Fall 2013 Haute Couture: Julien Fournié's Glimpse of Klimt


The Chimera might have been a fire-breathing monster of Greek mythology with the body of a lion, the head of goat, and a snake-head tail, but there was nothing monstrous or threatening about the “First Chimeras” 2013 haute couture collection that French designer Julien Fournié sent down the catwalk last week.

His was a chimera full of feminine seduction that mixed the elongated silhouette of a Modigliani model wearing an evening négligée with the rich gold and copper palette of Gustav Klimt on silk jacquards, with some Art Deco geometric motifs thrown in. The young designer opted to present his breath-taking collection in a room with a simple white décor to let the clothes speak for themselves. He offered a collection rich in interesting design details that included large zippers at the back that ran the whole length of the body, elongating his silhouette further and hinting to a hidden sexiness. There were also exaggerated sleeves around the wrist, high collars that added a certain severity, and corsets edged with a gold zipper.

His chimeras were regal, distant, and confident. Hints of reptilian influence, more dragon than snake, could be seen with protruding scale-like fabrics on shoulders and backs. Fur was in abundance: one long gown was composed of 98 mink pelts on organza.

Embroidered gold sequins created sumptuous abstract patterns against black, as if fire was consuming the fabric. Two hand-painted gold koi fish played on the leather of one dress, while sequins created a pixelated effect on a sleeve.

His homage to Klimt was more direct on one dress that re-interpreted the motif of the men’s clothes seen in the artist’s famed "The Kiss." A fitting metaphor for the designer’s collection, which was a true love letter to women.