PARIS, Jul 4, 2009 / FW/ — Haute couture is dead; long live haute couture! Since the turn of the century, doomsayers have been predicting the death of haute couture. Yet season after season, young designers throw their hats in the ring and for Fall 2009, the one to watch is French-born Julien Fournié who is picking up the Gallic torch for high fashion and proposing a new vision of luxury.
A graduate of the Ecole de la Chamber Syndicate de la Couture Parisienne and the winner of the Moet & Chanson prize at Paris Fashion Awards in 2000, Julien Fournié worked at Jean Paul Gaultier, Claude Montana and Christian Dior before taking the creative helm at Torrente Haute Couture, a position he held until 2004.
Wanting to expand his horizons, Julien left his native France to work in Asia as a consultant for several ready-to-wear brands. From this experience, Julien gained valuable insight on the Eastern design philosophy and how Asians view luxury.
Back in Paris, Julien delved into the world of luxury accessories and thus adding another level of expertise to his already impressive résumé. And the icing on the cake, Julien collaborated on several press projects as illustrator wherein he successfully merged today’s technology with the traditional plates of the illustrator.
All these experiences culminated when Julien Fournié was named Creative Director of Ramosport. While deconstructing and reconstructing the label’s iconic trench coat thus modernizing it to be introduced to a new generation of fashionistas was the time that Julien realized that it is time to show the world his own vision of luxury.
Upon leaving Ramosport, Julien Fournié did not waste any time; he started designing his first collection for his eponymous label. While doing this, he was also faced with the mundane, i.e. setting up the company, filing the paperwork needed, finding the press attaché who is a perfect fit among others. And for this, he had to rely on his longtime friend, confidante and right-hand man, Jean Paul Cauvin.
Thus, the house of Julien Fournié was born, and it will debut on the Paris runway on Tuesday, July 7th at the Docks en Seine Cite de la Mode et du Design.
What does this young designer has envisioned as the new mode of luxury? Vulnerability as luxury!
Since time in memoriam, clothes are used for protection, whether it is from the elements like the heat and the cold or to the extreme end of the spectrum wherein medieval knights and today’s soldiers wear armors.
Julien Fournié is reversing that point of view by having the clothes show the wearer’s vulnerability instead of being a form of security.
At first glance, it sounds like an oxymoron, but we see this in mundane things such as the Urgo adhesive bandages (band-aid to Americans). Used to cover a scratch or a cut, Urgo protects, yet it is also signifies how vulnerable our skin is.
There is also the Tetra Pak best known for packaging bricks of milk in recycled paper. While ‘protecting what is good’ Tetra Pak also acknowledges vulnerability.
To be vulnerable as a measure of luxury; Julien peeled off the traditional view on haute couture such as embroidery and focused on the cut and the artisanship of the silhouette making himself also very vulnerable by challenging the accepted view. Vulnerability is a true luxury!