Hannelore Knuts Pals Around With Pallas
Tucked away in the ninth arrondissement, the family-run Pallas atelier, which is known for its hand-finished Petite Couture tailoring, has been a secret weapon for major fashion houses, from Balenciaga to Céline to Thierry Mugler, since it was founded in 1961. Fifty-two years later, Pallas is emerging from behind the scenes with a new capsule collection of seven made-to-order tuxedos done in collaboration with Hannelore Knuts. An iconic Belgian model, Knuts is best known for her androgynous appeal (she recently played David Bowie in the indie film DAVE), as well as setting a record for covering—count ’em—three consecutive issues of Vogue Italia, back in 2001. “As someone who’s always been typecast as a tomboy, I felt somehow related to the aesthetic of the Le Smoking,” Knuts told Style.com.
Despite never having designed a suit before (she has, however, done a handbag with Delvaux and a bike for Marniek Kint), Knuts had plenty of ideas for modernizing the classic tuxedo based on her years on the job. “I was really close with Haider Ackermann and got to work closely with Azzedine Alaïa, who regularly did fittings on me and always welcomed me in his studio,” she said. “I’ve seen the process. I’ve witnessed and experienced it. And now I’m actually doing it for the first time, but it didn’t feel unnatural. I appreciate that details, like adjusting the hemline a few centimeters or changing the button finishing, can make or break the entire look.” Knuts herself wasn’t hunched over a table with a measuring tape around her neck and pins in her mouth, but she did suggest several updated silhouettes, such as a hoodie jacket and a seventies-inspired jumpsuit. She also styled and photographed herself for the lookbook. The images, which Knuts shot in Paris’ Le Petit Trianon Theatre, debut above. “I appreciate Pallas’ old-school approach to craft and am excited to help them creatively,” offered Knuts. “Experiences like this make modeling richer and more fulfilling.”