Despite not originally being from the city, design duo Victoria Feldman and Tomas Berzins are true Parisians. The location of their studio, based in the up-and-coming 19th arrondissement, allows them to pick up on trends right where they originate — in the Paris of “real” people, far from the museums and picture-perfect streets.
One of these trends was the ubiquitous fanny pack worn across the body, a must for any Parisian under age 30. For spring, the designers decided to integrate the accessory to dresses and shirts in the form of a nifty fabric pouch sewn onto a strap crossing shirtdresses, either in pale yellow or vivid pink, and a black high-collared shirt.
“We were inspired both by the tourists who dress up when they visit Paris — because visiting Paris is a big deal to them — and the true Parisiennes, who have a lot more of a laid-back vibe,” Feldman said backstage. “We love that mix.”
To the sound of a voice announcing metro stops, models walked out wearing the brand’s signature checked poplin cotton silhouettes on shirtdresses that were either billowing or cropped with short balloon sleeves. Swirling Art Deco details, inspired both by Parisian balconies and wrought iron metro entrances around the city, were cut out on large shirt collars or printed all over a white cotton blouse.
The brand introduced its first bag designs: Roomy square leather totes in block colors, big enough to fit in both a laptop and a baguette on one’s way home from the office, as well as cute drawstring cotton bags, just the right size for the bare essentials.
There were hoodies under trenchcoats; bucket hats paired with glitzy earrings; easy linen blazers worn with high-waisted shorts. It’s not what you would expect the elusive Parisienne to wear — but it’s what she actually does.