Vionnet: Time For Your Close-Up

Goga Ashkenazi wants you to take a closer look at the house of Vionnet. A much closer look. “This is a photograph of the South of France,” she points out backstage, minus 25 minutes before show time. Girls line up, make-up shots are taken, a run-through happens, and it’s impossible to navigate the warren of the preparation bunker as the countdown continues. 

 

Vionnet Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

The image she’s pointing to is of a print on a wisp-light beach dress. Inspect it a little more and you see it’s not just a bespeckled print: here there is a sandy beach, its umbrellas and suntanned bodies all stretched out. It looks like a lovely place to be. “Because when you lie on the beach, you almost feel like you’re raised above,” reasons Ashkenazi. It’s a pretty print alright and makes for one of the more subtle design notes she’s created for the house this season.

Elsewhere there are slogans, mantras, statements that can be found embroidered onto a cape or the back of a dress or on a jacket. “Read between the lines,” you’ll find under the fringing (lines) of a blazer; “This piece took 194 hours to make," on said cape; and another reads, “You think you know me but you don’t."

 

Vionnet Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

“These are statements that I believe in, they mean a lot to me. This is why I went into fashion,” explains Ashekenazi, whose own trajectory into fashion took a slightly different turn than others. A self-described entrepreneur, she took on the tricky job of manning a resurrected heritage house back in 2012. She works with a team – who took the finale bow – to create the collections. “I love the process; people are beginning to understand this.” 

Why the explanation? Because fashion is a tough place to be in the first place; it’s all about proving oneself and, of late, there have been no end of house resurrections, something which doesn’t always work. Fashion is about context and that can be difficult to recreate in the here and now, again, very many years later. With this collection, Ashkenazi added denim and contemporary notes into the mix. But she says that it does, and will of course always, come back down to Vionnet

 

Vionnet Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

“The inspiration is always Vionnet. There is so much more, so much more that we can do.” So it was apt that this collection was inspired by the idea of an urban odyssey – Ashkenazi herself on a journey with the house. “The sea, the journey that is told, with urban language. Also the language of Vionnet is always in our vocabulary.” 

Beyond South of France scapes there were more nautical references to be found: the idea of a fisherman's net translated into silk tulle, rope cord details, the knots, the sea providing Ashkenazi and her team with a plethora of texture inspirations.

 

Read our latest fashion features and trend reports in NOWMagazine.

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