“I don’t like fashion,” declared designer Romain Brau, when asked about his work, for this special Paris Issue of BACO.
How can he say such a thing? Everything he does breathes fashion — his elaborate outfits, his couture collections, collabs with exclusive brands like Liska and Etam, and the fanciful shows he produces every fashion week.
Brau’s seemingly contradictory statement is more or less in line with the vision of trend forecaster Li Edelkoort, who is by far one of the most influential oracles of the fashion scene.
Last February, the Dutch-born, Parisian-by-adoption writer, published “Anti-fashion,” a manifesto that in ten bullet points, explained why the fashion industry as we know it, is compelled to die.
She depicts designers working on computers, instead of handling materials — all totally ignorant of the properties and textures that certain fabrics possess.
Edelkoort also points out how the fashion world is disconnected from the social realities of today and the public’s desires.
For Edelkoort, it all starts in the fashion schools, where the faculty deludes its students into believing they will one day become a catwalk star, when they should be doing is teaching their students about fabrics, how to sew and work as a team.
If fashion is on the verge of an untimely demise, then perhaps instilling a passion for the tangible art of making clothes and a renewed appreciation for creativity, are key to averting such a crisis.
In this Paris issue, BACO takes you on a tour of “The City of Lights,” where a breeze of fresh air is beckoning an air of promise.
One such designers that has swept into the fashion scene here, is Marian Eeckhout. Groomed by a prestigious couture house and by the tailors’ training association and the Chambre Syndicale de la couture Parisienne, Eeckhout knows how to design, sew and construct prototypes. Satisfying the luxury world’s appetite for sustainable and more fashion conscious items, Eeckhout’s men’s creations are crafted with recycled scraps of fabrics. Eeckhout is a true tailor of the modern world.
We also explore the turban atelier of Donia Allegue, who is infusing a sense of old-school glamour into the casual-wear-prone fashion scene here, and we take you on a tour of the alternative Parisian perfume house Ex Nihilo, a true bespoke perfumery that uses the know how of the past and the best technology of the present to propose innovative, personalized scent combinations.
The artisans of this Paris Issue rely on traditions and craftsmanship, in order to chart their own path.
By the end of this edition, you will start to understand Romain Brau’s rejection of all that is mass market and the industry’s “feeding the beast” behavior. Brau shows us he is happiest when he is in his sewing studio, among his sketches and his fabrics… And if this is not called fashion, then I don’t know what is.
Marianne Dorell, Paris Correspondent
ALSO IN THE PARIS ISSUE: Video Special: Romain Brau and Kevin Auger’s Bygone Beauties, Donia Allegue’s House of Turban’s, Ex Nihilo’s Personalized Perfumes, BACO Style: French Blogger Typhaine Augusto, Marian Eeeckhout: Recycling with Style