It’s official! The “Couture Creation” Classification Commission of the French Ministry of Industry has finally granted the “Haute Couture” label to the house of Julien Fournié on December 16th. The Haute Couture appellation, which is legally protected, is reserved for listed fashion houses only. As of January 2017, there are now 15 fashion houses that carry stringent requirements of Haute Couture, including well-known labels such as Adeline André, Alexandre Vauthier, Alexis Mabille, Chanel, Christian Dior, Franck Sorbier, Giambattista Valli, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Maison Margiela, Maurizio Galante, Schiaparelli, Stéphane Rolland, Yiqing Yin and, from now on, Julien Fournié.
Graduated from the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in 2000, Julien Fournié became the last Creative Director for the Torrente Haute Couture house until 2004. He has devoted himself only to his eponymous house since its foundation in 2009. Honored with the Great Prize for Creativity awarded by the City of Paris in 2010, Julien Fournié was admitted in January 2011 in the official calendar of Couture and Haute Couture runway shows. Julien Fournié combines the tradition of Parisian know-how and an innovative spirit, particularly by developing the 3D tools of the future, thanks to his partnership with Dassault Systèmes, a European software company with which he has co- founded the FashionLab since 2011.
Haute couture is a term protected by law and is defined by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris based in Paris. It is a high-end fashion that is constructed by hands from start to finish, made from the highest quality, very expensive, and often unusual fabric with extreme attention to details. According to Julien Fournié, “It has to be preserved as a living treasure. Comforted with the recognition by my peers, I intend to enhance its freedom of expression.” To earn this prestigious title, a fashion house must follow specific rules such as the designs are made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fitting; a fashion house must have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen full-time staff, they must have at least twenty full-time technical people, and a fashion house must present a collection of at least fifty original designs to the public every fashion season (in January and July each year).
As usual, a huge recognition always comes with great responsibilities. When asked about the responsibility that the house will have, Jean-Paul Cauvin, President of the house of Julien Fournie, shared: “Our responsibility is the same as other prestigious names on the list in the nine generations of grand couturiers: striking the right balance between i-tradition and innovation. Keeping the tradition in maintaining the excellence in the technical aspects of seaming, embroidering and embellishing while innovating in the design process. Being responsible is about thinking out of the box, thinking big and thinking not only about your luxury brand but also the industry. We have to contribute a lot to create businesses and designs which are pertinent for today and tomorrow. In 1870, creativity was only possible in the made-to-measure art. Today, fashion houses can survive doing only Haute Couture, but they can develop, like no other, into world famous luxury brands, producing also luxury Ready-to-wear, for men and women, accessories, and fragrances. It’s our responsibility so that many more women around the world can have a touch of the Haute Couture dream for themselves. The Haute Couture dream signed by Julien Fournie.”
There are twenty houses who have the status of “correspondent members” or “guest members”, are allowed to present their collections during the official Haute Couture fashion week. Mark your calendar as Julien Fournie will show his “First Kinesis” collection on the runway, on Tuesday, January 24th at 03.00 pm. We attended Julien Fournie’ fashion show for the first time at Vietnam International Fashion Week in 2015 and we were speechless. We are quite sure his upcoming collection will blow your mind.
Photos courtesy of Julien Fournié