Malta Fashion Week: Eymeric Francois

I once read an article written by Suzy Menkes in which she described her puzzlement over how one could review or experience a show properly through virtual means. Tonight, I was reminded of those words. As I sat down and watched Eymeric Francois‘s show, clothes I had already seen online, I felt almost overwhelmed. The presentation of the collection was stunning. I was captivated from the first moment – when model Joy walked onto the catwalk and held a mask to her face.

Over this week, I have had the opportunity to speak to Eymeric and he is actually a very humble down-to-earth person. He has worn the same ring for the better part of his career, simply because it reminds him of his first internship, reminds him where he started from. There are no backstage theatrics or strange demands, he loves his work and is just happy to do what he does. He also has a great appreciation for the female form, although that much is clearly evident in his designs. He likes the natural curves found in the female silhouette and his designs aim to enhance these curves rather than obliterate. For his shows, he does not search for the typical Parisian waif-thin model body, he actually likes his models to be strong, healthy and confident, to stride powerfully onto the catwalk.

On a side note, I felt so proud of all the models that walked for him yesterday – they really gave it all they had and did a splendid job. I also found the makeup by Elaine Galea and her team to be very well executed and interesting – defined eyes with eyeliner drawn above the eyeliner and the rest of the face kept light and nude. The hair was kept mainly simple and slicked back.

Now let’s talk a bit more about the clothes. First of all, when viewing a collection such as this, it is really worth pointing out that this is Haute Couture. No part of this collection is ready-to-wear, these pieces have not been designed to sit pretty on a rail in a shop or be worn in a ‘normal life’ context. They have been designed as inspirational pieces of art.

The collection was heavily inspired by the old world of Geisha. In some of the pieces, he incorporated actual pieces of fabric from old Geisha costumes and worked them into the pieces by combining with other fabrics.  His nipped in waists, corsets and zippers are all trademarks of his designs as is his obvious reference to the world of fetish and dominant women. It is hard to pick a favourite – put it this way, it’s been a while since I took such little photos at a fashion show – I was too busy capturing mental images. If I was hard pressed, Lucia’s bridal kimono-style dress is a white visionary work of art, Kristina wore a mermaid dress created out of zippers that feels unreal and I really loved what Amy wore – a beautiful, delicate piece that in his own words ‘shows a part of the body that is never normally seen’. This is pure art.

A wonderful end to day 5 of Malta Fashion Week.

Backstage photos by Kurt Paris
Catwalk photos by Luke Tetaferrata Moroni

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