Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Koché // Fall 2016 //

The Parisian New Wave designers have a better knack for selling product and the essence of a product than I feel London designers do. There are some unrivalled gems in London like Molly Goddard and Faustine Steinmetz, but in Paris the idea of an “attitude” comes effortlessly. Look at Vetements, with jeans retailing at €1200 or €700 for hoodies: the idea being to buy into the Vetements lifestyle. Another emerging brand is Y/Project, who present a largely unisex offering with 50% catering to menswear and womenswear, all together it’s peopleswear. Koché, designed by Christelle Kocher is a brand that I’ve been fervently supporting since news of her LVMH Prize shortlisting came through. I did my research and learned she is an erudite creative. Her resume lists Emporio Armani, Martine Sitbon, Chloé, Sonia Rykiel, Dries van Noten, Bottega Veneta, and she’s currently artistic director of Maison Lemarié. Maison Lemarié are responsible for the feathers, flowers, pleatwork, smocking and ruffles for the Chanel collections. Couture sensibilities lend itself to Kocher’s Koché label, which by way of street wear, imagines refreshing juxtaposition between couture and the street. 

The street is not superficially important to Kocher. She’s genuinely inspired by the people she’s surrounded by. References to street art, the people she meets permeate her collections. “My vision is closely linked to the world that surrounds me,” she tells Yahoo. What a clearly expressed representation of the world. Models came in various shapes and sizes, genders and ages and races. Other brands still fail to tap into this. “I work in a way that means my clothes can adapt to very different personalities. I don’t create designs with anyone particular in mind.” Whether that means Karly Loyce in a printed blouse and light-wash denims, or an unknown woman with a neck tattoo in a fur coat, wool trousers and a white tee. 

Her curated mix of essentials include a sporty hoodie-cum-parka, multimedia blouses, wool trousers, coats spurting multicoloured feathers, printed patchwork blouses, beaded dresses, a sequin top with a feathered hem, oversized t-shirts. The pieces that women are demanding are ticked off this checklist. She also has a pleasant lineup of accessories—handbags, jewellery. 

Koché presents a democratic format of the fashion show (Chanel experimented with that this season too). Every guest had a vantage point, they all stood, in an enclosed area in the city centre of Paris. Kocher understands the importance of image-making. Images of the presentation ricocheted across Instagram and the Twittersphere. The world seems to be taking notice too. Like the aforementioned Y/Project, Kocher’s label was shortlisted and announced as a finalist for the prestigious €300,000 LVMH Prize. As you probably know, past victors are Thomas Tait and Marques’Almeida. Kocher has stiff competition but equipped with fearlessness and gusto, she has a fat chance of taking home the prize.
Images: koche.fr

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