When it comes to his ready-to-wear, giving a style prescription is not Alexandre Vauthier’s priority.
“I make clothes for women who dress up, goes to the office – and out at night,” he said at a showroom appointment, pointing out a smorgasbord of options that would address whatever wants and occasions his clientele may have, from smartly tailored trouser suits and upscale leather sweatshirts, to couture’s belted hooded jackets, chubby faux fur jackets and slinky party fare. Plus all manners of shoes and bags, including a bucket bag big enough for everything and the kitchen sink, and a brand-new baguette shape.
What he’s going for is a reproducible version of his seasonal vision shown a month earlier at his January couture show. That is the designer’s true work, he said, a message he’s been distilling with increasing force in years.
Hearing him detail the translations was a masterclass in textile literacy and canny business building. A different taffeta blend was picked for its ability to achieve the same effect while being study enough to be mechanized. Intricate pleating was cut down by a four-fold factor, replaced by ruffles of equivalent volumes. Fluttery hand-cut sequins were cut in standardized shapes but were still the work of Lesage. That’s the kind of legerdemain Vauthier is proudest of.
That matches his prime principle: that his wardrobe be a vector for “energy, zest for life, effervescence” and the “little thrills throughout the day” that give weighty times a touch of much needed personal levity. “If we hit that goal of helping women be happy and confident throughout the day, mission accomplished,” he said.
For all that, the season’s lookbook is a bucolic caper shot by Mario Sorrenti in Mallorca. “I came with a strong, sharp, almost Blade Runner collection so I wanted to give a second reading on how you can dress in [the brand],” said Vauthier.