- Kristopher Fraser |
New York - Relaunching a luxury fashion house is no easy task, but for billionaire Goga Ashkenazi who purchased Vionnet in 2012, she's managed to find a way to make it possible. She's in a unique position as the fashion house's sole proprietor and chairman, in addition to being the Creative Director for the brand, although she isn't a designer by trade.
Because of this, Ashkenazi has made sure to have a strong design team in place, and that design team now includes a new key player: Hussein Chalayan. Chalayan will be joining Vionnet as their ready-to-wear designer, but, he will also continue to produce his own namesake line. Chalayan joins Vionnet at a very high profiled time, as the company prepares to open their first boutique in Paris next month.
Chalayan's claim to fame is his "otherworldly" designs, he has also worked with Vionnet before for a "demi-couture" line that showed during Paris Couture Week last year. Editors were shocked at the collection, as it was a huge departure from what Vionnet was known to be, and it was described as looking like electrical wires and paper were wrapped around clothes. The second collection was designed to be more elegant, and left fewer audience members clutching their pearls afterwards.
It also proved that Chalayan can design with the classic Vionnet aesthetic in mind. Madeleine Vionnet, the founder of the House of Vionnet, was known for the bias cut and her Grecian style gowns. While we aren't in that era of clothing, Chalayan is still able to capture the elegance of an non-constricting feminine garment that a woman will love.
If the business of reviving Vionnet was a battle, Chalayan would be the tip of the spear they need to win. His creative vision for Vionnet is more conservative than his vision for his eponymous label, but he is poised to make it work. It's a whole new Vionnet, and Chalayan and Ashkenazi are sure to come up with some very interesting new looks together.