In early July, when Julien Fournié presented his Fall-Winter Haute Couture 2016 collection, one superstar piece couldn’t be missed: an incredible dress that was part Peau d’âne, part Thousand & One Nights, part Roaring Twenties and cut in the most beautiful lace from Sophie Hallette! During a photo shoot of the collection – and the famous dress – the designer answers our questions.

A few words about your choice of Sophie Hallette lace?

There are two laces in this “Constellation” dress that for me reflect all the skills of Sophie Hallette. When I was creative director at Torrente, I already dreamed of including cristals in the material. But at the time it didn’t happen. Plus the constellation theme has been part of my work for a long time, I’ve been obsessed by stars and shine since I was a child. So with this dress, I returned to my first love … I found a swatch of Sophie Hallette lace and thought “now’s time to make this dress”. We couldn’t actually say that the lace inspired me but without the lace, I wouldn’t have made the dress. So it’s a movement that goes both ways … Also, because that Sophie Hallette collection had a 30s-40s theme, there was another lace underneath it with art deco motifs. I saw that one too and it was exactly what I was looking for. It evokes everything that interests me, a sort of “Mitford sisters” look. This dress has an enormous effect on me.

How does lace seem pertinent to you in a modern wardrobe?

Lace is pertinent at Sophie Hallette since there isn’t a flowery look, they work on more generational laces that correspond to our era. My mother always liked modern lace, she wore lace bodysuits under black tuxedos, so I grew up seeing that. There’s a whole generation today of designers who reintegrate lace in their collections, not like before : they use new materials, silicone, insets and sequinned or embroidered lace … In my last collection, I worked lace as Monsieur Lacroix does: old-lady laces cut with a scalpel and reintegrated to create sublime 3-D patchworks. We take a step back to look at lace in a different way.

Your most beautiful lace memory?

It was in my “Rond-Point” collection when I was at Torrente and also with Sophie Hallette lace. There was a lace silhouette embroidered in jade by Monsieur Lesage and the lace mixed flowers and diamond shapes : it was delirious. We could see the skin through it because that’s what’s incredible with lace: if we layer it over fabric, we don’t see anything, it’s not exciting OR boring. What makes it interesting is the transparency …