Up bright and early, today was a back to back interviews with a show later on, kind of a day. First up was a trip to the Weill Paris headquarters to go behind the brand across its century plus long history. Being the second oldest fashion house in Paris (but oldest family run fashion house), going through its evolution and seeing how the brand has changed from 1892 to now, was a time-honoured experience.
The recently renovated headquarters is lofty, modern and spaced out over several floors – interestingly it sits in complete contrast to the brand’s very elegant, Parisian DNA which is all about classy cuts and chic tailoring – with modern bursts here and there. We spoke to Elie Weill, the fifth generation member of the family who currently leads the brand and is the head of international sales. Showing us around the headquarters, the heritage of the brand is palpable and its longevity is owed to the commitment to quality and the family story. There’s a dining room on the top floor of the headquarters where the family members (namely Elie, his dad and grandfather) sit and eat together. The main takeaway from this experience is the amount of respect the family have for the brand and what they’ve created and this is manifested in what they produce and how they keep the brand an intimate family affair across the board.
Then came a true highlight of Fashion Week. Sir Paul Smith. Yes, his name needs a stand alone sentence. The pioneer of British bespoke tailoring, is an everyman designer. “I just love people, I love being around them” he says. We had come to chat about his unusual entry into fashion and how his designs speak to British tradition but are also spontaneous and accessible to all. His down to earth charm and ability to make you the focus of his attention when he could easily work his power trip, is incredibly humbling. You can look forward to our in depth insight into this very special man in our April 2016 issue.
And then came Valentino – a fantastic end to the week. Within the Jardin Des Tuileries, the show packed in journalists and fashion greats to witness the artistic and imaginative journey of Valentino’s AW16 collection to a rave reception. The ballerina rich collection with flared skirts, reinterpreted ballet shoes with graceful ruffles, florals and flutters made for a beautiful journey, full of expression. The piano accompaniment added to the theatricality of the moment and it left you feeling super feminine – so appropriate for International Women’s Day.
Editor In Chief