SECONDHAND ROSE: French nonprofit organization Renaissance is staging an auction of outfits made from repurposed designer clothes, including one-of-a-kind looks worn by Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu and Ashley Park on season two of “Emily in Paris.”
The group, founded by fashion industry veteran Philippe Guilet, provides training for job seekers through a six-month program aimed at familiarizing them with the techniques and jargon of haute couture, the top end of the fashion pyramid that relies on highly qualified workers to produce made-to-measure clothes.
Renaissance is offering 76 lots in the auction, to be held today at Drouot in Paris to coincide with Paris Couture Week. They include 44 upcycled outfits, accessories, jewelry and photographs, with proceeds going toward funding the training program.
A chain-embroidered cream dress and jacket worn by Leroy-Beaulieu in the popular Netflix series is estimated at 400 to 500 euros. Park’s “Mount Fuji” dress, made by splicing a Sonia Rykiel dress with embroidered Yohji Yamamoto combat pants, is expected to fetch 150 to 180 euros.
Based in a low-income housing estate in the south of Paris, the workshop welcomes participants from as far afield as Chechnya, Algeria, Morocco, Ukraine, Turkey, Guinea, Moldova, France, Ivory Coast, Afghanistan and Brazil, and includes both experienced tailors and absolute beginners.
Guilet, who spent almost a decade working as director of research alongside Jean Paul Gaultier, has capitalized on a growing trend for sustainable fashion, which has been reinforced by the introduction of a French law banning companies from destroying unsold products. His “Detox ton Stock” program aims to help fashion brands find new uses for their inventory.
To demonstrate its skills, his team created outfits incorporating items including vintage kimonos; a Jean Paul Gaultier suit; a Fendi dress; a Christian Lacroix haute couture skirt, and a lot of 20 wedding dresses donated by bridal designer Celestina Agostino.
Some were embroidered on-site, while others were embellished via a partnership with the Kalhath Institute, an embroidery center in India.
Guilet has managed to attract a number of high-profile backers, with donors ranging from leading socialites like Jacqueline de Ribes, who gave one of her couture gowns, to companies including construction firm Vinci and airport operator Groupe ADP, which have donated uniforms for upcycling. — JOELLE DIDERICH
The luxury accessories brand is collaborating with the renowned department store on a three-month café takeover, open until Sept. 30.
Choo Café will take place inside Harrods’ shoe department for an immersive English high tea experience with a twist — the interiors are all fuchsia rather than stuffy rose wallpapers.
Pink has become a brand color in recent years, but also somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. It’s all about thinking pink, whether that’s Millennial pink or Maggie Prescott’s “Think Pink” singalong in “Funny Face.”
Everything in the café is blushing, including the sculptural seating, carpet and mirrored accents. The exercise in pink is for Jimmy Choo to softly launch their handbag line, the Varenne Avenue collection, which will join the Varenne family of leather goods. A first preview will be available inside the café, set to drop in autumn.
The food menu will be curated by Harrods’ award-winning chefs with an emphasis on British summer — from fresh strawberries, raspberries, tea and Champagne recast in patisserie, to classic picnic sandwiches.
This isn’t the first branded café at Harrods, which is letting everyone eat cake for the ultimate Instagram moment.
In 2019, Fendi opened their own café inside the famed store, complete with the brand’s monogram all over the interiors, cappuccinos and cakes. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED
OH LA LA: Online retailer 24S has tapped London-based designer Nensi Dojaka for an exclusive capsule collection launching today.
The 2021 LVMH Prize winner has designed 10 pieces, ranging from pleated bra tops and tights with a daring twist design at the knee, to lightweight shirts and midi dresses.
The retailer’s chief buying and marketplace officer Maud Barrionuevo lauded Dojaka’s personal vision and “poetic, never aggressive or vulgar” aesthetic that put self-confidence top of mind.
“[Such capsules] are part of our role as a platform to give space and a voice to these new talents [that] we believe in,” she continued.
The discussions between retailer and designer zeroed in on the 24S client, someone “international but who shares this vision of a sophisticated but effortless chic of the Parisian — or rather French — aesthetic,” Barrionuevo recalled.
Dance and movement felt like the right Parisian direction for Dojaka to develop her core lingerie-inflected designs and also explore new, easier options that continued her main spring 2022 collection as well as new colors like blush pinks and creams.
She particularly enjoyed working on capsules because they “force you to think about clothes in a different way and open your mind [to] help you move forward,” particularly as an emerging designer.
A retailer like 24S is also a great way to “reach a clientele that wouldn’t ‘dare’ and find a different audience,” she thought.
“It’s inspiring to see [my designs] in tagged pictures on Instagram. It gives a new perspective beyond our little world of fashion,” Dojaka continued. “Reality is much more exciting.” — LILY TEMPLETON
SPECIAL ORDER: Lola Rykiel will unofficially close Paris Couture Week today with a capsule line that she described as “my dream collection.”
The designer plans to stage a presentation for her Pompom label at the Café de Flore, where growing up she had lunch almost daily with her grandmother Sonia Rykiel and mother Nathalie Rykiel.
In addition to her signature rhinestone-encrusted athleisure wear, she will show a bomber jacket that pays tribute to the legendary French café, and two handbags designed in partnership with U.S. brand Judith Leiber. Rykiel, who used to head U.S. communications for the Sonia Rykiel brand, said she wanted to create a bridge between Paris and New York City.
“The starting point was really to think about Saint-Germain-des-Prés, which is the place where I grew up, where I have all my beautiful childhood memories, being in the studio and being with my grandmother,” she said. “The Flore, for me, it’s everything.”
Describing the project as a tribute, rather than an official collaboration, Rykiel said she would produce 10 numbered satin bomber jackets with the Café de Flore name spelled out in rhinestones on the back. Six will be black, and four pale pink, priced at $1,010.
In a humorous nod to French brasserie staples, the slogans on her signature rhinestone T-shirts this season read “Jambon-Beurre,” local shorthand for a ham sandwich, “Croque-Monsieur,” “Supplément Chantilly,” for a side order of whipped cream, and “Tarte Tatin.”
Meanwhile, Leiber will produce its Lipstick minaudière and Nail Polish pillbox in exclusive colorways for Pompom. Made to order, they cost $5,495 and $995, respectively. Rykiel remembers discovering the brand during shopping trips to Bergdorf Goodman.
“I was just completely mesmerized by the beauty and the craziness and the intense glamour of getting something that is not very practical, but so gorgeous,” she recalled. “I would rather have a Judith Leiber than a Birkin because for me, it’s fun, it’s dramatic, it’s crazy. It’s just completely not essential and it just makes me dream.”
Pompom has one store in Paris, in addition to a pop-up at the Rosewood Le Guanahani in St. Barths, which has been extended until Aug. 22. Rykiel hopes to open additional temporary stores with the luxury hotel and resort company in future, and is also looking to distribute the label via department stores. — J.D.
CHANEL’S CROWD: Chanel took guests for a ride this season, or at least to an equestrian center in a park outside of Paris, for a cowgirl-influenced collection full of Western boots, hats, full skirts and fringed shawls.
Keira Knightley, who started as a face of the house under Karl Lagerfeld a decade and a half ago, reflected on growing up with the brand. “It’s just really wonderful to be here and see Virginie [Viard] shine,” she said.
She also took a philosophical approach to the changes the film business has seen in all those years. “Now there are some amazing roles for older women. The structure of the business makes it difficult for women with children, and that has always been the case. That’s where it’s a tricky one, but I think it’s wonderful that we are being allowed to grow up and to look at stories from women of all ages, and to be able to see fashion for women of all ages. There’s further to go, but there is movement.”
Case in point: her new film “Boston Strangler,” in which she plays a journalist who pursued the case. “She was a female journalist who was not taken seriously, and also the fact that nobody was paying attention to the killings because they were middle-aged women to begin with,” she explained. “So it’s both a film about the most horrific form of violence against women, but equally about female power.
“I’ve tried to make a career out of playing women who I find interesting, who I find inspiring, who are not perfect, but who are complicated kind of creatures. It’s always what’s kind of driven me, and so this kind of felt like a really good one, an important one.”
Taraji P. Henson was channeling the spirit of her upcoming film, “The Color Purple,” in an indigo sequined top. She had taken a day off from filming for a very quick trip to the French capital for her first couture show, before hopping back on the plane for a 7 a.m. call time in Georgia. “What a way to come, right?” she joked of her first couture show.
The new musical, produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, is “a beautiful mixture of the Broadway play, the book, and the film,” and Henson promised that it’s Oscar bait. “It’s gonna be movie of the year. I’m telling you right now.”
She’s been learning the dance routines and recording for the soundtrack since February, with tons of rehearsal. “It’s grueling, but it’s fun,” she said of 18-hour days.
Henson sang praises for the costumes and more modest mode of the era. “I love the way women dressed because we left so much to the imagination, but it was still very sexy,” she said. “We see just a little sliver of skin and it’s just sexy. The way the clothes fit, I just feel like a woman and a lady.”
Lucy Boynton has moved on from Queen to play the Queen of France as Marie Antoinette in a new film “Chevalier,” opposite Kelvin Harrison Jr. as the titular character. She called it a “modern twist” on the historical biopic. “There’s definitely a modern eye and a sense of understanding of themes like convenient allyship, especially when it came to my character, and race. But it definitely stays true to the essence of that period, so it’s kind of a rock’n’roll marriage.”
As for the rumored upcoming Marianne Faithfull biopic, it’s still in the “we’ll see” stage, she said.
Sigourney Weaver did a deep dive into details about her role in the upcoming “Avatar 2” film. During training from Navy SEALs, she learned to free dive and hold her breath for six and a half minutes. Weaver hopes the film helps focus attention on marine issues. “Hopefully it will transform the way the audience sees the oceans and the creatures in the ocean,” she said.
For the day, many of the guests were in Chanel pearls, including Rina Sawayama, who had piled on the jewelry. “I wanted to really layer up today; I just really like the spirit. It’s my first couture week in Paris, and I’m really speechless because this is like one of my dreams come true,” she said.
Sawayama is fresh off the release of her cowboy-themed single “This Hell.” “I’ve got a lot of country influences in my music, so seeing it mixed with classic Chanel, I was like, our brains are matching right now,” she said of the runway vibe. It was an obsession with Kacey Musgraves during pandemic lockdown that led her to write the full album, which she’ll release and tour in September.
“It was very hard to motivate myself to try and write an album during lockdown, but I’m really glad I pushed through and came out with something I’m really proud of that blends the genres together,” she said. Seated front row with stylist Jordan Kelsey, she was keeping an eye out for tour looks.
The writing process is also proving to be a new challenge for Clémence Poésy, who is adapting Anna Hope’s novel “Expectation” into a script for her first feature. “It’s a long and interesting process, just the back and forth between thinking we’ve got the best idea in the world and then the next day realizing it doesn’t work at all,” she laughed, empathizing with screenwriters. “I just don’t know how they do it.”
Marion Cotillard admitted that she loves coming to the shows because she feels free to take fashion risks that she couldn’t take in her daily life as a mom. Tuesday’s show saw her in barely there short shorts and a floral tuxedo shirt. “It wouldn’t be practical,” she joked. “But it’s fun to explore. I have this tendency to avoid something that is not risky and that is, from my point of view, boring.”
As for working with Viard, she added: “She knows the woman’s body in a kind of different way, because she lives in it.” — RHONDA RICHFORD
HAMPTONS HONOR: Max Mara will receive the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation Fashion Cares Award at the 18th annual Hamptons Happening on Saturday.
Christian Notari, chief executive officer of Max Mara USA, will attend the annual fundraiser to accept the award.
“Max Mara is honored to be partnering with the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, an organization whose mission is to eliminate cancer through innovative and collaborative research. At Max Mara, we honor those who have been impacted by cancer and we are proud to help in the fight to free the world from this devastating disease,” said Notari.
In previous years, the Hamptons Happening has honored Hugo Boss, Nicole Miller, Betsey Johnson, Margaret Hayes, Lafayette 148, and Ramy Brook, among others.
In addition to Max Mara, this year’s event will honor Bess Freedman, chief executive officer of Brown Harris Stevens; Mark Melchiorre, executive managing director, chief investment officer, and head of Brean Investment Group, and Julian Medina, chef and owner of Toloache, Tacuba, Coppelia, Kuxe, La Chula and El Fish Stack.
As in prior years, the event will take place on the grounds of Maria and Ken Fishel’s private residence in Bridgehampton. Over 300 people are expected to attend the fundraiser, which features tastings from dozens of chefs, restaurants and beverage companies.
SWCRF was founded in 1976, and funds a network of over 30 researchers in North America, Asia and Europe. Since its inception, it has funded approximately $100 million in cancer research. — LISA LOCKWOOD
THOUGHT LEADER: Dame Mary Beard has a lot of powerful things to say.
London-based, Canadian British fashion designer Edeline Lee invited Beard to her quarterly “Women and Power” speaker series at Fenwick of Bond Street.
The event made a triumphant return after being canceled due to the pandemic. Previous speakers have included Dame Helena Morrissey and Clarissa Farr on the topic of “Beauty Versus Brains” and Anne Sebba and Virginia Nicholson on “Women Writing Women.”
The audience included Lee’s loyal clients and influential friends, including Soma Sara, founder and chief executive officer of Everyone’s Invited; Reni Eddo-Lodge, author of “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race”; “Luxor” film director Zeina Durra; Anne Sebba, biographer and lecturer; Sigrid Kirk, cultural strategist art adviser, and others.
“I’m so happy because I’ve had so many of my clients here tonight and women that have supported me throughout wearing my clothes. I’m just so chuffed to be able to do this again,” Lee said.
“Five years ago, I read ‘Women & Power: A Manifesto.’ As I read Beard’s eloquent descriptions of the many ways that women’s voices have been silenced, from ancient history onward, I was struck by the realization that in my profession of fashion, women are still always seen and never heard.”
Beard’s book inspired Lee’s fall 2019 fashion show — a two-hour marathon of 34 powerful female orators across all disciplines.
“Mary continues to inspire my practice as I seek to dress women with both femininity and power,” Lee added.
Beard chronicled that for the first 20 years in her academic career, she was silent and didn’t speak. However, with the few women she was surrounded by, they would often regroup at the pub to discuss how to make it better.
“Maybe fashion will help. There was one woman who sometimes did speak in the seminars, and she wore a fantastic gold bomber jacket. We thought maybe that’s the answer.” — SAMANTHA CONTI