Courtney Love was pleased in the front row of the fall Enfants Riches Déprimés show in Paris. And it wasn’t just because she enjoyed the work of designer and artist Henri Levy, who sent out a fall collection heavy on suiting and shirting — button-down shirts in particular.
She’d been the one to introduce Levy to award-winning costume designer Arianne Phillips, who is nominated for an Oscar for her work on “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” “I wanted Ari to see in Henri what I do. And I think she did! A wonderful spirit, who needs some mothering and occasionally telling off — but primarily a stone-cold genius and someone I’m immensely fond of,” the singer and actress said.
After being introduced at an art show, the pair connected over Levy’s universe. “I had worked with stylists before but I didn’t really understand. They’d come in toward the end and I’d hover over them. Working with Arianne Phillips was amazing. She came in and we really just hacked away at the aesthetic until it was just right, filtering anything that didn’t seem right,” he said.
After their first meeting, the pair got together regularly to refine the story of the collection. “I feel that I’m a nerd in the way she’s a nerd, and that’s got to do with references, your experience, everything,” he said.
“We listened to a lot of music; shared books, zines, and generally shared inspiration. Out of that organically developed the color story and eventually we started producing prototypes and samples,” Phillips, who was unable to attend due to prior work commitments, wrote in an e-mail.
“Where Ari really came in is, because I do all the graphics and conceptualization, it really helped me focus on creating the clothes. She brought things in perspective,” said Levy, citing leather blazers with overcoats, a play on the color palette for cinematic tonal outfits, and the work on linings on tailored pieces that brought a more fluid line while in movement.
While this wasn’t her first time accompanying a brand from collection inception to show, “it had been a while since I felt there was a designer whose vision and talent I felt I could contribute to,” the costume designer said.