Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Maison Christophe Josse

The Christophe Josse Haute Couture showroom. Photo by Wilson McCord, 2012.

Written by, David Pedroza, Editor in Chief
Sit-in-Editor, Art Direction, and Photography by Wilson McCord

Paris, November 26, 2012

We had the privilege of going to Christophe Josse salon, a small house, with a big name, and a very strong international following. Christophe Josse is one, out of the 17 grand couturiers, to have the official title of haute Couture, granted by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. This title was bestowed upon Mr. Josse, January 2011, six years  after he opened the house.  Christophe Josse began his career in haute couture as an assistant for Louis Feraud, learning the craft of couture from one of the original grand couturiers. He then moved to Torrente, where he worked under Madame Rose Torrente, founder of the house. In 2003, Christophe Josse was appointed Creative Director of Torrente, where he was head of the prĂȘt-a-porter and haute couture collections. With more than 20 years of experience, and extensive knowledge in haute couture, it was an obvious and suitable move for Mr. Josse to open his own Maison de Couture, in 2005.

Christophe Josse aesthetic is very modern and feminine. He never fights against fabric, and there is always movement in his clothes that feel relaxed, yet sculpted. Mr. Josse uses many references to contemporary architect and develops new techniques with cutting and adornment to create modern structures on the body.  For Spring 2012 the atelier created hand-blown glass bubbles, which where sewn by hand on to the neck lines of tops and dresses,  creating delicate sculptural and modern embellishments, with a romantic touch.  In the Fall 2012 haute couture collection, the designer took inspiration from architect Tadao Ando's concrete Church of the Light in Japan. The strong clean lines of the Church have been transformed into graphic lines on to dresses with sheer seams of silk organza inserts, or high polished satin.  Controlled graphic seams where inverted outwards and topstitched, emphasizing the feminine form. Day wear was strong, with sharp architectural dresses in double faced crepe, and an outstanding tunic in black crocodile.

The caviar-beaded tulle top with a pleated, lacquered full skirt.
Photo by Wilson McCord, 2012.
Christophe Josse Haute Couture House is situated at  231 rue Saint-HonorĂ© in Paris, which was officially opened in 2008. The 3rd floor salon is modern and yet romantic, with its plush taupe-grey carpets, deep grey walls, and warm lighting. We were warmly welcomed by the Directrice of Haute Couture, Diane Loury, who is responsible for working with the clients and guiding them through the process of haute couture.  The entire Fall 2012 collection had just been flown to Singapore for the second annual Singapore Haute Couture Fashion week , which received such strong reactions that it increased interests in haute couture. Christophe Josse has a strong following of Asian and Middle eastern clients who demand his polished haute couture creations.  I was fortunate to be taken through some of the Spring 2012 couture pieces and ready to wear from the current Fall collection. An atelier of about a dozen, well qualified seamstresses, created magical pieces that hung beautifully on the racks, as the recent couture collection played in the background. Some stand out personal favorites included a caviar-beaded tulle, bateau neck top with a pleated, lacquered full skirt. The other was a blush pink, plisse organza cocktail dress, on a crinoline base, with degrade of ostrich feathers.  On a rack, in front of the windows, were delicate, soft gowns, saturated in bright colors, deliberately romantic, and modestly adorned so not to lose the integrity of the fabrics used. Madame Loury, assured  us that this was “real haute couture” and the Christophe Josse atelier is highly skilled to create such dresses. With many clients in the same social circles she also makes sure no two clients can ever order the same dress.

Maison Christophe Josse follows strict traditions of haute couture, from workmanship to service, without compromising Mr. Josse’s vision or aesthetics. It was a wonderful feeling to be in a house which is independent, has the creative freedom to blossom, as it has begun to, into a rare flower of Haute Couture. As the number of Couture clients increase, and the number of artisans decrease, it is vital that the support of house, such as Christophe Josse, continue and future couturiers can learn from a contemporary couturier such as Mr. Josse. 

All photos are property of Wilson McCord, 2012-2013. Master the Art of Style has the exclusive rights to use these photos. These photos are not intended to be shared or taken with out consent from the photographer, Wilson McCord.

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