Pushing forward with his exploration of the frontier between ready-to-wear and couture — or rather the space that can be shared — Rabih Kayrouz drew on a handful of designs, which he sought to elevate.
“I wanted to take clothing from my essential wardrobe and transform it into something exceptional,” he said, speaking at the house’s Boulevard Raspail studio in Paris.
“My obsession now is to use my cuts,” he said, noting the house has built up a repertoire of styles over the years.
Kayrouz showed how he worked satin panels into trousers and turned a suit jacket into a tuxedo, opening it up in the back by cutting out a panel of fabric. It could be worn with a shirt — or without. “You decide,” said the designer.
His perfected trenchcoat, belted, with long slits for breathing room or extra ease, was one of the chosen pieces, embellished with delicate gold castings of shells he had collected, affixed through hand stitching, thread left in long tufts. This was worn over a beige-colored mock turtleneck embellished with crystals and wide-legged trousers of the same material.
Another ensemble was crafted out of tulle, in a bright periwinkle color, embellished with dried wildflowers, stitched on with hot pink threads, left hanging.
Kayrouz lifted the garment to show broken flower petals that had accumulated at the hem. “This dress will evolve, it will lose the flower petals,” he said. “It will change — a transformable dress.”
A fringe of thick velvet strands was affixed to an oversized coat — each strand knotted individually — and embellished a light, airy dress with hand-pulled fringes.
“I really wanted to show that although they are couture pieces, you can wear them, they are accessible, besides maybe the technique and the price, but as pieces, they’re not overwhelming,” he said.
“I’ve always loved couture, but for its craftsmanship. For me couture is not a lifestyle, it’s not just this couture evening dress, or, this couture attitude,” added the designer. He explained that the label showed during haute couture week “because it’s my craftsmanship,” but that the clothing is meant to be worn in the daytime or the evening, independent of the technique used to make it.