Couture smashes into streetwear for designer Christelle Kocher and her label, Koché. This venerable balance between low and high brow referencing is nothing new to the fashion game, yet Kocher’s ability to mix the casual sensibility of streetwear fabrics and align it with the detailed craftsmanship from Parisian couture ateliers (one whom she is the artistic director of, Maison Lemarié) shows just how skilled she is in filling out the middle of luxury fashion’s Venn diagram. A feathered coat is lined with grey jersey; a sports bra adorned with sparkling paillettes.
She first honed her skills in the halls of revered fashion school, Central Saint Martins. “Central Saint Martins was an important moment for me. It really helped me to express my creativity,” the young designer describes. “You work a lot, not focusing on technic but on ideas and style. I learned there how to stick to my vision.” She then went on to work at esteemed fashion labels like Emporio Armani, Chloé, Sonia Rykiel, Dries Van Noten, and Bottega Venetta before starting her own label in 2014. This starting platform is what Kocher attests as the best continuing education she could have received as assisting others was “an excellent position to learn all the process from creation to production. Also, it gives you good tips on how to speak to your team”. When she then went on to first start her label, basing operations in Paris was an easy choice. “Paris is so important in fashion history, and there is something strong going on right now in the city, so this mix between the know-how, the heritage of couture and the high energy you can feel was perfect for Koché.” There has certainly been a shift in the fashion paradigm about what constitutes as couture and Kocher is fortuitously riding the wave. In this jittery time of ever-expanding fashion show schedules and designer musical chairs, the 2nd time LVMH prize nominee is focusing on core values – structuring her team, developing her ideas, and staying independent.
Presenting Models.com’s exclusive spotlight on each of the 8 finalists of the LVMH 2016 Young Fashion Designer Prize in anticipation of their final presentation at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
On June 16th, LVMH will announce the winner of their 2016 Young Fashion Designer Prize from a pool of 8 finalists – Aalto, Alyx, Brandon Maxwell, Facetasm, Koché, Vejas, Wales Bonner, and Y/Project. Started in November 2013, the prize was launched to champion standout talent and foster their labels. Winning means getting a seal of approval from a jury of fashion’s foremost designers and industry professionals like Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, Riccardo Tisci, J.W. Anderson, Phoebe Philo, Karl Lagerfeld, and LVMH’s own Delphine Arnault. Aside from being recognized by the industry, the winner receives a 300,000 euro grant and a year’s worth of expert technical and financial support from the foundation. Of course, success in the industry for these designers isn’t dependent on winning, but it certainly sets the stage.
Stylist William Graper
Hair Joey George (The Wall Group)
Makeup Cyndle Komarovski (Honey Artists)
Manicurist Yukie Miyakawa
Producer Jazmin Alvarez
Art Direction Stephan Moskovic
Editors Irene Ojo-Felix & Steven Yatsko
Text by Irene Ojo-Felix