Koché Hearts New York

Koché throws all preciousness to the wind. It’s one of the most alluring aspects of Christelle Kocher‘s two-time LVMH Prize-nominated, streetwear-goes-couture label and sets the brand apart as one of Paris’s most promising up-and-comers. But make no mistake, Kocher, who also serves as the artistic director of Maison Lemarié, the historic artisan maison that provides Chanel with all of its feather fripperies, infuses her laissez-faire silhouettes with remarkable craft. Montex and Lesage, two other prestige embellishment houses, contribute beading and embroideries to Koché’s patchwork fabrics and textures.

In addition to her attention to detail, Kocher’s renegade approach—her runway shows are a mix of friends and street-cast unknowns shuffled in with working models; pants go big and baggy; hoodies sprout a cascade of ruffles; her impeccably structured cocktail dresses are styled with rubber-soled sneakers—ups the ante on the quotidian women’s wardrobe. For her fall collection, Kocher pulled references from some old motocross pictures of her brother, from his teenage years, and she also names the sculptures of L.A.-based artist Bjorn Copeland as a primary inspiration.

“As always, I work very intuitively. I drape a lot, I wanted to use rocks and crystals too, and velvet. But the process is also mysterious to me. At the end, I can be surprised how far the collection goes keeping the spirit of mixing craft, street culture and art,” Kocher explains.

Today, Interview is thrilled to exclusively premiere images from Koché’s Fall 2016 look book, shot in New York City. There is a global aspect to Kocher’s work, but New York has been a major source of inspiration for the designer. “Going to galleries, walking around, people are so dedicated to work, but there is a crazy night life too,” she remarks. “There is an intensity in the city that I adore.”

The look book, lensed by Koché regulars Mehdi Meddaci and Frédérique Massabuau, was shot in two days, “fast and intuitive,” according to Kocher. “They have such an eye. Their work really focus on bodies and cities. It was their first time in New York, so it was really interesting to see how the would connect.” Using her usual mix of models, friends, artists, and unknown faces, Kocher’s team snapped a series of kinetic shots in Chinatown, on the Manhattan Bridge, along the East River in the East Village, and even in the center of Times Square. “It was a very small team. I was even carrying the flash, and it was absolutely freezing. Tough conditions for everyone, we even had a car accident! But we like it like that,” Kocher notes. “It was important for me to start to build a creative bridge with New York to bring Koché’s energy here.”