Feb 2nd, 2016, 01:30 PM

Julien Fournié Couture Spring/Summer 2016

By Gina Dunn
Image Credit: Totem PR.
Liberating the birds of paradise at Paris Couture week.

Whirling and strutting under the glowing red lights that pulsed to the tune of Aretha Franklin's “Think," the man of the evening seemed quite liberated. He was not alone on the dance floor, as other guests appeared to be having an equally good time. Onlookers sipped their champagne vodka raspberry cocktails in amusement. The scene that night at Le Baron in Paris’s 8th arrondissement could have been lifted from the pages of Alicia Drake's “The Beautiful Fall.” But it wasn’t the 1970s, nor was Karl Lagerfeld the host. It was 2016 and the designer moving joyously to the music was French couturier Julien Fournié at his show's after-party. 

Only a few hours earlier, inside of the L'Oratoire du Louvre, guests were momentarily transported to a tropic utopia by way of Fournié's S/S 2016 haute couture show. The paradise-themed collection opened with sounds of crashing waves as a pink sunset hue descended from the cathedral ceiling. In a succession of avian prints, brilliant blues, and fascinating fuchsias, the runway felt like a free-flying release, foreshadowing what the designer himself was to experience later that evening. 

Like the Statue of Liberty, whose spires stretch to the sky, the models donned headpieces resembling wings in motion, flared at the temples as though about to take flight. The jeweled harness that draped across shoulders and over a denim jacket offered an updated version of the epaulette, and in a subtle nod to nautical dress, there were vertical pairs of buttons on high-waisted skirts. Other flourishes included pussy bows and chunky bangles.

At Julien Fournié S/S 2016 Couture, a gradient of bright orange tapered down beneath the eyes, and voluptuous curls fell onto models' collar bones. Image Credit: The Impression.

Lastly, was there ever a freer time, or, at least, encompassing the feeling thereof, than that of the 1970's? Maybe, but Fournié seemed to be saying with his collection, much like the era of excess, pick your poison. You can either let go and glow in an exotic getaway, sail ashore with all the ornamentation that says I’m here to set you free, or you can mesmerize with the unrestrained scintillation of a moment gone by. Either way, like the lyrics of Aretha's song, with pieces from Fournié’s collection, you’re sure to be singing “Freedom... Freedom... Freedom...Freedom!"