christian lacriox

Atelier Affairs

There is absolutely no truer feeling of luxury than wearing made-to-measure or couture.  What could possibly be more extravagant than a garment crafted with your body in mind?  I imagine that seeing a custom creation come into fruition is a rather enchanting process.  The concepts below were rendered in my mind’s atelier in hopes that one day they’ll be realized.

Humphrey Bogart’s white tuxedo jacket from Casablanca (original design by Anthony Gasbarri):

Humphrey Bogart!  One of the most elegant men in the 20th century!  The Swiss tailors at Zegna would be charged with recreating Gasbarri’s iconic white tuxedo jacket from Casablanca.  The width of the shawl collar would be extended a few centimeters so it’s closer to the shoulders and swoops down right above the second set of buttons on the overlying (left) side of the jacket.  All of the buttons (a bright pink mother of pearl – think the 1st Duchess of Polignac’s gaming counters) would be sensibly sized at six centimeters in diameter.  The jacket will have a slightly slimmer fit than Gasbarri’s original, but extend in length to the mid-thigh in the event that I want to wear it as a dress with a long pink slip underneath. 

Bogart in Casablanca, (1942)

Meryl Streep’s bridal jacket from Out of Africa (original design by Milena Canonero):

Because the Dior atelier understands a cinched waist like no other, I’d entrust the recreation of this jacket to only them.  An ivory silk brocade fabric with a subtle floral pattern mirroring that of Meryl’s hat in this ensemble would serve as the base material. The collar: exaggerated, coming up to the earlobe, folding over, and resting as far as the shoulders. A silk lining matching the coral of Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna’s garden portrait gown would be stitched into the coat.  Three dimensional green embroidery and appliqué matching that of the Grand Duchess’s gown would be affixed onto the belt and collar for a courtly, heightened sense of drama along the neckline, shoulders, and empire waist.

Streep in Out of Africa, (1985)

Alexander Roslin, Portrait of Grand Duchess Maria Fiodorovna at the age of 18, 1777, Oil on canvas, 265 × 178 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Snowy Egret Kitten Heels: 

No creature (man, bird, or otherwise) stands as boldly or handsomely as an egret.  For that reason I’m convinced that black (perhaps even emerald green) satin kitten heels with snowy egrets in full plume are imperative to own.  Manolo Blahnik kitten heel is the ideal silhouette and no workshop is better for elegant footwear than Blahnik’s in Italy.  A standing snowy egret would be embroidered onto the vamp of the shoes in a bright white and silver silk thread and white marabou trim would line the back (inside of the counter).  

(left) Manolo Blahnik Embroidered Toe D'Orsay Heel; (right) Snowy egret in full plume, Photographer: Jason Engman 

The ideal smoking jacket:

For some time now I’ve been enamored at the sequin embroidery on Elsa Schiaparelli’s “Shocking Pink Sunburst Cape” from autumn/winter 1938-1939.  It’s energetic and ever so slightly vile (a quality I adore).  Similarly I’ve been entranced by a vintage Christian Lacriox sun brooch with what appears to be coral (or mock-coral) beading.  An acquaintance rudely described it as a trinket from Earthbound; can you believe the irreverence?  Regardless I find its coral beading gorgeous and would prefer if the center on the sun embroidery for my custom jacket was filled with small red coral beads.  The jacket itself would be fashioned out of “shocking pink” silk and fine scarlet-red velvet (for the lapels).  Its silhouette would mirror that of a jacket from Maison Margiela’s autumn-winter 2012 couture collection.  I’d much rather prefer  some sort of surrealist object in the place of a classic smoking jacket toggle or button for the fastening on the front.  Perhaps a metal hour hand from an old clock bent into a clip or a gilded baroque doorknob (spindle and all).  I’ll leave those details to the Margiela atelier.

(left) Maison Margiela autumn/winter 2012-2013 Haute Couture, Look 3; (center) “Shocking Pink Sunburst Cape” from Elsa Schiaparelli’s autumn/winter 1938-1939 collection, (right) vintage Christian Lacriox sun brooch