VANESSA SEWARD AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
What a treat to see Vanessa Seward’s name on a Paris fashion week invitation. First, because it’s fairly rare in this city of corporate powerhouses for a talented designer to launch a brand under her own name. And second, and relatedly, because this is someone who has really put in her time behind the scenes. Seward worked for years at Azzaro and garnered lots of fans for her charming cocktail dresses along the way, Jean Touitou among them. When she left the heritage house, he invited her to do capsule collections for A.P.C., where her designs were more oriented toward the everyday.
Now, thanks to a joint venture with Touitou, Seward has a label to call her own. Her debut today bore all the hallmarks of her work for A.P.C.: printed shirtwaist dresses; silk blouses; dark-rinse, high-waisted denim, along with simply cut blazers and chic capes layered over ruffled turtlenecks, and colorful shearlings that matched over-the-knee shearling-lined boots. Seward has a thing for the ’70s; with that decade enjoying another comeback, her timing couldn’t be better. And the clothes looked terrific—relatable in a way that seems to come easier to women designers, but not without their thoughtful details either. Everybody was snapping the back pockets of the high-waisted jeans, which were embroidered with the models ‘ names, but the great thing about them was their slanted front pockets, which were strategically placed to flatter a woman’s shape. Best of all, the clothes are priced to sell. Backstage, Seward said that even the long black dress with the sweet black bow at the top of a high side slit will come in under 1,000 euros, and most of the collection will go for a lot less than that. Net-a-Porter has signed on as the exclusive e-tailer. Smart move.