Like i said in my last post, I'm going to be uploading all things fancy because essentially all I inhaled in Paris during couture week was fanciness. Plus, I just like saying the word fancy, both as an adjective and a verb. I popped by Roger Vivier to see their Rendez-Vous collection, something of a halfway house between haute couture and ready-to-wear, as it produces shoes and bags in limited quantities, selling them in their boutiques at exhibition trunkshows with practically only one of each size available. Roger Vivier is fancy enough all by itself. Under the creative direction of shoe designer Bruno Frisoni, the famous Vivier Pilgrim pump has flourished and whilst eschewing "trendy" and "cool", it has retained the reputation of its founder Vivier who was known as "Fragonard of the shoe" or "the Faberg√© of Footwear". Fancy. Fragonard. Faberg√©. All good things in my book.
The appropriately named Rendez-Vous collection however takes fancy to a new level. Each pair of shoes, handbag or piece of jewellery are designed with a "I don't care if they're wholly impractical" attitude. Just take last season A/W 13-4 (Roger Vivier present their Rendez-Vous collections during couture week but a season ahead) and their group of pink mink covered heels or metallic thread-shot degrade silk all destined to be worn by women whose feet never actually touch pavements. For S/S 14, Bruno Frisoni has chosen to confused and deliberately disrupt established styles. I certainly didn't expect to walk into an elegant mirror-walled room and find a woman wearing knee high boots with transparent "plastique cristal" (aka PVC) panels and white leather studded with triangular Swarovski crystals. There is soemthing pleasingly odd about the composition, shedding any of the ladylike images that one conjures up of Roger Vivier shoes (mostly due to the Pilgrim pump). Turns out the PVC is a reference to Monsieur Vivier's pioneering use of this material back in the mid 50s. Frisoni has also focused on Vivier's famous "Comma" heel, first created in 1963, but now updated with the curve perfected at higher heights and more extreme angles. PVC, bejewelled shoes and sculptural heels are all things we've come to accept in shoe vocabulary and it's easy to forget how odd those things seemed when they debuted. Frisoni also indulges in Monsieur Vivier's love of unusual embellishment seen in the PVC and silk chiffon petalled rose embellishments, splays of pink feathers and gold ball chains and bugle bead embroidery. Like I said before, it's fanciness gone wild.
In a separate room adorned with Vivier's sketches is the Rendez-vous autumn wintet 2013-4 collection, currently travelling on exhibition around the world to sell to those that are lucky enough to afford them.
Whilst I was at Roger Vivier's store 29 rue Saint-Honor√©, I also got to have a snoop around the offices and specifically the shocking pink work space of Vivier muse and consultant In√®s de la Fressange, which is basically how I wish all my crap would come together artfully. The amount of knick-knacks, photos, artefacts and oddities that de la Fressange has accumulated is down to her eventful ever-chic life as muse, model and all-round style fixture. It's naturally already been Selby-fied if you want more Think Pink inspiration.