For someone from the field of haute couture, Vauthier is surprisingly democratic, finding ways to literally get the look for less. “While we’re developing fabrics and embellishments for couture, we’re already considering how to spin them off into ready-to-wear, to get the same aspect,” he said during an appointment.
The fall couture’s subject, namely the imagery and crafts that made him go into design, worked overtime in this collection, giving the couturier ample opportunity to play with Parisian tropes. June’s silk faille became prints on silks and jerseys; dresses made of acres of silk mousseline were recast in charmeuse to create volumes and reduce yardage; silk linings get blended with cotton, and hand-crafted flowers created by feather specialists Maison Lemarié return as machine-made fabric blooms. “We ask our suppliers to develop a version with price targets that match rtw targets,” he explained.
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So the gold-buttoned blazers loved by French First Lady Brigitte Macron felt familiar, as did brushstroke prints cut into dresses and blouses. His less obviously sexy but intensely handsome feminine suits were made available in more variations, while a statement trench returned as a breezy, lightweight staple. Footwear was available in a range of heel heights and treatments so vast that the once-compact line now has its own room.
Dotted in the lineup were limited edition cotton T-shirts printed with girly sketches of some of the season’s key looks. “Although our collections are derived from couture, I thought it would be fun to have these caricatures,” he said. “Make something easy. It de-dramatizes the notion. Sure, couture is an art and a service, but I nonetheless wanted to make it more touchable.”
Launch Gallery: Alexandre Vauthier RTW Spring 2020