"Les Petite Mains" hat of my new Collection " Les Enfantes Terribles" (In translation literally "Little Hands"), I am introducing to you today, is my ultimate tribute and the expression of endless admiration for the true masters behind every Haute Couture Collection ever created. Inspired by small little army of seamstresses, tailors, milliners, embroiderers and specialist in handling unique fabrics, standing behind every great Couturier of France. Without them there would be no Haute Couture. Every time I am working late hours in my Atelier and my fingers are aching and bleeding, I watch this video and it is enough for me to keep going forever (make sure to turn on the sound).
This video, no matter how often I watch it, always leaves me breathless - those of you who know me personally, know that this approach to work with attention to every detail, using hands only is what I live for. Each one of my hats is carefully crafted with very precise techniques, much like you see in some of the frames of the video.
I usually never outsource my work. I do everything myself including sequined embroidery, gem stone beading, pearl beading, painting, acrylic work, pattern making, flower making and many other things. Another words: I do not trust the production process to anyone else. The only exception I have ever made is for Atelier Legeron, which also became one of the inspirations behind the creation of "Les Petite Mains" hat. The second exception was made for the creation of little hands itself - the ones that you see on top of the hat. This little hands I commissioned from my friend and very talented artist Tamara Pivnyuk. I have told Tamara what I need and she was able to create for me exactly what I had in mind.
The body of "Les Petite Mains" is created out of precious Giorgio Armani silk and embellished with delicate gold and ivory handmaid French lace. One of my most favorite hats to date. The little hands on top of the hat are holding a needle threaded with a gold thread - you can let your imagination decide what they will create next...perhaps it will be a gown of your dreams? :-)
In pre-War France there were 70 Couture Houses, not counting small privet Atelier where seamstresses worked by hand only. Paris along had over 350 flower making Ateliers. Each of the houses employed several hundreds of seamstresses who had to be highly qualified in particular art of sewing to the standard of Couture. Did you know that one item of Haute Couture Collection takes minimum 500 hundred hours to create? Several decades later we have only 11 names registered as a members of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Some of the names like, for example, Schiaparelli or Lacroix, now live only on the pages of Fashion books and in museum exhibitions. ...
In recent years the profession of being "little hands" experienced tremendous decrease: only since the year of 2007 it went down 70% entering a stage of being close to almost non-existent. In a desperate attempt to safe the remains of the glorious cast Karl Lagerfeld, the head designer for the House of Chanel went as far as purchasing with the company's money several small Ateliers specialising in techniques that Couture House is so depends on.
For now, I feel very privileged to be a whiteness to every Haute Couture Collection created by Les Petite Mains - precious Little Hands.
I am wishing all of you wonderful weekend! I will spend mine catching up on every single Collection I have missed during this past round of Global Fashion Weeks. I hope that your October is as beautiful as mine and as full of inspiration as only Fall could possibly bring. :-)