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26 Sep

The Ones to Watch in Paris for Spring 2024

PARIS — Ballet training, the design process, feminine rage, U-turns and sartorial clashes are among the many ideas that this quintet of brands is bringing to Paris for spring 2024.


With a 10-year profession at brands including Vetements and Louis Vuitton under his belt, Alain Paul is constructing his brand Alainpaul on solid foundations. However the fundamental influence for his debut collection, set to bow on Saturday, will not be fashion but an earlier passion: his childhood training as a ballet dancer.

He joined the Ballet National de Marseille on the age of eight and left at 18 to pursue a profession in fashion, earning degrees in brand management from the Kedge business school, and fashion design from Istituto Marangoni.

“Those 10 years of my life really shaped my reality and my narrative today of how I interpreted clothes inside this spectrum and for me, that is kind of latest. I don’t feel it out there,” he explained. “I believe the brand is bringing a little bit of softness to the industry. I feel we now have within the industry a really aggressive aesthetic, basically.”

Alain Paul, who goes by his first name like his former boss Demna, cofounded the label together with his partner Luis Philippe, who has handled wholesale sales for labels reminiscent of Balenciaga, Jacquemus and Alaïa. Alainpaul’s debut collection, which incorporates footwear, shall be presented on the Théâtre du Chatelet, and the duo have already got 30 buying appointments lined up.

On the mood board are images of Rudolf Nureyev flexing his honed physique in workout gear, alongside dancers performing choreographies by Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham. Scattered in are tailored looks, including a ‘90s-era Versace menswear campaign, neatly summing up the dichotomy of the road, which balances rigor and ease.

Tailored jackets are elongated and have tilted shoulder constructions, while pencil skirts are revisited as tops and linear evening gowns. Leotards are paired with warm-up pants or floor-length skirts for girls or men, suggesting a fluid approach to dressing, underpinned by a precise tackle proportion and cut.

“I wanted to indicate the fantastic thing about discipline, of rigor,” Alain Paul said. “Whenever you train, you repeat, repeat until you reach perfection.” — Joelle Diderich

Sketches of the upcoming Alainpaul debut collection.


Christopher Esber

For a lot of within the industry, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was a damper on their plans. Not so for Australian designer Christopher Esber.

Not only did he start 2020 together with his designs on Zendaya, however the runup to Europe’s lockdown was when he cinched an order from Net-a-porter. Since then his tastefully cutout dresses have been spotted on the likes of Dua Lipa, Rihanna and Margot Robbie.

Growing up, the Sydney-based designer was obsessive about putting on a fashion show, which led him to learn skills starting from sketching to pattern-cutting and tailoring. “It’s all in regards to the problem-solving that comes with design and easy methods to make it work,” he said.

Esber fitting one in all his spring 2024 designs on a model (left) and details of a skirt and shoes (right).

Blake Azar/Courtesy of Christopher Esber

After graduating from Sydney’s Fashion Design Studio at TAFE design school, he went on to a one-year apprenticeship with a neighborhood tailor before launching his brand in 2010.

His first collection was shown during Australian Fashion Week, and by 2012 he was taking his brand to Recent York Fashion Week and to market in Paris, where his smartly priced line — starting at 490 euros for separates and as much as 1,000 euros for dresses — found retail traction.

The brand, which grew to encompass a full ready-to-wear line in addition to swimwear, footwear and jewellery, garnered numerous accolades including winning the 2013 regional Woolmark Prize and participating in the next yr’s global final. Earlier this yr, Esber also entered the bridal market with the launch of a capsule on Net-a-porter, consisting of seven designs for brides, bridesmaids and wedding guests.

In a nutshell, the designer’s work has “this freeing sensibility to pieces that teeter on the sting of a stricter silhouette — beach culture and officewear” that he attributes to being from Australia, where “there’s all the time the concept of being within the office and dreaming of a getaway.”

To make his mark in Paris, which he sees as a spot “where creativity meets polish,” Esber worked a spring 2024 collection that explores the connection between humans and nature.

“Bringing an idea back to its purest form is something I strive for and what motivates me,” he said. “I actually need to showcase the brand’s ability to work through different fabrics and constructions, but there may be a primal undertone.” His first bag models may also make their debut during his Thursday presentation. — Lily Templeton

Indépendantes de Cœur

Though London-based, French designer Valériane Venance thinks “women’s butts are unbelievable, to be frank” and has made a heart-shaped outline that defines a shapely derrière the signature of her Indépendantes de Cœur brand, don’t — ever — take this as an invite.

The concept that women feel compelled to police themselves and their wardrobes to be perceived as acceptable or merely stay protected is something “that’s pissing me off so f–king much, to be honest,” she said.

That outrage became the start line of her spring 2024 collection inspired by “feminine rage,” a sentiment that’s “the feminine expression of normal anger” and “has been depicted as something ugly through history,” she said.

It is going to be expressed using the craft-intensive ruffles which are her sartorial signature and cage-like designs, in collaboration with jewelry brand CC-Steding, that make sexualized elements of the feminine body visible while keeping them out of reach.

Indépendantes de Cœur’s cage-like structures.

Courtesy of Indépendantes de Cœur.

Handcraft is a central a part of her work, as Venance has loved turning her hand at anything from painting to modeling objects for so long as she will be able to remember. Clothing design “got stuck in her head” because her grandmothers, seamstresses each, had been thrilled about making bespoke clothes for his or her first-born grandchild.

Natural fabrics is what Venance loves essentially the most, specifically Irish linens, which she sources in London — that’s one address she won’t share for love or money, she joked.

Having ditched a proper art and fashion education in favor of hands-on experiences in London’s fashion houses seven years ago, Venance began to showcase her personal work on Instagram two-and-a-half years ago.

When it found its audience and she or he began fielding requests for custom designs, she formalized it under the moniker Indépendantes de Coeur, named after a remark within the testament of Valtesse de la Bigne, a French courtesan turned countess who said she’d stayed a lady “independent of heart” regardless of public opinion.

While she has designed outfits for the likes of Devon Ross, Małgosia Bela and a set of eight women reciting poetry as a part of British singer-songwriter Celeste’s latest performance, Venance says her highest point was doing custom headpieces for Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons fall 2023 ready-to-wear collection last March.

Together with her off-schedule Paris debut at 3537 on Oct. 2, she shall be introducing pieces which are easier to breed, although her plan is to proceed to make every thing in-house in her London atelier. Prices for dresses range from 500 kilos to greater than 1,000 kilos for essentially the most elaborate designs. Should you would like to dabble without committing, Venance also makes cushions, sold for 180 kilos. — L.T.


Throw out what you imagine the Quira playbook to be — that’s what designer Veronica Leoni did.

Returning to the office after clearing the semifinal stage of the 2023 LVMH Prize for Young Designers, the Jil Sander and Phoebe Philo alumna found herself hankering for “something totally latest and to only be curious, excited by something that’s just the other of what we’re exploring and showing now,” she said.

To not spoil what she’s going to present on Oct. 1, but Leoni has placed on the backburner the tailoring and structured silhouettes she’s explored since launching the brand in 2021.

“In a way, the instinct of going very high summer brought me into very spirited and quite liberated femininity,” the designer said. Cotton voile has “been [her] big friend for the season” and Leoni has also played with sherbet shades for her palette, employing a latest dyeing technique using mineral powders that yielded a cloudy, dusty effect.

The Quira woman is, as ever, “a really clever woman that lives our time in a really dynamic way, is kind of intelligent and knows easy methods to dive into the market,” a byword for a magpie approach to 1’s wardrobe, regardless of price points, but with a watch for quality.

A glance from Quira’s fall 2023 collection.

“Whenever you get connected to your customer for those details, the bond may be very longlasting,” Leoni continued.

Prices shall be in line with her previous efforts, with knitwear at 790 euros, pants and skirts around 1,250 euros and as much as 2,100 euros for tailored jackets and coats.

While accessories and shoes proceed to be an integral a part of the gathering, Leoni can be keen “to focus as much as possible on hitting a balanced and eclectic mix for a up to date female wardrobe.”

In one other first, the Quira collection “went out of the photography studio” for its spring imagery. “We were outside, there was a whole lot of sky and we’ll attempt to bring that exact same energy into the

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