Roger Vivier and Delvaux explore heritage for Spring 2023
There seems to be a new brand launching daily, but one thing these startups are missing: heritage. A years-long or even a centuries-long legacy is relegated to a few luxury accessories brands whose craft and innovation have stood the test of time. Two brands, Roger Vivier and Delvaux, presented their latest collections in Paris with presentations punctuating that their quality and design live eternally.
Roger Vivier took a more cerebral approach to its event this season, steering away from the frivolity of Hotel Vivier for a more studied look at what goes into their elaborate shoes and bags. Led by creative director Gherardo Felloni, the Tod's Group-owned French label took over the Fondation Simone and Cino Del Duca and turned it into a visual and physical study of the house codes, referring to itself as La Maison Vivier. While meant to teach, it was anything but institutional. As Felloni said in an interview, "it was time for the house to do the talking."
With the multimedia experience, installations, artisans, and live performers, it was more than just informational. Guests were greeted by a giant wooden shoe, referencing one the shoe designer made for an exhibit at a 1987 retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The event showcased six design concepts the house is known for; 'King of the Heel', 'Belle Vivier', 'I Love Vivier', 'Collages', 'Virgule', 'Embroideries', and 'Jewel heel'.
As attendees journeyed from room to room, they discovered artisans at work in each, demonstrating techniques that define Roger Vivier shoes, such as embroiderers, leather cutters, and crystal setters.
The creative director told FashionNetwork.com that this season was even more homage to the archives.
"This season, I focused on the icons of the house and the savoir-faire and craftsmanship," he said, explaining the presentation concept. "I showed a craftsperson once before, and people were really fascinated, so you will see in each room artisans demonstrating how the shoes and bags are made," he added.
A focus this season is a satin bow, something Felloni also said was in the treasure trove archives.
"I see this beautiful bow every time I go to the archives. Roger Vivier was among the first to take bows and flowers from hats and put them on shoes.," he explained.
In this sense, the key shoe of the season, the 'Virgule Flowers Bow Slingback', encompasses many house codes; the curved comma heel, the embroidered paillettes and gemstone flowers, the bow, and the use of vibrant color. The 'Viv' Choc Flowers' with its embroidered strass coordinate nicely.
Don't be fooled by the adornments. According to the designer, these beauties are intended to be worn in the daytime. "It's never too much! I believe in freedom; if you want to wake up and wear a Virgule kitten heel or Choc heel with a pair of jeans, why not?
Delvaux, the Belgian luxury house founded in 1829, also looked to its heritage to explore how the design remains relevant and transformative each season. The brand, currently led by former president Jean-Marc Loubier transformed a townhouse on the tony Boulevard de Latour-Maubourg into a "Villégiature," or what the Belgians refer to as a summer getaway. The presence of the new owner Richemont was evidenced in the elaborate event.
Lifesize sandcastles and colorful leather windmills served as a backdrop for the house to display its seasonal focus, which includes classic bag styles interpreted in new ways. Among the messages were the new colorful versions of the 1967 'Tempête' as a tote, clutch, and a new pochette style.
The clutch shape inspired Delvaux's debut styles: the 'Lingot' with elongated D-shaped hardware and the 'Leonce' inspired by an archive style in the seventies.
The 'Pin' bag, influenced by a feedbag for horses, was celebrating fifty years and got a new look to mark the occasion, transforming into a mini wristlet clutch and new 'Pin' toy size, just big enough for a phone, keys, cards, and lipstick. Interestingly, the bags offer an entry price point of $2,000. Though Loubier insists it isn't the point.
"It's about the different parts of a women's day and how she lives. The client can own everything we do and crave what we do in different sizes and materials," said Loubier.
While the styles respect the label's legacy, so do the details that highlight the craftsmanship. New D-leather tab details and colorful leather pom poms that require twenty minutes to assemble just one and wicker from France's Loire valley demonstrate the craft that goes into each Delvaux bag.
"There is a lot of craft; it's ours, and we apply them to existing bag shapes because without those, they are not as interesting," Loubier explained, adding, "A Delvaux bag lasts generations. We play with novelty around what we are known for; you recognize the shape, but the leathers, finishes, sizes, colors, etc. change."
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