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The Story Behind Roger Vivier’s Fall 2021 Fantasy Show

24th March 2021


The Parisian label debuted its fall 2021 with a short film on IG TV, dubbed DOWESHOW? takes you on a fantasy journey to a world of glamour, fancy shoes and iconic women. 

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Roger Vivier’s short film for AW21 puts a retro twist on a very modern problem. Images courtesy of Roger Vivier.

What would happen if Marlene Dietrich, Edith Piaf, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Josephine Baker were all invited to sit front row at a fashion show together? 

Roger Vivier creative director Gherardo Felloni delved deep into his imagination to find out and presented the results in a short film that doubled as the Parisian label’s fall 2021 virtual presentation. Naturally it turned out to be a real spectacle: Josephine Baker shows up in the most dreamy feather-trimmed heeled ankle boots; Piaf is a little more practical in signature Vivier block-heeled pumps; while Marilyn Monroe opts for crystal-embellished stilettos. 

But the room – all pink, gilded and filled with larger-than-life flower arrangements – turns out to be empty, the show is delayed and the stars loose patience and get up on stage to perform themselves. Baker dances and speaks of the freedom she feels on stage; Dietrich recites a poem that is an “ode to the unknown” in her chic glossy leather buckled boots; while Monroe dabbles between confidence and drama, as she talks about make-belief and the tragedy of pretending to be someone else. 

It would be absurd to act as if [lockdown] weren’t happening. Instead we need to embrace it, and have some fun with the concept of waiting” said creative director Gherardo Felloni.

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Roger Vivier’s most prestigious styles for AW21. Images courtesy of the brand.

Kelly arrives late and makes quite the entrance in a pair of decadent pumps featuring the signature Vivier crystal brooch and a graphic yellow print. She’s elated to hear she got the part after her short performance on stage, but faints with shock when she finds out that due to COVID-19 restrictions, her performance will be digital and with no live audience to applaud her. 

“It would be absurd to act as if [lockdown] weren’t happening. Instead we need to embrace it, and have some fun with the concept of waiting,” said Felloni of his choice to portray his icons eagerly anticipating an audience to show up and experiencing some pretty serious mood swings as the wait is prolonged. “Humor makes things not so bad,” added the designer, who is a silver screen fanatic. By directing his own film for fall 2021, he also wanted to pay homage to all the actresses, singers and entertainment personalities who inspire his work and have been hit hard by the pandemic. 

As for the new fall 2021 shoes that make an appearance in the film, their decadent, over-the-top aesthetic fit right in with the Old Hollywood glamour the film’s protagonists represent. And, according to Felloni, that’s an aesthetic that will surely feel just as relevant next season, where nights out and fun are anticipated to return. 

“[I used] fashion and accessories as a way to ward off the gloom,” he added. 

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