PARIS (Reuters) – French fashion designer Julien Fournie first learned to use scissors, then designed dresses on the iPad. Now, the global pandemic has forced him to take on a new skill – as a film director.
Paris Haute Couture Week is usually a runway show performance where the fashion crowd converges at luxury venues. This year, COVID-19 means most live events are inactive.
Instead, many designers turned to video to showcase their collections for the week, which officially starts on Monday and runs through January 28.
Fournie, 45, who runs her own couture label, spent three days shooting a 9 minute 30 second film at her workshop in Paris, starring herself, some of her staff, and three models.
“We designers have to reinvent ourselves endlessly,” he said on the sidelines of filming. “We have to know how to sew, design, manage social networks.”
This means moving to a new medium to showcase the collection is not a big leap, he said.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity in our time to be able to rediscover yourself during COVID, to become the director of your own destiny, to stage your own universe.”
The film shows women dressed in goose down and colorful organza, moving through a fantasy world with Middle Eastern flavors. The majority of Fournie’s clients come from the Middle East.
Due to the global pandemic, customers want designs that are less fancy, because the gathering where clothes will be worn today is more simple and intimate, designers say.
The staff also have to adapt. After the client visits to try on clothes, the employee iron the dress. “Heat removes bacteria and viruses,” said Lea Gelenan, one of Fournie’s senior staff.
Written by Christian Lowe; Edited by Jan Harvey
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