In the mood of Julien Fournié: ‘We need to get back to basics: sharing emotions’

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Relaxnews: Which is the most representative garment in this fall/winter wardrobe?
Julien Fournié: A dress in silk Jacquard with a check print in ivory and gold. Because it’s a vision for a queen of our day and age… And because of the needlework on the collar neckpiece, which extends the proportions of her silhouette seemingly infinitely. It’s a robe that gives the wearer wings, I think.

R: Can you think of any celebrity, living or deceased, who could wear every item in this fall/winter collection?
JF: Living — that would be Cate Blanchett. I often thought of her while designing this collection, especially the way she looked in the film “Elizabeth.” She brought an undeniable modernity to the ambiance of that dark period. And my collection hinges on these constrasts between dark and light.

As for a personage of the past, that would be the Countess of Castiglione, the first muse of 19th-century photography, particularly those of Pierre-Louis Pierson, for the same reasons: after having been Napoleon III’s mistress and one of the most beautiful women in Paris, the Countess shut herself away in her home at Place Vendôme surrounded by black. She even had the mirrors covered in black gauze so as not to see her face except in a veiled looking-glass.

R: What would you do if you could make over Cara Delevingne?
JF: A very close-fitting tuxedo made of swakara, the fur of newborn karakul sheep, which are only bred in Namibia, and their pelts are so fine they can be compared to a fabric like moiré. I use it so I can cut cigarette pants as close to the body as possible. I can see her in a black swakara tuxedo (worn against bare skin), which would bring out her extraordinary proportions and beautiful hair.

R: Is there a certain film, image or sound that would mesh best with your new collection?
JF: A film? That would be “The Great Gatsby” for the art déco motifs and the toned-down glitter. Or maybe “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman,” a Hollywood classic in color with Ava Gardner, for its strange, supernatural atmosphere, both dark and colorful. Or “The Others” with Nicole Kidman, again for that tension between light and dark.

An image? That would be a Modigliani female figure for the proportions, and a painting by Klimt for the colors. A sound? Either the adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, which is on the soundtrack to this show, or a viola da gamba composition by William Byrd.

R: How do you think the fashion and luxury industry will evolve over the years to come?
JF: As everything is dematerializing, we need to get back to basics: sharing emotions. That’s why for the 13 minutes that make up this show I’d like time to be suspended and those in attendance to unite in sharing powerful emotions.

R: We loved “The Great Gatsby.” If you could design the costumes for the film adaptation of a well-known story, which one would you pick?
JF: Me too, I loved the early shots of “The Great Gatsby”. Otherwise, “Le coeur cousu” (“The Threads of the Heart”] by Carole Martinez is my favorite novel of the past few decades: it’s about the needlework of a dressmaker in a village in Spain whose embroidery actually comes to life. So the flowers embroidered on a wedding dress wilt, while a butterfly flies away from the fabric. I’m really captivated by the magical atmosphere of this novel.


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