Julie de Libran’s ‘new’ embraces opulent vintage materials reimagined in the storied mini dress, from sixties-inspired showstoppers to soignée LBDs
Imagine delving into the archives of centuries-old Italian fabric mills. This is the springboard for designer Julie de Libran (ex-Sonia Rykiel, Louis Vuitton, and Prada) who creates limited-quantity and custom-made designs from the offcuts and unused stock of mills she’s worked with for 30 years. “It’s about making fashion circular,” says Julie, whose latest collection, previewed at Paris Couture Week, gives new life to fabrics stowed away since the sixties and seventies.
Their provenance is a source of inspiration - the sixties reimagined through the collection’s playful minis, presented in psychedelic prints and boho shapes as well as “classic-with-a-twist” little black dresses. “I like the idea of having an LBD in your wardrobe that you can wear over and over,” says Julie. “It’s about creating quality, timeless pieces that can be passed down generations.”
There’s the sexy scooped-back mini dress, the elegant caped iteration and the versatile Marinière double-breasted dress coat, an all-season piece that looks as great thrown over jeans and a sweater as it does on its own. Exuberant hand crafted feather trims and sequin embroideries pay homage to the capital’s peerless excellence in embellishment. “Comfort and versatility are vital,” says Julie. “With my dresses, you can move - you never feel restricted or in a costume.”
For this, fit is everything, with Julie guided by time-tested craftsmanship and a client’s body shape. “Trends will come and go, but it’s about celebrating the workmanship behind each piece and finding the right shape for an individual,” says Julie, who takes bespoke commissions from her new Saint-Germain Paris atelier on the Left Bank. The delightful light-filled salon is decorated with vintage furniture and also showcases her jewellery including her collaboration with Parisian house, Goosens. Settle in here for dress-up and it is time beautifully well spent.