Hardly a day goes by without Paule Ka’s Creative Director Alithia Spuri-Zampetti being asked her opinion on fashion. This recurring, legitimate question pushed her to explore the very notion of French style and sparked her desire for a homecoming.
Strolling through history in search of the ornamental and the structural, Spuri-Zampetti draws inspiration from the first impression that Paris leaves on any visitor: a marvel of opulent architecture, where past and present live under the golden glow of chandeliers and streetlights.
History becomes a mirror that reflects the movements and figures that made Paris the epitome of style for centuries, but also an everlasting beacon that guides to its future. Likewise in fashion, From the courts of Louis XIV to the liberated garçonnes of the Roaring Twenties, from the rise of the Couturiers of the Fifties back to the exuberance of the Napoleon III era, she considers, without an ounce of nostalgia, the wealth of the past and the purity offered by a page yet to be written.
The Paule Ka woman, empowered and cultured, active and elegant, emerges from the modernity woven into the very fabric of this collection, reconnecting Paris with its deeply elegant roots.
Structure opens the way, with precisely draped coats cocooning the body as an embrace of lush, tactile fabrics. Immaculate white forms a strong base from which classic tweeds and patterned woollens progress to the quiet luxuriance of chiné double face. After all, it is the nonchalant drape of a shawl that sparked these trompel’oeil propositions. The richness of the custom designed materials bestow a contemporary spin to a faux-classic silhouette: intrinsically Parisian but definitely looking forward.
Empowerment is the final stage of the journey. Playing on the idea of hiding in plain sight, the quintessential Parisienne rises to any occasion. The curves of Chantilly lace echo the curls of ornate Napoleonic architecture, as she swings into view. Through the use of plissé, heritage motifs become graphic slices, and fan out to reveal insertions of unusual materials. Lurex knit sparkles. Delicate fringing lends movement to glittering jacquards, echoing the playful feathers that have been intermingled in the metallic thread of laces. Gilding the edges or shimmering with every movement, this visible twist on invisibility meshes with the whole vestiaire of today.
Femininity emerges soon after, as the woman abandons her coat to reveal herself, a softer counter-point to style as a structure. Lingerie, as much an art as a craft, opens a dialogue with history by revisiting its vision of the female form. The corset, once used to constrain now becomes playful and liberating in technical materials. Construction is highlighted by the essential nature of the palette, hinting at the toile that prefigures their existence. The futurism of molded neoprene meet the lustre of velvet on a strict egalitarian footing: romantic meets minimalism and both become effortless.
As if to reflect the multifaceted identity of the Paule Ka woman, the accessories that accompany the collection have been cut from high-shine patent leather. Molten metal dances along python skins and leathers of gently pointed shoes, mirrored heels flashing at every step. On flat pumps, dangling from earrings, held as bags or curling around the neck, reflective elements nod to this essential beauty tool. Here and there, the glint of reflected light becomes an accent that reveals the intricate detailing that nods to heritage.
The takeaway becomes clear: the past and the future alike are in service of style, and of the Paule Ka woman who embraces it.