Thu 30
Oct 2014

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Chavernet: Parisian Couture for the Modern Chick

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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!

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Taking advantage of luxury industry’s shortsighted greed and indifference towards its own heritage, Chavernet, a new Paris-based couture house, is putting Paris’ forgotten couturiers back to work.

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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

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“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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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9 Responses to “Chavernet: Parisian Couture for the Modern Chick”

  1. Francoise Murat says:

    I love this site- it is so full of interesting links, stories. Well done. I adore these dresses and the whole concept (not new but decidedly forgotten) of manufacturing in-house, with care and love and attention. Very few if any luxury houses do this now, I visited Gucci atelier a few years ago an then they still used local craftsman to make buckles, buttons, stitching, etc on items of leather goods. Fabulous work, fantastic continuation of family traditions and teaching the new generations the “old” skills which are so relevant if the luxury industry wants to stay just that, pure unadulterated luxury.

  2. Fabrice says:

    Nice to see people doing great, not too expensive, custom work.

  3. Karen says:

    This is a great idea. Thanks for sharing. I have 2 friends on their way to Paris and I will let them know. They can easily come home with a “Paris Original.”

  4. Paris By Appointment » The Daily Obsession says:

    [...] favorite among her finds is Chavernet Paris, an haute couture design house who specializes in the philosophy of ONE WOMAN=ONE DRESS.  Come to [...]

  5. caroline says:

    … I received the most wonderful gift for Xmas… a gift certificate for a Chavernet dress!!! I am so excited, I just can’t wait. Thank you for covering this story and by doing so, inspiring my one in a million husband…

  6. Valerie says:

    Seriously, looking at the designs featured, the price doesn’t sound right, unless the seamstresses are highly expensive – and I know for a fact they don’t charge that much, even in France for the dresses featured in the pictures.

    We do provide the same services in LONDON (a city renowned for NOT being cheap) and we charge around 200-500GBP ( i.e. 400 Euros- 800Euros) for the same type of “simple” designs…
    Give me a break!

    Why use their services when you can skip the intermediary and go directly to the seamstress? Just open the Yellow Pages!

  7. Zeva Bellel says:

    Valerie, without knowing exactly how much the seamstresses charge, I can tell you that it is not that easy to “just open the Yellow Pages” and find highly qualified artisans in Paris. Part of the price goes into hunting down these people and making it worth their while to construct made-to-measure dresses in limited quantities, and under very short notice. Zeva

  8. connie says:

    Someone here is confused. 1000euros is not too expensive?
    REALLY!

  9. Chavernet: Parisian Couture for the Modern Chick | Paris By Appointment Only™ « CHARLES PERRETTI says:

    [...] Chavernet: Parisian Couture for the Modern Chick | Paris By Appointment Only™. [...]

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