WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANYA SANDUL
An insight look into the multi-sensory Roger Vivier fall 2020 presentation, illustrating why the brand throws the most popular shoe event of the season.
During fashion month, footwear presentations are usually overshadowed by the big spectacles that are catwalk shows.
Insiders will try to fit in a presentation by their favourite brand here and there – usually taking place in a hotel suite with the new-season shoes displayed on podiums – but it’s the runway show tickets that everyone is after.
Not in the case of Roger Vivier.
During Paris Fashion Week, the famed accessories label puts on a show of its own, drawing the creme de la creme of the fashion crowd to the grand Parisian townhouse in the 16th arrondisement, where it usually hosts its presentations.
This year attendees included the likes of supermodel Mariacarla Boscono, Christina Ricci, the musician Rainsford and fellow shoe designer Ada Kokosar.
The reason for the huge turnaround and the social media frenzy that ensues? The label’s creative director Gherardo Felloni puts storytelling at the core of his work and creates an entire world around his new creations, season-after-season.
Instead of going at it the straight-forward way, meaning beautiful shoes displayed on podiums in a fancy setting, he goes the extra mile to transform the presentation of a new collection of shoes into a full-on immersive experience – and one big party.
There’s always a surprise waiting for you but for fall 2020, presented in Paris earlier this week, he really outdid himself.
The concept of the show was all about the human senses: Felloni designed six different rooms, each triggering a different sense, as you were guided from one space to another.
It all started off with smell in a room filled with yellow-tinged, autumnal leaves and glass cases which enclosed Vivier’s signature slingback pumps and some trendy patent-leather mules in a variety of bright, candy colors. If you lifted the glass lid around the shoes, different smells were evoked: rose for a pair of bright pink pumps, lemon for a yellow version and much more.
A second room featured the chunkier part of the collection: brogues with thick rubber soles, furry slippers and ankle boots with big brogues and block heels that would make loud click-clack noises when worn. Next to them, a fabulous-looking woman in a lace corset, fishnet tights and her hair rollers on, tore paper near a microphone to play with, you guessed it, the hearing sense.
To illustrate the concept of vision, Felloni displayed some of his more daring pieces, including thigh-high fringe boots in a rainbow of colors, against glow-in-the-dark art. An artist in the background enhanced the theme further by painting her big pouffy skirt live, using some more glow-in-the-dark paint.
But everyone’s favourite part of the presentation was the room zooming in on the sense of touch with floor-to-ceiling pink fur carpets, curtains, chairs, beds, you name it. As if that wasn’t enough, two cat Mascots dressed in Victorian dresses posed around the room, surrounded by satin pumps and sneakers embellished with feathers and large crystals, you were also dying to touch.
Can this be shipped to my apartment in New York? I just want to roll around that carpet all day,” said a glamorous client visiting the presentation.
Attendees left their professional personas out the door and let their inner children loose, as they laid on the fur bed and snapped pictures with the glam Vivier cats.
To top it all off, Felloni continued the journey by illustrating the sense of taste with a larger-than-life cake and a glamorous lady in fur and crystals coming out of it, while the last room played with the idea of the sixth sense.
Vivier ghosts lurked around a dark room where over-the-top, one-of-a-kind creations – the kind that would wake up your sixth sense – were displayed. They varied from mesh ecru boots embroidered with crystals all over to a black satin pair featuring large pink bows and suede, pastel-hued versions embellished with feathers.
There was a lot to take in: Classic shoes, statement shoes and ‘for your eyes only’ type shoes. But everything came together to create the ultimate fantasy, cementing Felloni’s reputation as the shoe world’s ultimate showman.
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