PARIS, Jun 24, 2009 / FW/ — It was in January 2004 when I first met Julien Fournié. It was during his debut as Creative Director of the now defunct Torrente couture house. He just turned 28 that time, but even at his first ever collection, he already demonstrated why the French had dominated the fashion world since time in memoriam.
If someone told me that time that Julien Fournié would be the next Yves Saint Laurent or the next Hubert de Givenchy, I would have disagreed. Because though it is a compliment to the highest degree, it also means that Julien’s style is a copy or an extension of these two design greats.
For me, Julien Fournié is the next Julien Fournié. His talent is different from Yves Saint Laurent or Hubert de Givenchy. Julien’s design aesthetics are his own; and since I have known him, it has continued to evolve as he pushes the creativity envelope.
Five years ago, at Torrente, Julien Fournié’s creations were based on the accepted norms for luxury – embroidery and encrusted jewels, wherein the clothes are made to fit the wearer. Every stitch, every cut, every layer of fabric is meant to enhance the beauty of the woman.
After Torrente closed, Julien took a low key approach as he continued to master his craft. He became consultant and adviser to an Asian firm which is listed in the Top 10 most recognizable brand in the world for their fashion division.
Coming back to Paris, he concentrated on shoes and accessories for a while before becoming Creative Director at Ramosport wherein he deconstructed and reconstructed the label’s iconic trench coat.
To paraphrase an old saying, “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride,” after hiding behind the names of established brands, Julien decided that it was time for him to be the “bride” and not just the bridesmaid, and thus brings us to his next step, launching his eponymous label.
On July 7, 2009 at 6:30 PM at the Docks en Seine Cite De La Mode et du Design, (City of Fashion and Design) in Paris, Julien Fournié will hold his first ever runway show under his own name. Actually, it is a first for both Julien and the City of Fashion and Design because this will also be the first time that a catwalk show will be held there.
Entitled “Premiers Modèles” (First Pieces), the collection also unveils Julien Fournié’s new aesthetics that he developed on his own. He is proposing a new vision of luxury – fragility and vulnerability of women as a supreme luxury. A total of 21 full looks will be presented.
To achieve this, Julien Fournié found a collaborator in the most unusual place, the pharmaceutical industry. Sponsored by Urgo, a French R&D company that develops skin care products, Julien’s idea of fragility and vulnerability as concept for luxury became reality.
Famous for its adhesive bandages (band-aid to Americans), Urgo’s presence is unexpected. But this is fashion and everything can happen. And if I know Julien, he would have developed a new couture band-aid for his runway show!
Julien Fournié’s photo by Tania & Vincent
Model’s photo by Wanda Wintour Dickinson