Well-made wardrobe basics in beautiful fabrics at friendly prices across both ready-to-wear and made-to-measure collections— that’s the concept of Society Room, a new Parisian label cofounded by French tailor Yvan Benbanaste and financier Fabrice Pinchart-Deny, who have set up shop in a renovated 19th-century town house located in a courtyard in the city’s Madeleine district. Reminiscent of Parisian salons of yore, the concept was borne out of the founders’ desire to propose a more intimate, altogether more civilized way of selling clothes.
Clients can take tea and peruse pieces from the women’s rtw line in the site’s stylish salon, with items including superlight jackets, tuxedos, shirtdresses and pajamas in noble men’s wear fabrics. They also can be measured in an equally swish adjacent room, with a choice of personalized shirts and made-to-measure suits for both men and women, with lines inspired by both Savile Row and Neapolitan tailoring.
The suits are made in Italy and take between three to five weeks to produce. For the rtw line, shirts start at 115 euros and suits at 400 euros. Custom shirts start at 125 euros, meanwhile, and made-to-measure suits at 800 euros.
A range of furniture, objects and lighting designs proposed by collaborator antique dealers and gallery owners is also for sale, while in a bright blue room on the site’s top floor, the duo plan to host networking dinners, with the idea that the house also be a place of cultural exchange.
Information around Society Room will be relayed on the brand’s web site and social media channels, with an e-commerce site due to open in January.
The starting point “was a name I saw on the sign of a Turkish kebab shop” between attending shows in Paris, said Romania-born, Berlin-based Andra Dumitrascu, referring to the third collection of her namesake label, which is known for its mash-up of tech, casual, Nineties streetwear, sport and tailoring references. Or, as she puts it, “washable couture” using liquid jerseys, metallic coated denim, “grandma checks” and very high-tech, ultra-thin nylons that are almost weightless, “like running gear.” “They’re the kind of pieces you could wear for an evening at the opera but then go clubbing in afterward,” said Dumitrascu, who also described the line’s caftan-inspired silhouettes as “performance burkas.”
The designer, who through her Berlin concept store Salbazaar is credited with introducing a number of international designers to the city’s scene, is the latest buzzy Berlin label to take on Paris with the brand’s first official presentation slated to take place on Friday. Rich Aybar will be behind the show’s styling, and Inge Grognard the make up, with Walter Pearce heading the casting.
A number of the collection’s inspirations struck during downtime between attending shows in Paris. In the city’s Pigalle district she picked up some latex gloves in a sex shop, for instance, while she also sourced some alien-like jewelry from “one of those crappy jewelry stores” in the Marais.
The presentation’s venue should make an impact in any case: the Salon du Musée on the fifth floor of the Centre Pompidou offering views of Paris and a vast surrealistic garden terrace. An adjacent room will present an installation by Berlin-based artist Monica Bonvicini.
Editions M.R, as part of its repositioning as a lifestyle brand, for spring 2018 will introduce a capsule based on the idea of women borrowing from a men’s wardrobe, with crossovers from its men’s line.
“Lots of women come to us to buy pieces and roll back sleeves or ask for smaller sizes; it’s time,” said Mathieu de Ménonville, who cofounded the brand — formerly known as Melinda Gloss — in 2010 with Rémi de Laquintane, who parted ways with the house at the start of the year.
The label is known for its straightforward masculine styles rendered with a Parisian twist.
The collection of around 40 women’s pieces will include knotted voluminous dresses with a nonchalant attitude, men’s shirts cut for women and peignoir-inspired looks.
Among other brand news, French writer Anne Berest will be the next guest of honor on its web site Chambre 42, founded in 2015 as a place of cultural exchange and named after the iconic Paris Hotel La Louisiane in Saint-Germain, which counted Jean-Paul Sartre, Jim Morrison, Miles Davis and Ernest Hemingway among its tenants. De Ménonville likes to refer to it as the brand’s mood board.
Editions M.R counts around 90 doors internationally, both on- and off-line, including Matchesfashion.com, Le Bon Marché, Nordstrom and Ron Herman.
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