Alexandre Vaultier knew something was up recently when sales of his shoes soared, in three successive waves. “We feel the buyers are back,” he said during a recent visit to a showroom. “A residual effect of Covid is that they don’t seem to want to hold back anymore.”
At this point, a centerpiece of a handmade coat – embroidered with ostrich and marabout feathers by Lemarié – was a party in its own right, an explosion of black, white and blue, green and fuchsia from jewel of the season. While not immediately apparent to the casual viewer, it was mounted on a structure of crystal studded bands. “I wanted it to be a synthesis of the collection, but also to be protective, like a giant pillow,” Vaultier suggested.
The price for this coin will likely hit the solid five digits, but there were plenty of other options for smaller tastes and budgets. True to his classic training – the designer debuted in Thierry Mugler’s studio – Vaultier showcased a range of bullion pieces like a meticulously sculpted hourglass jacket in black or tennis stripes to pair with flowing, easy pants. and soft trench coats with clean lines in black, white or beige. A nod to one of the season’s flagship trends, a bandana print is featured on fitted dresses, shirts and skirts.
The designer noted that the spring collection was “intense in terms of workmanship, but simple,” from a creative standpoint. The same can be said of a pleated jersey set, which for him was a new territory and which skilfully combines sewing techniques and comfortable clothing. Another departure: thicker knit tops that added a raw texture and high-bohemian comfort feel to the range.
But Vaultier is known and loved by many, including Beyoncé, Miley, and Rihanna for his stunning party looks. At first glance, a jersey dress dancing until you drop covered in blue-tinted crystals may seem like a bit of nothing, but it’s cleverly designed like a poncho with a bodysuit inside (“otherwise you might as well throw on a tablecloth, ”Vaultier jokes).
While some elements may appear on the hanger, Vaultier said he was keen to consider all kinds of body shapes, countries, and types of women in his proportions. Among the contenders for the inclusion category: a white jersey day dress, a cotton T-shirt belted dress and a black stretch knit dress with handkerchief hem. A handful of fringed numbers anchored by macrame, a strapless black sequin evening dress trimmed with ostrich feathers, and a handful of deceptively simple “beach dresses” for the evening all seemed ready for their close-up.