I first saw Alexandre Vauthier’s work featured in a spread for new designers in this month’s issue of Vogue Paris*. Along with a short article, Vogue featured a photo of a model wearing a piece from his collection; The dress was a simple black, yet it created an artificial silhouette with arched and pointed shoulders. The movement of the dress was spectacular and allured me in right away. After seeing only one dress from his collection, I immediately turned to Google and visited his website and watched his show. I knew instantly that I had to feature him on my site! If I had quickly fallen for his look, I know others will!
* Vogue Paris, June/July Issue 908, “Les Laureats,” pp. 194
Alexander Vauthier, born in Agen, France, credits his interest in fashion to the strong female presences in his childhood. His mother, who was a single parent, always wore fox fur and YSL perfume. “She’s the one who made me become nuts [about fashion,]” Vauthier says, “My mother would get me out of school to do shopping.” Apart from his mother, Vauthier’s grandmother adorned herself in France’s greatest designers like YSL and Chanel.
Despite his exposure to fashion as a young child, Vauthier did not start off in the fashion world. He spent two years dabbling in law before transferring to ESMOD (l’Ecole Supérieure des Arts et techniques de la Mode), the first and oldest fashion school in France.
Upon graduating in 1994, Vauthier worked for Thierry Mugler. Vauthier had not thought of designing his own line until his boss, Thierry Mugler himself, told him, “Do something on your own, dammit!” Looking for more experience, Vauthier left Thierry Mugler after four years and he became head designer for Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Haute Couture collection.
After a short time at Gaultier, Vauthier felt he had enough experience to pursue his vision of owning his own line. Since then, Vauthier has released three collections (spring/summer 2009, fall/winter 2009-2010, and spring/summer 2010). His most recent collection feature jackets with sharp, geometric shoulders, form-fitting dresses, and his personally designed textiles of odd materials. For his fall/winter 2009-2010 collection, Vauthier gathered inspiration from David Lynch, “the femme fatale”, “Hollywood seduction,” and Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface. For the moment, his lines are designed in monochrome because “developing prints is too expensive.” Yet, the financial set back does not stop him from developing new fabrics. In his newest collection, the shoulder pads are made of foam from speedboat seats and were cut and shaped by lasers. He also commonly uses silicone and plaster for dresses.
Alexandre Vauthier is inspiring and brings a fresh vision to Parisian fashion. Obviously, he has the experience and talent, but needs to vamp up his future collections. He is definitely a new designer to watch in the coming years.
5 Fun Facts About Alexandre Vauthier
1. He is extremely excited for the new TRON movie.
2. Rihanna is obsessed with his collections and has been photographed numerous times wearing his garments.
3. Vauthier was inspired to pursue fashion by David Bowie and Nina Hagen’s “African Reggae” music video.
4. Vauthier’s line is operated by a small team partnered with a PR firm. Vauthier even does all the accounting, delivery, and fabric buying himself!
5. He never wants to design for Lady Gaga. He says, “I don’t want to dress Lady Gaga. I don’t know why, she flips me out. I like how far she pushes the envelope, but I like it pure and I’m suspicious of overload.”
Watch Alexandre Vauthier’s Fall/Winter 2009-2010 Runway Show.
Visit Alexandre Vauthier’s website.
Watch Nina Hagen’s “African Reggae” music video.