange of ideas between couture and ready-to-wear,” he says.

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