Hervé Léger and Julia Restoin Roitfeld believe the female form is something to be celebrated— it should be proudly decorated with only the finest and figure hugging looks. Legendary French fashion house Hervé Léger, founded by Hervé Peugnet in 1985, pioneered this belief through the creation of the “bandage dress.” This body-con could mold and shape the wearer’s figure giving any and all an unbeatable silhouette. This design revolutionized the female form and now, nearly four decades later, that classic look has been artfully re-crafted by the pioneers of modern fashion themselves.
Art director, designer, and model Julia Restoin Roitfeld has teamed up with Léger’s Creative Director, Christian Juul Nielsen, for the brand’s first ever collaboration. The upcoming Pre-Fall 2021 Capsule Collection features twenty pieces of re-imagined and sustainable classic silhouettes all made to empower and honor the modern woman.
Showcased in a minimal palette of black, neutrals, white, and red, the collection features woven tops, skirts, and dresses in paneled knits stylishly juxtaposed with tailored blazers and jumpsuits. Looks from the Hervé Léger archives have all been referenced for this introduction into the new age. Roitfeld notes that “the whole point of the collection was to honor all the iconic pieces of Hervé Léger, but with a modern twist.” The sophisticated, cocktail attire image reminiscent with the brand in the ’90s was one factor that Nielsen and Roitfeld opted to adjust. While elegance is still an elemental factor within the collection, refreshing design choices, like sheer and opaque panels and ready-to-wear pieces give wearers a new approach to comfort, edge, and and timeless confidence.
“Chicly sexy” seems to be the overall motto for the collection. An image of Kate Moss was one inspiration for a strappy LBD piece that expertly combines both class and grunge, while another look designed with flickers of luminescent textile, gave a fun element to everyday wear. And while global supermodels and legacy designs were one element tacked on the mood board, reference from Roitfeld’s childhood also played a significant factor within the collection. She reminiscences on a memory “…as a kid, wearing ballet stockings but as a top…cutting a hole through the legs and wearing almost in a grungy-way.” This experimentation phase clearly has not been outgrown since it was inspiration for one of the capsule looks— a white minidress with sheer sleeves rendered by Nielsen paid direct homage to this 14-year-old Roitfeld look. A minor detail that the duo credits for transforming just another “sexy little dress” into something with more of an edge.
This inventive thinking was initially what Nielsen believed would be a perfect fit for this collaboration. “Julia is a true dream girl for me,” comments Nielsen “seeing her ideas further fuel my designs was an incredible experience for me as a designer and I’m incredibly proud of what we accomplished with this capsule.” This push for creativity for the Hervé Léger woman not only added these modern twists to the collection but eco-consciousness as well.
One element of modernity that Roitfeld sought to intertwine in the capsule is sustainability. Roitfeld has regularly promoted her “less is more” approach by advocating for quality over quantity in all aspects of her life. Throughout the collaboration, Roitfeld notes she wanted to “bring some fun in the world but in a responsible way.” Not only does this carefully crafted capsule center on timelessness and versatile styles, but the textiles themselves are designed with this conscious approach. All pieces were designed using sustainable and recycled yarns in accordance with the Global Recycled Standard— an important achievement that not only contributes to the improvement of our current climate but manages to “merge legacy with [the] future.”
Taking just over a year to create, this capsule collection or “labour of love” between the two designers will certainly give the modern woman a return to the confident, feminine, and sexy look many have sought to rediscover. That coupled with its everyday wearability, and being built to last, this legacy fashion house will certainly live on in your closets for many more years to come.
The collection will be available in Hervé Léger boutiques, select retailers, specialty stores worldwide, and on herveleger.com starting in May 2021
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