Surprising transformation by Guillaume Henry and LVMH
One of the most delightful surprises of Paris Fashion Week was the comeback of Jean Patou, a luxurious couture house that had been almost forgotten for thirty years. Now part of the LVMH group, the house is headed by French designer Guillaume Henry who says: “Do we need Patou to be another expensive heritage house when there are plenty of houses that do that very well? It needs to be something new.” Keep reading to know why you will surely be wearing the revived label very soon!
After his start at Givenchy, Guillaume Henry revamped the heritage house Carven and became the Creative Director of Nina Ricci. A year ago, LVHM appointed Henry as Artistic Director of Jean Patou, now, Patou.
The French Jean Patou founded his eponymous couture house in 1914, at the age of 23. He became known for designing simple and chic evening gowns. But he was especially famous for the casual and sportswear that revolutionised women’s fashion, not to mention the wild parties that followed Patou’s modern catwalk shows! According to the American press, the visionary designer created the “most elegant man in Europe”. By the way, we have him to thank for garments with embroidered initials.
His clients were Louise Brooks, Josephine Baker and tennis player Suzanne Lenglen among many others. Once rival to Chanel, the couture house was headed by many famous names after Patou’s early death; Marc Bohan, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix.
Guillaume Henry imagined the new Patou for young women who do not want to buy mass fashion as H&M anymore but cannot afford luxury labels. Henry says he wanted to design clothes for his French friends, which is one of the reasons he declined a previous offer to head the Italian house, Pucci.
Henry’s vision for Patou is affordable, feminine, tongue-in-cheek pieces. The new Patou is an accessible luxury label, and the designer points out that “new doesn’t need to be weird” - take note, newcomers.
Millennials and eco-conscious shoppers will love Patou's sustainability. The label uses GOTS-certified organic cotton and provides, through the scanning of QR code labels, all the garments' history, such as where and how they were made.
The debut collection, with beautiful shirts, knitwear, evening mini-dresses and chic jacquard and denim numbers, shoes and jewellery, will be available in November on Patou’s website and 24S, with prices that range from 99 to 600 Euros.
Remember, you heard it here first!