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Gherardo Felloni Creates Floral Tribute to Roger Vivier

FAN CLUB: With his Pièce Unique collection of one-off designs, Gherardo Felloni continues to expand the lexicon at Roger Vivier in what he sees as a tribute to a master. “I really relate Roger Vivier to a silhouette; he was not just a shoemaker, he was someone who changed everything,” Felloni said from behind his desk at the label’s headquarters. “There would not have been the New Look at Dior without Vivier shoes,” he said.

For the collection’s sophomore outing during couture, he designed a total of 12 bags inspired by flowers, employing a multitude of master artisans for each, as well as five matching waistcoats, newer territory for the label as Felloni transitions it to a full-scale accessories house, after adding his personal passion — vintage-inspired jewelry — to the mix a couple of years ago.

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The floral arrangements for the presentation took four days to complete. / Courtesy of Roger Vivier.
The floral arrangements for the presentation took four days to complete. / Courtesy of Roger Vivier.

The jewelry references were clear in designs with a black velvet background with trembling silver embroideries embellished with rhinestones. Elsewhere, startlingly lifelike 3D floral motifs nodding to Monet were created with the help of a master plumassier, painted by hand to evoke violets, lilies and anemones, and glove-making techniques were used to individually represent each finger-like petal of black cat dahlias, a reference to Felloni’s favorite animal — he has nine mogs at home in Italy and one 18-year-old feline in Paris, he said.

Each piece took between 30 and 60 hours to complete, and involved the work of at least three different specialists. The buckles and chains on the designs, based on the Viv’ Choc model, were encrusted with hundreds of stones.

For Felloni, the exercise is also a means of preserving craftsmanship. For the artisans he works with, “it is not big business, but you cannot believe how happy they are to work on this,” he said. “It’s about creativity, and it really reconnects me with artisans and crafts that are disappearing.”

The first Pièce Unique collection, presented last July, has done well, said Roger Vivier chief marketing officer Eva Quirrenbach. “There is demand and price is not a barrier,” she confided.

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