Julie De Libran Fall 2019 Couture
Julie de Libran is part of a burgeoning movement of designers stepping away from famous houses and launching niche brands of their own. Tonight, on the eve of Paris’s haute couture shows, she opened her 6ème arrondissement house and gardens to guests for the debut of her eponymous collection. From the drinks that were served (a Skerzo made from grape juice and her husband’s Armagnac) to her young son distributing white rose bouquets as goodbye gifts, the message of the production was crystal clear: “I’m doing this my way.”
And how refreshing is that in this era of supergroups? De Libran has worked at her fair share of them: Her CV includes stints at Prada, Versace, and Louis Vuitton, and she was most recently the artistic director of Sonia Rykiel. Over the years, her specialty became frocks—the industry’s most in-demand celebrity stylist once told me de Libran “makes the best red-carpet dresses.” Naturally, dresses are the focus of her new label. Now that she’s able to put her own name on them, she’s cultivating the sustainable practices she became interested in during her final seasons at Rykiel. Many of the fabrics she’ll be using are archived or deadstock, and on her website, at least, she’ll be making them to order in three different lengths to avoid waste. (MatchesFashion has also signed on as an e-commerce partner.) Because she’s using archived material, she can only produce pieces in smallish quantities, which will contribute to their appeal among women who want to stand out from the crowd.
Simplicity lends itself to her modular concept. The foundation of the collection consists of uncomplicated, almost spare silhouettes, the only adornments being the antique-looking jewels that decorate a plunging décolleté or clasp the neckline of an evening coat. As for standing out in a crowd, the stars of the collection were the embellished numbers. A white, gold, and black sequined tulle negligee with a black georgette poncho tossed over the shoulders, and a high-necked column made from tinsel-like embroidery overprinted in a subtle rainbow-like pattern do seem destined for the red carpet. What would a Julie de Libran day dress look like? It'll be engaging to watch how she fine-tunes and expands her vision going forward.