There has been a stylistic shift at the helm of Vogue Paris, at least when it comes to the personal style of its reigning editor-in-chief. The sexed up, vampy insouciance of Carine Roitfeld has been replaced with the boyish, casual insouciance of Emmanuelle Alt. It’s not a seismic shift though. Emmanuelle Alt’s style is an androgynous riff on what is considered Parisian chic now — which includes uncoiffed hair, sex appeal, and very high, very expensive footwear. The forced elegance reflected in a matched Chanel suit is considered staid. Instead legions of young ingenues follow the cult of Alt — namely, expensive clothes with an undone attitude à la Mom’s Chanel jacket thrown on with a pair of jeans. And a tshirt by Isabel Marant, bien sûr...
Take a peek at Ms. Alt’s wardrobe and on closer inspection one finds the designs of Isabel Marant being worn in heavy rotation. Isabel Marant is every cool girl’s secret fashion weapon. The designer has an uncanny gift for churning out exactly what the indie girls want, no, need every season. Marant's contemporary line of chic basics have rock and roll edge cleverly combined with flirty femininity. It is that perfect yin/yang balance that strikes a chord with not only Emmanuelle but also legions of fans. Isabel Marant fans are so devout, in fact, that when she opened a new store in New York in the Spring of 2010, she expressed just how hard it is to keep the store stocked, “As soon as a new shipment comes in, pfff, it’s gone.”
Isabel Marant started out with an accessories line in 1989. After a mere four years of success, she launched a full Ready-To-Wear collection. Her short casual dresses, loosely fitting knits, slouchy trousers, tailored jackets, and eye popping scarves took off — the best prescription for undone Parisian sex appeal. In 1999, Marant introduced a lower priced diffusion line, “Etoile,” and in 2004 she branched out by adding a line for children. Her Spring 2011 collection recalls surfing and the early days of skateboarding. The line features denim and courduroy cutoffs paired with a mix and match mish mosh of tops, including brightly checked button downs, shrunken fisherman sweaters, and lacy tops. The line looks like a Parisian exchange student’s take on California casual —totally cool, effortlessly sophisticated. No wonder she can’t keep the store stocked!
Note also that Emmanuelle Alt's husband, Franck Durand, consults creatively for Isabel Marant including campaigns such as this beauty featuring Kate Moss. When Russh asked about her working relationships, Marant responded: "It's funny because Emmanuelle and I kind of started out together a long time ago. I always admired her style and what she did for Vogue, but we lost contact for a while because she was overloaded with work. Four years ago her husband Franck Durand became my artistic director and I was always saying 'I love what your wife is doing, I would love to work together with her one day.' So it was little by little. Now we have done about five shows together. I love the vision she has for my clothes, she manages to put them together in a way that is a bit more sophisticated than what I did before.You see, I'm good at making clothes and dressing myself, but then dressing models, creating silhouettes, that's not my thing at all. I love it when she goes tac, tac, tac... puts the different pieces together, and I'm like 'oh yeah, that's exactly it!' I don't create the dressed girl like a lot of designers do. I'm interested in the separate pieces, but in the end I can't get the family back together again. Emmanuelle can take that step back. She has a very clear and precise vision and it's really great to work with her."
Emmanuelle Alt and Isabel Marant images courtesy of isabelmarant.tm.fr, PurseBlog, and fashioncoup.com