2 posts tagged "Piece d’Anarchive"
The last thing you’d expect to find in Paris’ oldest square, Place des Vosges, is a brand whose name intimates anarchy. But then again, Victor Hugo was a famous resident, so vive la revolution! The three founders of Piece d’Anarchive, sisters Déborah and Priscilla Royer and their friend Virginie Muys, insist their revolt is of the respectful kind. “We want to use our suppliers and their traditional methods, which we very much cherish, but we want to push them a bit,” Déborah says. Plus, there’s more to the name than anarchy. ” ‘Archive’ refers to French creativity and savoir faire and ‘piece’ is our attachment to rarity—each design is numbered according to its creation time.”
For their third season and first complete collection (the first two focused on knitwear and leather), Priscilla, previously in charge of Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label in London, took inspiration from a William Forsythe ballet. “It started with the ballet’s name, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, so the collection carries the two concepts—sport discipline and precision and also, the ecstasy you can get by high achievements,” she explains. Having “seduced” some of France’s finest traditional mills and ateliers into working with them, they’re now adding their own unconventional spin. A green knit is actually turned inside out, for example. “It was originally meant to be much lighter, but the neon yellow came out too obvious, so we turned it inside-out. The factory couldn’t understand our choice; they kept asking, Are you sure?” The traditional guipure lace from Calais has been translated into a woven open-work stitch that feels less precious but equally charming as a formal shirt and pencil skirt. And when they decided they wanted a Panama hat, they, of course, turned to Ecuador’s finest, Homero Ortega.
But it all comes back to modern urban living. “We always test the clothes, making sure they are comfortable and the fit is right,” says Déborah. “We all move all the time, around Paris on our Vespas, so our clothes are supposed to move with us.” Nothing anarchic about that.
Emmanuelle Alt, Sarah Andelman, Renzo Rosso, and other jurors on this year’s Andam Fashion Award panel, myself included, gathered at the Ritz in Paris this afternoon to choose this year’s winner. In the running for the €230,000 prize were Cédric Charlier, Julien David, Vika Gazinskaya, Calla Haynes, Nicolas Andreas Taralis, and Thomas Tait. As ever, it was a cosmopolitan crew, with designers hailing from Belgium, Russia, Canada, and Germany, but David, the competition’s Frenchman, came out ahead. (A look from his well-received Fall ’12 show is pictured, left.)
For the moment, the designer’s business is based in Japan, but he’ll be spending more time on his native soil—the award requires the recipient to found and operate a company in France. Despite being an expat nearly half of his life—David left home at 18 to study at Parsons in New York and worked for Narciso Rodriguez and Ralph Lauren—he professed excitement at the prospect of coming home. “I had ideas I couldn’t execute in Japan because money was an issue,” he said. “I want to expand the collection concept, especially into areas that are unique to France, like embroideries.” The Prize Ceremony will take place tomorrow evening at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
The young women behind the one-year-old label Piece d’Anarchive—sisters Priscilla and Déborah Royer and Virginie Muys—won ANDAM’s First Collection Award, which comes with a €60,000 check. The trio said they’ll use the funds to put on a September presentation of their Spring 2013 collection, which jurors got a sneak peek at. Newbies they may be, but they didn’t lack for presentation skills. Describing the sports-influenced collection, Priscilla evocatively promised “discipline dancing with ecstasy.”