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SWAGs are celebrating this season: you can have it all and even more! Silver. Gold. Leopard print from head to toe. Black and red drama. Thunder and lightnings. Evil’s flowers. Relax ladies and gentlemen – Christmas is coming!

VOYAGE

Gucci is pleased to announce the release of a new limited-edition publication. Titled Blind For Love, it showcases a collection of images taken by British artist and photographer Nick Waplington documenting the Gucci Cruise 2017 fashion show that took place in London inside the Cloisters at Westminster Abbey in June of this year.

Nick Waplington, renowned for his raw and unfiltered depiction of British life, captures candid moments in the lead-up to the show, as well as behind-the-scenes images during and after the main event.

Published by Assouline, Blind For Love will be limited to 1,000 copies and comes in a slipcase with gilded pages and a painted portrait of Queen Elizabeth I on the front cover.

Priced at $95, €90 and £60, the title is published on 1st December and will be available at Assouline boutiques around the world as well as Assouline.com. Specialty stores like Dover Street Market in London, New York and Tokyo, Colette in Paris, along with selected bookstores like the Palais de Tokyo in Paris will also carry the book.

The London and New York City Assouline stores will hosts book signing events with Nick Waplington on December 4th and 8th, respectively.

Evelinesmes

“To have expressive eyes you should read books”.

Evelina Khromtchenko

Diary

Russian language at the Parisian fashion house surprises no one nowadays: many Parisian luxury brands hire Russian-speaking staff to please their clientele. However, it is rare for a Russian native speaker to be hired for a key position in the Parisian fashion. It is even rarer to come across a prestigious fashion brand owner born in the ex-USSR. Fedor Savchenko-Rovnoff and his sister Veronika took it a step further. They restored an old Parisian luggage house Moreau founded in 1882 and closed right after the Great Depression. Fedor Savchenko-Rovnoff, creative director at Moreau, goes into detail in the exclusive interview for evelinakhromtchenko.com

How did you get started in the world of Parisian fashion?

At the age of 14 I entered an art school. Later got accepted to Kyiv Technological Institute of Light Industry (now Kyiv National University of Technologies and Design), where I studied fashion design for 5 years. After graduating I worked as an assistant for a Kiev fashion designer Sergei Byzov.

Later I took part in different competitions: got second place at Smirnoff Fashion Awards in Moscow in 1995, where we participated together with Denis Simachev. Then in Saint-Petersburg I got acquainted with Marie Rucki, director of the Parisian fashion design institute Studio Berçot. She was part of the jury for the Admiralty′s Needle contest in 1998 or 1999, and I started dreaming of coming to Paris to study at Studio Berçot.

My first trip to Paris was in the year 2000. I arrived together with the Kiev television crew, thanks to whom I obtained access to fashion shows and met Evelina Khromtchenko. In 2001 I was admitted to Studio Berçot, where I studied for a couple of years. My first job was at Jean Louis Scherrer, previously based at 51 avenue Montaigne, there is a Chanel boutique there now. It was a really good experience. Being an assistant at a studio means taking part in all the projects: apparel, sometimes footwear, accessories – a little bit of everything. I worked on prêt-à-porter, as well as haute couture and licensing… All that was really useful, I even visited embroidery production in India. In 2005 I transferred to Goyard, specifically related to leather goods production. There I worked as a designer until 2011. Later on I cooperated with different brands from Le Tanneur to Robert Clergerie as a freelancer. I also lived in Qatar for a couple of years working for a Qatari company between Qatar and Paris. Since 2014 I’ve been working fully at Moreau Paris.

And how did the idea to restore the Moreau house come to you? Why this brand specifically and not some other one?

My favorite part in my experience working at different French fashion houses was communicating with people, who devoted their whole life to craftsmanship. Love of the production process, selection of the luxurious materials, classical hand-made stitching, leather neating – all those classical stages necessary for the bag to last for many years, and all those steps of the birth of the bag were just magical for me.

It was love for this art that brought my sister Veronika and me to the idea of the restoration of the old French brand, that had rich archives and its own DNA with classical print created in the 19th century. First and foremost, we needed to restart the ancient production and make the brand up-to-date. Our only tribute to modernity is in the proportions of the new bags. The production principle is left unchanged, for example, handles represent a traditional fixation as we find on the trunks, that is also called poignée gendarme (simply because they point in opposite directions, when lowered down, similarly to the headwear of the gendarmes) or poignée de maille (loop handle). This is a sort of classics, simplicity and usability that does not go out of fashion.

Is Moreau production based in France or in Italy?

We produce everything in France. Our studios are based in the central part of the country: Corrèze, Clermont-Ferrand и Blois – where all the famous castles are situated.

How did you manage to buy the brand out? What was the tactics of its restoration?

There were more than 150 houses dealing with packaging, luggage forwarding and leather goods production in Paris in the 19th century. They resembled modern companies such as DHL. For example, if there was a need to send a glass display case, obviously, it requested a creation of a specific wooden case to prevent all damage. This type of service started to develop during the industrial revolution and the apparition of the railway system first in England and later on in France in 1830s. The second wave of development of such companies began with popularization of transatlantic voyages. That is when immense travel trunks looking like wardrobes appeared. Moreau was one of the few houses that had a recognizable print. The thing is, up until the end of the 19th century most houses used sole-colored fabrics. Louis Vuitton, for example, made its first trunks in the classic grey color without a logo. Later on the checkered print was used not only by Louis Vuitton, but by Goyard and Moynat, as well as other houses. Houses started to make their own brand prints on the fabric when the competition for the market share started. Therefore, the Moreau print is one of the most distinct points that differ us from other brands, and it is of high importance for us. The Moreau print was inspired by weaving used for willow baskets. The structure of the trunks was also made from willow branches rather than pieces of wood to avoid luggage cases being heavy. We can call this print Moreau weaving – « pletionka » in Russian. We print this pattern on the calfskin through frames by the traditional technics of serigraphy, each color goes separately through the grid, and this application method endures for a very long time. The leather ages beautifully and does not rub off, because the print goes deeply into the structure of the leather and, therefore, serves long.

I believe, if you make things with love, sooner or later you will become successful. If you make everything as if you were doing it for your own self, people start to feel and appreciate it. I would like to tell the story of how we started at Barney’s New York – an American designer Narciso Rodriguez was passing by our boutique on rue de Miromesnil and saw our windows. Afterwards he contacted the main accessories buyer of Barney’s and advised him to draw attention to a new interesting brand. So the representatives of Barney’s arrived, made an order, and put our bag on the front cover of the catalogue. That is one of the examples of the brand restoration and development.

Who became the main investor in the process of the brand revitalization?

t first we were doing everything ourselves, nowadays the Japanese group Onward became our partner. They help to develop the brand and open new stores. By the way, there is a project to open a new boutique in Paris next year, it will become the third one (one being already in Paris and one in Tokyo). We are thinking about projects in other cities and world capitals, but we need time to organize everything.

Where else can we find Moreau products besides Paris and Tokyo?

There are about 30 sales points around the world, such as Barney’s New York, Barney’s Tokyo, Isetan, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, Boon the shop Shinsegae in Seoul, Shin Kong Palace in Beijing, our products are also sold in Monaco, Norway and Sweden.

Do you keep the design the same for every country or do you make specific ones?

We don’t make special collections, we have permanent merchandise. We also receive more specific orders, for example, to make the shoulder strap of a cross body bag shorter. But in general our models suit everyone. The thing that can really differ depending on the local taste is color preferences. Sizes do depend on the country as well: we have bigger and smaller bags.

For example, our bestseller – Brégançon. This trunk (shows an ancient Moreau trunk) used to belong to Robert Bellanger, the last tenant of the Fort de Brégançon – which then became French presidents’ summer residence. We named our bag Brégançon as homage to this discovery. The small model of this bag is really popular in Asia and the United States. We also have this bag made from calfskin, which can be turned inside out really easily becoming double sided: a more chic version with our famous print and a more casual sole-colored one. In general it is possible to choose from 11 color options, which can be combined at the will of the customer. You can check out different color options and special orders, as well as new colors and models on our official Instagram account @moreauparis.

Will you remake the luggage line?

Of course, we are moving towards the basis, the routs. One of our latest products is a little travel trunk made from semi-rigid leather. We based the design on the historic one of the trunk Petite Malette Chancelière. It is made from calfskin with the print, goatskin on the inside, and a brass and palladium lock. Locks are also made in Europe (France, Italy, and Belgium). The trunk itself weights nearly nothing, which is really important. This line will be developed further; it will include suitcases of different sizes, as well as trolley ones.

However, it will be the luggage made without nails. We have a specific vision of luggage. All our products, up to luggage, are based on the traditional technics of fabrication. Our traditional diligence trunk is handstitched, and is an example of how a stitched luggage is made.

Why was Vincennes shopper chosen as a base model?

It is what people wear the most, it is a practical bag. In addition, people can choose different colors for the bag and its handles, the size of the handles can also be chosen – they can be lowered down, to not be in the way if you are carrying the bag on the shoulder.

We also made bags with more rigid structure, such as Miromesnil bag, it can be worn on the long strap or on the shoulder. But in general most people choose calfskin shopper as their first purchase, more serious stuff comes later.

Bags can also be made from different exotic leather – ostrich, alligator, and crocodile. We always work together with traditional French leather makers. We choose every leather piece very scrupulously. It is necessary for it to be positioned correctly on the molds during the cutting process. It is very important that the relief is consistent on the different parts of the bag: rougher one towards the edges and more rippled one in the middle.

What colors are the most popular ones?

Classic colors: fauve, taupe, graphite, black, white, light blue. Models with the print are also very popular.

Are there any famous people among your clients?

In general, yes, but we prefer to not advertise it. We accidentally came across photos of Caroline, princess of Monaco, carrying our bag, our distinct features – the stitching and other details are very visible. Despite the cases, when it comes out in press, we prefer to keep the names of our clients secret.

Where do you find inspiration?

Obviously, expositions, museums – Musée d’Orsay, for instance. Nature also is a source of inspiration. Natural colors are never too vibrant. The same colored bags bring the sense of calm and confidence. You understand that you will not be irritated by a psychedelic green color in a couple of years. Although, technically, such colors as citreous look rather beautiful on the inside of bags, they keep you awake.

Clients also inspire me. It is very rewarding to see people who come back, order other bags, who appreciate our work. Moreover, I am inspired by trips to our studios, by communicating with people, who make bags, with our buyers, who arrive, order, and search and try to combine different colors and sizes together with us. Communication is a great source of inspiration; it is real life, real problems and wishes of people.

Where do you live in Paris? Maybe you have favorite places?

Paris is a museum city; every stone is saturated with history. I absolutely adore the 6th arrondissement, Saint Sulpice, the Luxembourg Garden, galleries… When the weather is nice I like to go to Café de Flore. Saint Germain is my favorite part of the city, although, of course, I spend most of the time in the 8th arrondissement, I even live not far away from our boutique.

I spend most of my time at work.

Interview: Maria Massot and Milena Sclacmeuld

Ask Evelina

Q «They say that old Soviet sheepskin coats are again in fashion, can you confirm this?», – Svetlana, Perm.


A — Svetlana, fashion expert Evelina Khromtchenko has answered your question during «Murzilki Live» show at «Avtoradio». She has also disclosed some new fashion trends in the run-up to «Spring-Summer 2017 Fashion Season» master class which will take on December 8th, 2016 at the legendary GUM ball room.




Q «They say that old Soviet sheepskin coats are again in fashion, can you confirm this?», – Svetlana, Perm.


A — Svetlana, fashion expert Evelina Khromtchenko has answered your question during «Murzilki Live» show at «Avtoradio». She has also disclosed some new fashion trends in the run-up to «Spring-Summer 2017 Fashion Season» master class which will take on December 8th, 2016 at the legendary GUM ball room.



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