From the soundtrack that included Eighties French new wave band Taxi Girl, to the bespoke tuberose scent created by longtime friend Francis Kurkdjian that was redolent of the iconic Fracas perfume, Alexandre Vauthier’s latest show oozed all things Paris. There was even Mademoiselle Agnès heckling Celine Dion for arriving an hour overdue — the French way is late, but not that late.
For fall, Vauthier made his collection a condensed version of everything that influenced him to become a designer. “I wanted to reference the images, the silhouettes that seduced me as a child, everything that made me want to make fashion,” he said backstage after the show. “Lesage, pleating, ruffles, there’s incredible work on the clothes. Couture is, in essence, this: the showcase for specialty skills that are quintessentially French, and Parisian.”
Beyond the richness of the craft, his legerdemain was offering silhouettes that did not look loaded down with embellishments. His extensive use of specialty ateliers felt, at times, nigh on invisible. Out came a tuxedo silhouette, complete with a ruffled bib shirt; the slinky, sultry dresses that made him a favorite of anyone leggy and lean; a generous polka-dot jumpsuit, flowing like a shirtdress; a pencil skirt, hitting below the knee just so — the exact spot preferred by undisputable French style icon and front-row guest Carine Roitfeld — paired with a mannish jacket. The textiles were exquisite; the execution, even more so.
“Couture is not about kilometers of fabric and embroideries, it’s essentially a story between the client and an exceptional made-to-measure hand-made garment that has been desired for months,” he said. In playing with the codes attributed to French couture and its icons, Vauthier showed a subtlety in his work that would have been lost in more dramatic designs.