Olivier Lapidus opens his online couture house
He’s always been a path-breaker. And Saturday afternoon in Paris, Olivier Lapidus broke yet another frontier - the first pure online haute couture house.
Named Création Olivier Lapidus, it boasts a site with a series of short films, showing a couture collection gradually coming into being.
“It’s a Flashion show, a flash of fashion to show the emotion of the clothes,” stresses Olivier of the short movies directed by Jules Jarossay of La Maison Noire. The debut collection features eight haute couture looks and eight ready-to-wear outfits.
“Eight is a lucky number in China,” says Olivier, who spent several years there in the beginning of the century, after a 12-year stint as director of Lapidus Couture, the house his father Ted Lapidus founded.
Lapidus is arguably the leader in the amalgam of technology and craftsmanship, a current obsession in fashion. After finishing the famed Chambre Syndicale fashion school, Olivier fell into legal difficulties with his father, who did not want a rival Lapidus house in Paris. The son moved to Japan for several years before a family reconciliation saw Olivier take over the artistic direction of his father’s house in 1989. Olivier presented the first clothes with integrated telephones and solar panels in runway shows staged inside the Louvre.
“Maybe I was too ahead of my time? A solar panel in a Louvre... Hmmm. We even had ten patents. But I have always believed in the cross fertilization between craftsmen and laboratories. Today people accept that – so it’s the right time for me to come back, with my own house,” he explained.
In the past decade, Lapidus opened a publishing house and designed furniture, like the two beautiful egg shaped chairs in his salon in his 5th floor apartment on avenue George V.
“Couture is theatre – a woman marching along a runway. And has been for the past half century; but the Internet is cinema – which is why I present in this manner,” stresses the ever-youthful 59-year-old.
His latest clothes are exuberantly glamorous, without ever being too much. Deep gorge tanks finished in a golden spider’s web beading; black crepe jumpsuits frosted at the shoulder with silver embroidery and graphic cocktails finished with hand-sewn squares of silk ribbons.
It’s not a million miles from the style of his dad, who dressed John Lennon when he married Yoko Ono, and launched unisex glamor in the 1960s.
“I don’t know if my father lived well, but he lived intensely. He lived three lives in one!” says the son of Ted, who died in 2008, aged 78.
In this new house, clients can order by Internet and then a premier atelier her for measurements.
“A client can even see the robe being made via the web. They understand the sense of time – as the dress is made – feathers and embroidery being gradually added. It’s a direct contact with a couturier. A living couturier,” Olivier smiles.
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