Monday, July 28, 2008

Shopaholics EXCLUSIVE ... Tête-à-Tête with Chavernet Paris

When the subject of any fashionable conversation turns to be couture, tell me, how often do we have this typical projection of gowns designed in epic proportions with fussy, theatrical detailing and a price tag equivalent to a brand new Mercedes Kompressor?

What’s more, when we mention the word couture too, the usual names conjured in the minds of many would usually be John Galliano for Dior, Elie Saab, Christian Lacroix and Valentino.

Well, these big boys may rein the haute couture world supremely with their elaborate designs made to fit a que
en. But if you still desiring for couture but without those unnecessary splendour, then look forward to contemporary couture house Chavernet Paris.

Famously known for their dazzling take on couture, Chavernet dresses are created specially for people who wanted to stand out of the line. Without any promotional tools nor mass-marketing approach, what is offered by this young Parisian atelier is something novel and fresh. Exclusive to Shopaholics Anonymous Malaysia, Armen der Argopian, co-founder of Chavernet Paris talked to us about what Chavernet Paris is all about and how different it is from other big players of the couture world.

What is the concept of Chavernet Paris?

Chavernet Paris is a Fashion House based in Paris, specialised in unique pieces dresses and very limited series. Our dresses are handmade in Paris, accompanied with a label containing the workshop exit date and the number of the dress.

We work with the best dressmakers who used to work for years for the big names of the French couture. Those women are able to make each dress unique. That’s why the main concept of Chavernet Paris is one woman = one dress.

How long has Chavernet been in the European fashion industry?

Chavernet Paris is born in September 2007 from the meeting between luxury ready to wear and couture.

Give me one reason that makes Chavernet so special and every woman must own at least one Chavernet dress in her wardrobe.

I have just one word to answer you: uniqueness.

Today even the luxury ready to wear is standardized and became a mass market with big stakes involved. People wear almost the same luxury brands everywhere in the world. Counterfeiting is also a problem for the image of mass-market luxury brands. More and more women want the uniqueness and the exceptional aspects of a tailor made dress.

Most couture houses would regularly slap an average of $20000 - $70000 for a couture evening gown. Does Chavernet do the same too?

Chavernet do the same too because our dressmakers have the know-how. In fact only very few women in the world have the body and the opportunities too, to wear these kind of dresses.

So, even if Haute Couture is not profitable, I think it’s a very good thing that big brands still invest in the Haute Couture because that’s everything we wear every day come from. Even if it’s not wearable really it’s a real source of inspiration for the designers because the express themselves without limits.

Chavernet Paris makes chic and wearable couture dresses. In fact, the price of the dresses depends always on the needs of our clients. The dress is made for her body; with fabrics that she could chose herself, so she participates in her way in the result of her dress. That’s what makes also the uniqueness of Chavernet Paris dresses.

Apart from Parisian and European fashionistas, which other parts of the world do your regular clients come from?

My clients are very international. Many Americans come to see us, also Russians and many Asians too. Particularly in Korea and Japan women give a lot of importance to the quality. They buy quality French brands for dec

But now, they are tired to buy expensive bad quality dresses that are not even produce in Europe anymore. That’s why my clients are very international, because all around the world, the mass market creates a need of unique and exceptional among the fashionistas.

Do you give away free dresses to celebrities for the sake of mass promotion and profit raking?

As I said before mass promotion and profit ranking is not our way of seeing Fashion. Our clients are women who are tired to wear the “it” dress or the “it” bag. They are women who know fashion and what they want too.

Chavernet Paris concept is to go against standardization by living fashion in an instant, according to a desire, a humour, various every days and appropriate for each. So we don’t really communicate or make promotion. For us, what is important is creativity and quality. We try to remain confidential and get new clients by recommendation from our regular clients.

How many celebrities so far that have been seen in Chavernet, either at prestigious events or on the streets and who are they?

We had wives of celebrities who ordered dresses but not celebrities’ … lol J

What is the significance of Marie Antoinette to Chavernet that it prompted you to superimpose her head over the models’ figures in the lookbook?

We didn’t want just “one more lookbook”. We wanted also to represent the spirit of the brand, modern creativity and old fashion way of Couture. So we gave carte blanche to our photographer who had the idea superimpose royalty heads over the models’ figures.

Here’s a tough one. Around the world, couture designers tend to focus on women with slim figures while plus size ones are usually forgotten. Why? Don’t they deserve to be dressed in couture like size zero girls?

Of course they deserve it and it’s possible! Sometimes even size zero girls cannot fit well in her dress because each body is unique. For example, our very limited series of dresses are manufactured in “couture spirit” with the possibility to make modifications on the client directly. If the dress is made on your body, people will think you are size zero even if you are not.

So what would be next for Chavernet in the future? A flagship store in the middle of Avenue Montaigne someday?

Hahaha ... Why not?? But for the moment we don’t think about this type of objectives. This is not our priority. Our priority is to be constantly independent and creative by designing new dresses every day. I will let you know soon about special projects based on pure creativity that we are planning to work on.

*Photos courtesy of Chavernet Paris.

Chavernet Paris - 72, Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, 75008 Paris.

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