French fashion designer Julien Fournié presented his extraordinary “Premières Chimères” collection, otherwise known as the “First Chimeras.” In Greek mythology, a chimera is a fire-breathing female monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a serpent. Fournié’s allegorical muses slyly slithered out of folklore and into a pure, white runway with ballooning medusa shaped lights.
Set to Daft Punk’s epic beats, Fournié’s Haute Couture Autumn Winter 2013/2014 runway show commenced with a bronze, reptilian dress with piercing cap sleeves. Every model wore spiny headpieces reminiscent of sea urchins with thin, golden rods balanced on their eyelashes. These female “monsters” were genuine pieces of art in themselves. Their bodies were hugged tight with corsets and goldenrod, mosaic pencil skirts. Shades of raw umber, grainy yellow, and copper established the palette of the collection. We saw parallels of Gustav Klimt’s painterly tones and patterns in Fournié’s ornamental and decorative dresses. The high fashion designer skilfully combined leather and fur, gothicism and romanticism. Sleeves were exaggerated near the wrists and bodices were ribbed, as if alluding to aquatic gills. Fournié’s silhouettes stayed snug to the chimera, with exciting features such as big zippers, daring slits, high collars, and low cut backs. One exceptional gown was created with 98 minks assembled on organza.
The collection gradually evolved softer as sequins and creamy whites were introduced. The most delicate, but by no means any less bold, dress of all is saved for last. Vanilla in colour, frilled like a lion’s mane, with circular patterns sewn all throughout, the Julien Fournié bride was the perfect combination of fantasy and animal.
Words / Sheri Chiu
Follow her on twitter @schiuonthis