Over the last ten years hundreds of French fashion artisans have been given the ax at venerable houses by number crunching executives sending production overseas. But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…especially when centuries-old savoir-faire is heaped high in the bin!
While only two-years-old, Chavernet has already carved a visionary niche in the word of high-end fashion. Promising a modern take on old-style craftsmanship at remarkably tame prices, the brand is the clever brainchild of two Parisian entrepreneurs, Maxime Liebens and Armen Der Agopian
“Most luxury brands adhere to the ‘Made in France’ mystique, but the truth is that the majority of their clothing is constructed overseas,” explains Liebens, who named the brand after his great-grandmother, Louise Chavernet, one of the first women to own her own fashion atelier in Paris.
“We wanted to go back to the source of couture and produce dresses in Paris using the best materials and savoir-faire.”
What Chavernet offers its word-of-mouth, international clientele is as crazy as it is chic. In less than a week (aka the average length of their client’s trip to Paris) they will design, produce and deliver an original couture cocktail dress to your Paris abode.
Their signature LSDs (little silk dresses) are all made by hand in Paris by a team of expert dressmakers (a 92-yr-old insider pointed them to the city’s best) using end-of-season couture fabric sourced throughout Paris.
“There are a lot of clients who are fed up with the whole circus of shopping in a giant fashion flagship and who just simply want a beautifully handcrafted original dress.”
Chavernet’s “One Woman = One Dress” motto caters to a very real desire to own something stellar that no one else but you will ever be caught wearing. Less obvious, but nonetheless priceless, is the exhilarating experience of buying the dress, which goes something like this:
Step 1: Come to Paris, but before you do, make an appointment with Chavernet.
Step 2: Think about the dress of your dreams and collect visuals to help you describe it.
Step 3: Meet with the Chavernet commercial director, designer as well as the couturier assigned to make your dress. At the end of your meeting your measurements will have been taken and a rough sketch made of your dress.
Step 4: Receive a definitive sketch with material samples the next morning at your hotel.
Step 5: Once you have approved sketch and materials, a muslin prototype is produced and sent over for fitting.
Step 6: A second prototype is produced in your chosen fabric and sent over with a couturier for the final fitting.
Step 7: Once you give the okay, the dress is made and delivered to your hotel.
Step 8: Traipse around Paris in your fabulous, new, custom-made frock.
Just a word of advice: if you plan on fitting into your dress by the time it’s delivered, you might want to lay off the macarons.
Price: 1000E-1500E, depending on complexity of design and choice of fabric and finishes.
Further reading: How Luxury Lost Its Luster (by Dana Thomas); Chère Haute Couture (by Janie Samet); Luxury Considered (report by Ledbury Research); Agenda Inc.