Spring 2018 Haute Couture: Julien Fournie’s Asian Awakening


In his Spring 2018 couture collection Julien Fournié continued his love affairs with the Orient, offering a wardrobe inspired by the heroines of films by Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige and novels of Yasunari Kawabata.

Building on 1950’s silhouettes, the French couturier infused Oriental reference from the Japanese kimono belt and sleeves to a Manchu Qipao.

A key feature on most of the looks was an ojime ( a decorative, braided cord) that is part of the Japanese obi belt.

Monochrome fabrics were mixed with antique jacquards and brocades, inspired or reinterpreted from Asian textile with hand-painted silk evoking a bamboo grove or white cranes.

Silk drapes sculpt bodies in close-to-the-bust cuts, sheer tulle and lace wereheavily layered.

While some print were clearly Japanese inspired there were also fun twists with polka dots on obi belts, an obi belt on a basque and applique wisteria that cascaded from shoulders and moved with the wearer.

Elsewhere, a Kimono-like flat bow provides an unusual detail at the back of a trouser and leather is included sparingly to sharpen waists or elongate legs, while vintage kimono fabrics were subtly integrated into the designs, some with origami-style adornments.

The collection also offers fluid, glittering evening dresses, generously embroidered with sequins.