• First Spell – Look #01

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  • First Bliss – Look #01

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  • First Crime – Look #1

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  • First Awakening – Look #01

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First Spell
Fall Winter 2019/2020
Tuesday, July 2nd 2019 runway show
 
 
On the occasion of his House’s tenth anniversary, Julien Fournié pays tribute to women who derogate, transform and transcend the social codes which were designed to enclose their gender. Since the dawn of time, the most terrible spell was always cast on these ladies. When in grade of overcoming the limits which patriarchal cultures had imposed on them, female healers, alchemists or scholars, were systematically labeled evil, accused of witchcraft and burnt at the stake.

“I have always found witches more stimulating than repulsive,” says Julien Fournié. “Women called by that name do cultivate independence, possess a sense of adventure and stimulate the imagination, opening up to a magical world.”

Mastering every trick in the art of the cut, the French grand couturier modernizes into evil beauties the mythical silhouettes of witches, poisoners, gothic novels dames and film noir stars alike. High collar, embroidered shirtfronts on pleated chiffon blouses, are paired with long Edwardian skirts. In jackets, coats and “trompe-l’oeil“ coat dresses, the cut borrows from the military vocabulary the impeccable padded shoulders and apparent buttoning on the top. From the waistline downwards, fabric blooms into folded “basques” on jackets, and blossoms, in hemlines at ankle level, to allow marching with the right magnitude.

A jacket of knitted yarn mimics fur and mixes fringes with spikes to underline its wild animal aspect. Softened to perfection, precious leathers (python, alligator) sculpt busts and waistlines in black or midnight blue, unless they cinch them with graded animal scales in the tones of auroras.

Ravens and other birds of misfortune are summoned on headpieces, bonnet and “capeline”, via embroidered feathers, also woven in a remarkable version of the House’s iconic bag. The signature t-strap mules are decorated for the season with a contrasting tiara pattern on their tip.

“Haute Couture and magic do share a taste for the accumulated experience and the knacks of the trade. Official education often underrates and depreciates this kind of knowledge,” says Julien Fournié. “I am convinced that combining the empirical and the innovative is the best way to save nature, humanity, and change the world so that the free exultation of minds and bodies can never be associated again with devilish Sabbaths.”

 

First Bliss
Spring Summer 2019
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 runway show
 
 
In the Atlantic, between three continents, the lunar landscapes of Lanzarote island have inspired Julien Fournié. Between desert and tropics, sirocco and trade winds, prodigious algae and volcanic lichens, the French couturier enforces Nature’s radical choices, operated on this peculiar island which has become a biosphere reserve.
Minerals -dark castings of basalt, bright fine sands brought from the Sahara by the wind- form the contrasting basis of the season’s color palette, enhanced by a cactus green, a bougainvillea pink and the blue of a saturated sky, as reflected in the natural pool hidden in an open cave.
Stimulated by the paths trodden earlier by the artist-architect Cesar Manrique to celebrate creative actions in harmony with the ecosystem, Julien Fournié delivers a collection made with fabrics exclusively composed with natural fibers. Every aspect in the French grand couturier’s collection breathes regained well-being, harmony and self-esteem.
The sensuality of silk drape, the soft touch of chiffon, the mystery of moire in geological fuses of gray are underlined with asymmetric drapings and straight pleats, to better mark body curves and either frame or caress bare skin. With fabrics molded close over shoulders, bust and waist, amplitudes are developing only from the hips to a hemline just above the ankle… cinched by the strap of the House’s signature T-bar heels.
Precious leathers (eel, reindeer, python) add to the voluptuousness of the collection. Ties and metalwork cinch the waistline, harness the shoulders, and occasionally strap the neck. Unusual cacti and chlorophyte algae are embroidered in luxurious embellishments. The lightness of a silk georgette flies in a scarf dress, whitewashed as with chalk, and adorned with the print designed by Julien Fournié to evoke the volcanic island, its strong colors, its singular palms.
A luxurious and casual chic spirit rules on the runway, the same one as in the parties organized in the 1960s by Cesar Manrique and Omar Sharif for their Hollywood friends, whom they welcomed for an exceptional leisure time in the incredible suites of decorated caves which they were using as mansions.
By combining telluric energy, summer atmosphere and casual elegance, « First Bliss » showcases a wardrobe conducive to pampering, toning, invigorating the summer of 2019 with self-respect and sincere compliance with the biophysical environment around.

 

FIRST CRIME
Fall Winter 2018/2019
July 2018 runway show
 
 
Constantly in search of a style to allow ladies to best express their emotions, Julien Fournié signs his « First Crime » Haute Couture collection in 33 elegantly strict looks inspired by the suspense masters’ muses (Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock, Paul Verhoeven). But how would a « profiler » analyze the motives of this « serial killer » of a couturier who hits with his aesthetics ? First, he would notice the sculptural drapings, discover the hidden cuts, note the scalpel adjusted busts. He would investigate the secrets in the sleeves, examine the waist straps, the « basques » that accompany each movement. He would record the vertiginous asymmetries created by bias inlays and drapings. A sheath slashed by a cut on the side of the chest would intrigue him. Julien Fournié’s favorite weapon remains the cut. It structures the garment and ensures modesty and pace. Precious leathers (pecari for size, reindeer for touch and nobility) can compose dresses as well as trousers. The French couturier’s customers dare it all l: for example, the panther total look printed on leather in a dress, a handbag, gloves and t-strap heels. In a reconstructed pose, Julien Fournié’s fans are facing their own issues with weapons that belong only to them. By leading them to sublimate their impulses in a ruby, duck-blue, or fawn tones palette, the designer leads them into a purity of mohair, silk drape and chiffon which leaves no room for commonness or complacency. Like the incredible feathered black dress which opens the show, each piece pays tribute to the discreet handwork of Paris ateliers. Here, the embroidery in matte thread is devouring sequins, veils are dimming out sparkling shines, jacquards are revealing a special collaboration with the best weavers. But who or what is the designer trying to strangle ? First of all, self-negligence, say his customers, and also the easiest possible solution declare his assistants, as well as the unbearable in-your-face shine confess his friends. « Suspense is like a woman, » said Alfred Hitchcock. « The more left to the imagination, the more the excitement. » Julien Fournié translates it well into unique garments.

 

FIRST AWAKENING
Spring-Summer 2018
January 23rd 2018 runway show
 
For this season, Julien Fournié is composing a wardrobe with the Asian heroines he has in mind. Whether they are anime characters, empresses, wives, dancers, protagonists in films by Yimou Zhang and Kaige Chen or in the novels by Yasunari Kawabata, restraint always signs their expression of elegance. In resolutely 1950 lines, the meticulous needlework infused by the French couturier is mixing noble monochrome fabrics with antique jacquards and brocades adopted, inspired or reinterpreted from the textile heritage of the Far East. Traces of Japanese kimono, prints of Chinese hanfu and shapes of Manchu « qipao » appear, inlayed in gowns which are floating above the ground. Haute Couture is playing with worldwide codes of craftsmanship to better transcend them: designs dare include polka dots on an Asian traditional belt, they include organ pipes on a cheongsam sheath, they add the memory of a obi to a « basque », they embroider wisteria on a dress in genuine origami for geisha style. The palette prohibits black and promotes powdery tones, shades of bamboo and pink shimmers. Sheer tulle and lace favor superimpositions and deliberately filter the shine for more decency. Silk drape sculpts bodies in closeto-the-bust cuts, sleeves hide many a secret of Haute Couture techniques. Leather gets involved here and there to sharpen waists or elongate legs. Wearing heeled T-strapped open mules in kaleidoscopic leather, models march on a dashing rhythm. Make-up, hairstyle, light and soundtrack confirm the futuristic character in these aesthetics. Stretched eyebrows and hair tightened as close as possible to the skull mark this awakening to a new consciousness. Like the performers of Butoh, Noh or Kabuki, in their dressing rooms after their show, who reveal more compassion as they are awakening to their true personality, allowing themselves to be more vulnerable. This is the kind of awakening to which Julien Fournié is calling: to create original fashion designs with a style uniting the best secrets inherited from Paris Haute Couture with other identified and long-established handcrafts, without fear of associating them with digital technologies. Outshining ethnic features and regional identification, constantly reinventing the spirit of Haute Couture, Julien Fournié matches tradition with innovation to express a new cosmopolitan awareness.

 

FIRST ORACLE
Fall-Winter 2017/2018
July 4th 2017 runway show
 
 
Julien Fournié pays tribute to the ladies with a destiny who have become his customers. Far from any fashion trend and a thousand leagues away from vulgar red carpet outfits, these empowered ladies represent genuine fashion icons. The couturier is proposing to these muses his expert cut looks which help lift up the spine to define the new elegance of timeless Haute Couture in a contemporary expression with some delicate Gothic accents. His color palette (« nude », black and gold) is declined in selected materials: mohair, jersey, lace and the silk faille which Julien Fournié is using for the first time under his signature. If only the three-quarters sleeves allow to see the bare skin, the derma is sometimes only veiled with a layer of nude tulle all over the body, embroidered with black sequins in strategic places, or adorned with black lace in geometric plunging V-necklines. Yet femininity is celebrated everywhere, including in the pieces without sheer fabric. The silhouette comes first in these close-to-the-body cuts on the top which are suggesting sensuality by reproducing the gesture of morphing, with kimono sleeves allowing to sculpt the bust, while ruffles and amplitude are reserved – from the hipline downwards- to the bottom part of the garments, from the hipline downwards, in order to highlight the right pace for the ladies who will have the privilege of wearing these exceptional pieces. The same rigor and movement are found in coats and trench coats, while shimmering embroidered fabrics are often reserved to under dresses and only seen through the filter of the sheer « déshabillés » covering them up. Gold exclusive jacquards of the season are declined in geometric lotus motifs, or referent to « tachism » of the 1940s, just like this great black taffeta dress embroidered with gold sequins. Still in golden tones, nursing pins seem to adjust the bustier à la Charles James in a spectacular nude silk faille dress. With shoulders almost always covered, the outfits favor knotted drapes often attached by reinterpretations of old jewels in marcasite, onyx and solid silver. Short hair emphasizes the eyes, just like the feathers placed on the eyelids. Here and there, a crown of feathers bars the face, like the pencil line by the couturier to bring back on the models the gesture of his signature mysterious fashion illustrations. At the feet of these ladies, T-strap sandals rule, enhanced by a discreet platform. Most times, they come in shades of « nude » often illuminated by the entire surface of the house’s signature heel in whitened gold leather. In floor long dresses, the hemline always floats a few centimeters above ground level, as if to give a glimpse of voluptuousness by paraphrasing these verses by Alfred de Musset; « And When one gets a glimpse of the foot, the leg can be imagined. And everyone knows that she has a charming foot.  » The bride wears a large « nude » ample court coat on an ivory lace sheath with geometric inlays to enhance body curves. Unveiled, the bride will take off the crown of feathers which is masking her eyes only to embrace the man with whom she is about to seal her destiny.

 

 
Paris Runway ShowsJean Paul Cauvin