Monday, February 4, 2013

Theirry Villenave: Couture Milliner for Men

Out side the Theirry Villenave shop. Photo by Wilson McCord, 2012.
Written by David Pedroza, Editor in Chief
Forward, Art Direction, and Photographs by Wilson McCord
Forward:On numerous occasions during my stay in Paris, in the fall of 2012, I walked home late at night passing the shops, now dark on the rue du roi Sicile. But one small shop in the Marais, whose lights still burned bright, caught my interest.I looked in the window at the beautiful fabrics that gave off an iridescent glow. Their contrasting rich colors made me feel like a child looking in the window of a candy store.Fantastic! At the very back of the store a young designer was busy sewing late into the night. And, the idea that there were still young artisans in the world whose passion for creating beautiful clothes was still alive made me smile every time I passed.Late one evening in November, David Pedroza, Baptiste de Bermingham, director of fabrics at the famed Embroidery House Hurel, and I passed the shop. I told the two creative sleuths we had to stop and visit.It was the first time I would enter world of Theirry Villenave but it will not be my last.
Geometric cap in blue cotton twill. Photo by Wilson McCord, 2012.
Beautiful lining, pieced like a puzzle. Photo by Wilson McCord, 2012
During my trip in Paris, Wilson McCord introduced me to Thierry Villenave. Thierry is a men’s accessories and shirt designer, with a great boutique in Paris’s 3rd arrondissement, the Marais.The shop is simple with a modern-rustic appearance, and a private ambiance. Thierry Villenave, opened his boutique in 1995, to develop a more creative aesthetic in men’s fashion and to expand his technical know-how in constructing minimal, yet complicated designs.The shop is small and intimate with a very impressive selection of hats, scarves, and dress shirts, all developed and made by Thierry, himself. The Thierry Villenave hat collection is a strong expression of classic silhouettes, in geometric form using nontraditional fabrics.A mixture of men’s wear fabrics, such as wool herringbone, tropical wool suiting fabrics, cotton piques, wool plaids, and linens, were all mixed in with elegant florals, saturated colors, and delicate cotton liberty prints.Knitted caps in faire isle patterns are saturated in bright colors, and created out of soft cotton or merino wool yarns.Thierry explained to us his passion for textiles, and using masculine fabrics, with subtle feminine details, without losing its appeal for men. He works with textile mills in Paris, to create new, exclusive fabric (made in a scarf) of a glen plaid, which has been engineered to alternate and break, to give it an appearance of patchwork, but without the seam work.Thierry Villenave is a true craftsman, with the technical skills and knows how to construct all his work by hand. No detail is ever too small or insignificant, including the linings of his hats, which are pieces in soft, feather weight, cotton voile or twill, in bold colors, or graphic prints. The shirts are another example of great hand work and modern design, which have been made in cotton and satin blends, with linear contrasting lines or piping. Thierry tailors strong wing collars, sometimes with contrasting under collars, and traditional French cuffs with contracting knot closures. Thierry Villenave may not be a house hold name, but he is a true gem in Paris. When it comes to complementing a man’s wardrobe, the excellent craftsmanship and unique vision makes Thierry Villenave the go to man for men’s shirts and accessories.
Selection of hats in color saturated prints. Photo by Wilson McCord, 2012.

Caps in men's suiting fabrics. Photo by Wilson McCord, 2012.
 Theirry Villenave hats are available by order, or at his boutique on 28, rue du roi Sicile, Paris, France. Visit the Theirry Villenave Website.

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