Anne Valérie Hash isn't about to let the recession deflect her from pursuing made-to-measure clothes, but she's being pragmatic about it: "I didn't do a show this season; instead I decided to really focus on what people really ask us for—and that's wedding dresses and smokings." Smart move. Now her clients, who Hash reports are women in their late twenties to forties, get to climb the stairs of the gilded Belle Époque club (once a favorite hangout of Émile Zola and Gustav Klimt) that she occupies and have the pleasure of a private consultation in the designer's "Arabesque" room.
There, they'll find ten looks, including a strapless dress with more than 1,000 pieces of ivory lace sewn into a train honed for the "first" wedding (there were short options for the second or third). Hash has been concentrating on tailoring since the beginning of her career. Spring's options included drop-crotch pants and tuxedo jackets with her signature Edwardiana set-in sleeves and details like jet-encrusted revers. For whimsy's sake, there were also a couple of multi-flounced chiffon and lace dance skirts, which just might turn out to be the most irresistible pieces. "I think," she laughed, "that everyone loves a tutu, from the age of three until, well, as old as she can get."