Manolo Blahnik Made the Shoes for This Designer’s Brand Debut at Couture Week

Former Sonia Rykiel artistic director Julie de Libran chose the first day of Paris Couture Week to unveil the debut collection from her new eponymous label, Dress by Julie de Libran.

And it was quite the entrance. She launched her line with an exclusive salon-style show, held at home, in her Left Bank townhouse, and she tapped her old friend Manolo Blahnik to provide the shoes.

“He was so happy to send me his shoes because he’s opening his first store in Paris this week in the Galeries du Palais-Royale, so the timing was incredible,” de Libran told FN.


De Libran’s debut collection of 20 dresses, which will be distributed via Matches Fashion, is a seasonless reposte to her concern about overproduction within the fashion industry.

“It’s an idea I’ve had for a long time,” she said. “I wanted to do something a little more responsible and get closer to the women who are wearing my clothes.”

She added, “I wanted them to be something you cherish and do them in small quantities, so each dress is numbered, each has a name and a story that comes with it.”

The looks were inspired by friends — such as the Gaia, named after jewelry designer Gaia Repossi — or other women de Libran admires, as with her ’60s-inflected green mini dress named for Nancy Sinatra. And white tasseled concoction is called Charlie after “Charlie’s Angels,” a nod to the time de Libran said she spent living in California. “I love the way it moves; you just want to put it on and go dancing.”

Dress by Julie de Libran.
Dress by Julie de Libran.
CREDIT: Stephanie Hirschmiller

Although she showed during Paris Couture Week, de Libran’s line is ready-to-wear, but the style of the presentation still evoked that of a traditional couture production.

And while hijacking Couture Week has previously been the preserve of Vetements, which has, in the past, staged anti-couture shows, this show succeeded in out-couturing Couture with de Libran writing the playbook on what a contemporary couture show should look like.

Dress by Julie de Libran.
Dress by Julie de Libran.
CREDIT: Stephanie Hirschmiller

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