Paris (AFP)

The cancellation of the parades for the week of haute couture which starts Monday in Paris has not only made unhappy. The very exclusive club of women who can buy these dream dresses has discreetly rejoiced: their favorite dressmakers would come to them, for personalized presentations in the hushed luxury of their palates.

"I thought they would be sorry, it's just the opposite," says Julien Fournié in his Parisian workshop, a few weeks before the shooting of a film presenting his 22nd collection.

He is used to traveling in the Middle East, and more and more often in Asia, for fittings with his workshop first, Ms. Jacqueline, who takes the measurements, notes the modifications, adjusts according to the wishes.

Pending the end of the coronavirus pandemic which has emptied the catwalks, the designer continues his creations. He shows AFP this "storm dress", a silk sheet which, in a few months, will be entirely embroidered with goose feathers.

"After the Covid, the one who wears it is an angel who returns to earth. She wears the colors before the storm over Paris, with the reflections of her zinc roofs, a sky degraded with pink, purple, bluish, chalk. .. ".

In the creative film of a few minutes that he designs in place of the parade, he wants to show the artisanal and demanding work of the designer "as in the time of Paul Poiret, Jacques Fath or Monsieur Dior". From the initial sketch to the canvas - the garment is cut from a white fabric and draped over a mannequin to be specified, before being made in sumptuous fabrics and all its exquisite finishes.

"In haute couture, the garment wraps around the body", while in ready-to-wear, you have to go inside, into something standardized, "emphasizes Julien Fournié, as erudite as he is in love with his profession.

- A woman, not a kid "-

To ensure customers the exclusivity of a garment made for them, the designer only creates unique pieces. And he avoids lending models for the "red carpets" of major events, except for rare actresses or lyrical singers whose style sticks to "house DNA".

"A client, from a royal family, canceled an order after having seen one of our models worn by Lady Gaga a few years ago. For them, exclusivity should not be tinged with the vulgarity of notoriety ", explains Jean-Paul Cauvin, director of the fashion house.

The film, which will be released at the initial time scheduled for the parade, highlights only six models. "Do not see too much, show too much. It allows us to have a little more time and to differentiate" what the house will present to one or the other, he said.

Because often, after the parade, the customers "fight, if they have had a crush. And if another posed an option before me? It is necessary to act quickly". There, in the absence of a public presentation, they know that the designer will make them targeted proposals ...

Meet the whole team in a photo studio for the shooting. Michaela Tomanova, Czech star model of the house, has fun with her blonde curls or plays the femme fatales, it depends. Soft lighting and dramatic swirls of smoke caress its threadlike and sensual silhouette. "She is a woman, with breasts, hips. Not a kid," said the designer with a neat beard.

"We don't create fashion, we create personalities," he says behind the scenes. "I want to support (the clients) in their destiny, give them support, take off."

A black lace dress embroidered with sequins from the 1940s, covered with a tulle sprinkled with solid silver droplets caught in silicone. Delicacy and high technicality. A small train ends this narrow sheath, allowing not to hinder the process: Michaela advances in confidence, light and conquering.

© 2020 AFP