Roger Vivier, Delvaux reinforce their pedigree in craft during Paris Fashion Week
Two brands—Roger Vivier and Delvaux—that define European luxury and set the bar high for exquisite products, each showed their fall 2023 collections with aplomb and a focus on savoir-faire.
Returning to the Latin American Museum for the first time since Gherardo Felloni took the brand's creative helm, Roger Vivier furthered its 'La Maison Vivier' concept for its fall/winter 2023 collection by focusing on the level of craft executed on its accessories. The creative director extended his vision for the house by adding more categories to construct a silhouette via the accessories.
Guests arriving at the presentation were greeted by a small symphony and opera singers strategically placed under the main staircase who were belting out renditions of The White Lotus theme, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland theme, and music from Edward Scissorhands. Live music is increasingly popular at shows and other fashion functions, but Felloni has always favored performance at presentations.
Entering the colored-themed rooms, guests were proposed the idea of opera further via the elaborate beaded glove-and-stole combos with coordinating shoes and bags.
"The idea started from Roger Vivier, who changed the silhouette of women with the stiletto for the New Look and the Belle du Jour later; fashion people know this, but not everyone does. Accessories can change and make a look; how does this look today? So, I created a total look using just accessories," Felloni told FashionNetwork.com, in a private interview at the presentation.
"Besides shoes and bags, the store has hats, belts, and jewelry; we are growing in this category. The gloves, stoles, and boleros will be sur measure," he added.
He also demonstrated one of three men's styles the brand has by wearing them. Also displayed in some of the rooms were artisans from the Maison showing various details of shoes and bag construction.
According to the designer, the models, who were performers, were installed in carrousels in a nod to 1950s couture viewing, in various rooms according to different group themes. For example, a black-and-white motif executed in satin and jet beading mainly explored Felloni's acumen to create dramatic pieces such as gloves with a floor-length stole attached. Mini-bolero vests channeled parures worn in the 19th century.
Several aspects recalled the details used on shoes and bags shown during couture, such as upholstery tucks on a Viv Choc' me' bag or ruffles previously executed in satin realized in leather and leopard calfskin alongside 'Cuissardes' or thigh-high boots for a more casual interpretation.
"It's more day wear though maybe it's almost too much to wear them for daytime," Felloni said, noting the over-the-knee Viv Choc boot style is vital for fall 2023. "Sexiness and sophistication are returning; they help the silhouette I am creating."
On other looks, such as a sage green ensemble, the large swath of taffeta meant as a belt was wrapped from an evening sandal up the length of the leg to demonstrate the power of the accessory.
It begged the question if Felloni was prepping to design clothes. "I am an accessories man, but I make silhouettes with accessories like jewelry for the body," he demurred.
Escorting FashionNetwork.com through its fall/winter 2023 presentation, Delvaux CEO Jean-Marc Loubier quickly pointed out that if you look to the Belgian top-tier luxury handbag brand for the latest trends, you have come to the wrong place.
"We present during Paris Fashion Week, but we are not fashion; we are beyond that. We are about design and durability, constantly making our bag styles from sixty to seventy years ago current," he said in a private interview.
Which isn't to say there isn't a seasonal message. This go-round grey felt is a highlight on the Brillant and Pin bags used as a base fabric with custom-stitching details with the house divine leather work showing up as a flap, handle, straps, and other trims. According to the long-time brand executive, the fun was in the colors of traditional tan, an orange-yellow, and lime green, which the brand calls brandy, honey, and aloe, respectively.
With a backdrop of walls draped in grey felt, Loubier—who substitutes as a creative voice for the brand, which currently lacks a high-profile design director—placed the bags on five roman black marble columns, an odd one out in dark brown Emperador marble. The idea of the presentation flowed through several rooms of a typical Parisian hôtel particulier was a journey through ancient Rome, in a nod to connecting the dots from the past to the future. What that has to do with Delvaux's history is anyone's guess.
In the middle of the tour, another room mimicked the column idea with Ben Storm's uber-modern metallic pillow-like sculptures stacked to reference a column that displayed the more intricate examples of the houses' artisanal skill, such as bags covered in leather fringe so fine it resembled fabric and swooshed with movement. Another trapezoid bag with gleaming gold hardware and metallic appliques was intriguing and is ripe for coming to the forefront from the Delvaux archives in a big way.
The final stage of the tightly edited bag trip involved more columns and a felt 'road' marked with small leather goods as pavement markings. It highlighted some subtle new iterations of the Pin and the Tempête XL Fly, a particularly enticing oversized style in the supple, malleable leather.
This tied into yet another stop of the journey in the cocktail lounge room, where the brand's ongoing collaboration with Jean Colonna—a 1990s designer who emerged alongside the Antwerp Six—was brought to light. The designer reintroduced the Brillant L'XXL bag, an unstructured and unlined large unisex satchel in three colorways: black, cognac, and an applied abstract camouflage pattern. They were artfully displayed as groups in three wall-sized vitrines in materials that reflected each bag; black carbon briquets for the black, a wall of wildflowers for the camo, and a wall of hay straw for the classic neutral color. Colonna's take on presenting those bags differed, but could have led the entire show.
Overall, the presentation lacked the whimsy and consistency of the beach-themed spring/ summer 2023 presentation, but if the goal was to convey a snapshot of the house's savoir-faire, then mission accomplished.
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