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It has been a while since I wanted to show you those pictures..! A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to lend some of my dresses to a talented photographer named Mohamed Houssein. Mohamed started photography 4 years ago. Aside from the quality of his photos, what I loved about his work, is that he has been shooting on film since over a year.
We selected four of my dresses and shoot in various location in Brussels. In a typical Brussels town house, in Woluwe’s park and in my studio (as you can see on the last two pictures). It was really nice to see my dresses in another atmosphere than the one from the original campaign…
Model: Justine Lecomte
Hair & Make Up: Sarah Kurt
Flowers: The Little Green Shop
I hope you all a good Valentine’s Day, meaning, being with your loved one, alone, at work or at home or else… For me it’s just a day to celebrate my name and look forward to my Birthday 2 days later (16th February). Contrary to what people always think, I was name Valentine not because I was born after Valentine’s day but after my Grandmother.
For Valentine’s Day I wanted to organize a mini shooting in a little park close to my house. To lighten up the gloomy Belgian weather I immediately thought about balloons! The lovely Soukaina braved the cold (2°C) for me and looked lovely in her Valentine Avoh embroidered silk organza bustier dress.
Thank to Flag Models
Since Octobre 2012, Chanel has been revealing it’s essence in a series of short films and photos dedicated to its founder, Gabrielle Chanel, it’s designer, Karl Lagerfeld and it’s history. Those stories are unveiled one by one through the years on their mini Inside Chanel website (inside.chanel.com).
Last week it was all about Haute Couture and I must say that absolutely loved their video! Which is why I wanted to share it with you. It showed the whole process behind their classic tweed jacket in a very modern way. 130 hours of work cleverly summarized in 3:42 minutes while highlighting all those important steps that add the “Haute” in the couture.
I could really relate to this video as I work more or less the same way (aside, of course, from the plane fitting trips to Dubai, New-York and London etc… 😉 and I think it gives an alternative view on what Haute Couture aso is. It is not just about long dreamy dresses and fashion shows. No. Haute Couture is mainly about two things: service and quality. Service because each piece is made exclusively in the sole purpose of pleasing the client’s every desire. And quality as aside from being made by hand and on measure, Haute Couture requires true excellence, perfectionism and meticulousness. This degree of perfection in the details can only be reach thanks to a team of qualified but more importantly passionate artisans.
Yes, Haute Couture is definitely a true passion, for both the client and those who make it.
See the full series Inside Chanel here.
Haute Couture has always inspired me. Some may say it’s unwearable or useless but I see it as a form of art, incredible crafsmanship and as undeniable teamwork. But most of all, as an endless source of inspiration!
What I love the most about Haute Couture, is that it’s a world where everything is possible, a beautiful parenthesis in today’s chaos. There is absolutely no limits to the imagination of it’s designer. It shouldn’t be seen as a collection of static pieces ready to be worn where nothing can be changed. A Haute Couture dress is merely a materialization of the universe of its creator which will then be reinterpreted to fit the universe of each client. Having worked for Alexander McQueen, I sure do know that behind each dress they is a team of skilled and talented seamstress with golden hands as without it’s atelier, Elie Saab, wouldn’t be Elie Saab… The same goes for most of the big fashion house. But at the same time, without it’s designer, the atelier would never push the limits of possibility as they do it with every collection. Haute Couture is without a doubt the epitome of fashion…!
If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you must already know that last November 21st, I launched together with the boutique Love, Sweet, etc… two exclusive wedding dresses named Jackie and Little Jackie!
This is by far one of my top achievement of 2015!
Since I discovered Catherine and Malicia’s Love. Sweet, Etc… boutique in 2013, I always hoped that someday I would be able to sell my designs in their lovely boutique. Even if at that time I had no real collection, I remember writing it into my business plan. They were my first choice as my ideal retailer.
Early 2015 I started working occasionally for them as a freelance seamstress and our work relationship turned into a friendship which gave birth to a creative collaboration! We started discussing the idea of creating a wedding dress together. Every time we met we couldn’t help but brainstorm about what would our perfect wedding dress would look like, what fabric it would be made of… One thing was sure, we knew we wanted a jaw dropping but elegant open back! As I gathered my favorite fabric samples one material turned out to be our favorite. A stunning embroidered Italian tulle… No need to look further, Jackie was born! We were so excited about it that the idea to make a dress together quickly evolve and we gave Jackie a sister: Little Jackie!
Although we selected the main fabric in July, the full design process regarding all the details and the realization was done in just one month! One month to make the two dresses but also to organize and plan a photoshoot a video and a launch day!
When I see my two dresses gracing their windows I couldn’t be happier about this beautiful journey. It taught me that one must never lose sight of their dream as eventually, with a lot hard work, a few white nights and more importantly surrounded by like-minded people, anything can happen!
Jackie The Film
Here is the amazing video shot and directed by my sweet half Fabrizio Fichera.
Behind The Scene
Follow me in my atelier as I bring Jackie to life…
Jackie & Little Jackie
Discover the official photos by Antoine Melis.
Thanks to the AMAZING team who made this whole project possible!
Catherine and Malicia from Love, Sweet, Etc…
Wedding planner Aurélie Raigné from « Jours de fête » | www.joursdefete.fr
Photographer Antoine Melis | www.antoinemelis.com
Hat designer Marie Koole, from Miss Koole Hats | www.misskoolehats.com
Graphist Céline Bilquin, from Bilpaper | www.bilpaper.com
Director and filmaker Fabrizio Fkr Fichera (Jackie-Le film) | www.fabriziofichera.com
Filmaker Julien Monfajon (Jackie-Le making off) | www.playtimeswedding.com
Hair & Make up Daphné Durieux | www.www.daphne-art.jimdo.com/
Model Claire Marie Lievens
Follow the whole team during the photo and film shoot.
For more info on Jackie & Little Jackie visit: jackie.valentineavoh.com
Sunday: Staying in bed until noon while reading an inspiring book…
I have been following Garance Doré since her debut and I also had the chance to meet her numerous times, in New-York and Milan, while working during the fashion weeks. Her natural and her simplicity were always a constant source of inspiration for me and many other women, therefor I was very keen on reading her first book “Love Style Life”.
Her story is a true example of perseverance and passion. (I remember writing about her evolution and how inspirational she was after meeting her for the first time in this 2011 post ) With this book, Garance is showing us that you cannot achieve anything in life without love; love for yourself, for other and love in what you choose to do. As for style, it will come to you naturally once you discover your true self. Thank you Garance for this beautiful lesson, for sharing your self and keeping on motivating us to succeed no matter how many errors we might do along the way…
“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places… Just keep driving!”
As the Christmas celebration are approaching I thought it would be right to talk about Champagne… But not any Champagne…. Let me introduce you to the enchanting world of Perrier-Jouët!
Founded in 1811 by a couple of lovebirds, Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and Rose-Adelaide Jouët, this two hundred years old house became over the years, one of the most prestigious Champagne house in the world! Her amazing bottles, adorned with their iconic anemones, once drew by the the Art-Nouveau master, Emile Gallé are a pure work of art in their own right.
Symbol of elegance and known for the delicacy of its bubble, it is without surprise that Perrier-Jouët decorates the world most prestigious table and became simultaneously one of The wedding champagne.
Here are the amazing pictures of my lovely English bride, Rachael, who got married to her beau, Alex, last August. Rachael is a very special bride to me as she literally flew in from England just to meet me and my dresses! She discovered my work through a wedding blog and fell in love with the Iris feather dress. Luckily, once she tried it, it suited her like a charm! We then met several times during the year so that I could replicate the dress to her exact measurements and it was such a pleasure to work with her and her bubbly personality.
Rachael perfected her look with an amazing pair of Charlotte Olympia gold pumps and a beautiful Isobel Hind headpiece. Doesn’t she look stunning? Obviously her groom is quite the stylish man too. On and all, the perfect English countryside wedding. There’s only one thing left to say: All the best to the happy couple!
Ps: For the lovers of minimalist & feminine objects, clothes, jewelry, etc.. Rachael owns a online concept store, Object Style, which is definitely worth a look.
Photo: Lucy Little Photographer
Shoes: Runaway Bride by Charlotte Olympia
Bride’s Headdress: Isobel Hind Couture
Groom’s Suit: Doherty,Evans and Stott
Groom’s Shoes: Alden
More pictures on Rachael’s blog: Object Style blog
Two beautiful pictures of my little bride Sophie in her Valentine Avoh bespoke top and Laure de Sagazan skirt. I handmade the top in silk crèpe and delicate french lace. I really adore everything about, how she styled it, her hair, her make up, her jewels..! And le’ts not forget the groom, he looks quite dashing too.
Photo: Sebastien Melot