Young and Sooo French: Mugler in the Bag and Le Moine Tricote à Paris

Whoever could have imagined English/Japanese and now part-time Parisian Nicola Formichetti was, at heart, a handbag kind of guy? As Creative Director for the house of Mugler, the super-stylist has already had his ups and downs. But it would be jejune to imagine he’s been flummoxed by the real world of piloting this brand renaissance. On the first day of Paris Fashion Week, one long day before the Mugler show scheduled for tonight at 9:00 pm, Nicola set up a genteel Spring 2013 handbag preview for the press at the tony Joyce Gallery in Paris’s Palais Royal.

Those expecting tea and sugar cookies for polite fashion journalists who lunch were surprised (read: shocked) to find the collection’s debut Spring 2013 bags on display in a space with walls covered in tinfoil. The walls were meant to evoke the bag’s crinkly polychrome mirrored plastic interior and Warhol’s Factory—yeah!—which Formichetti captures here in his exclusive snaps for Interview.

When asked about tonight’s Mugler show, Formichetti was mum, but he did let slip that the team was still waiting for the shoes to arrive. “I never panic. Everone else does, but not me,” he said.

The spring bags are really good. A contemporary take on ladylike handbags done in metallic leather with old-school ’60s metallic frames, they’ve got that Mugler futuristic-Jetsons style. Completely out of this world, and yet so timely!

Tuesday, the first day of Paris’s Fall/Winter 2013/14 shows, began with Le Moine Tricote, Alice Lemoine’s knit collection. Lemoine has now engaged a coterie of French grandmothers to hand-knit her dazzling pieces which swoop around every curve. Last season, she began adding wovens to the mix, and this has really filled out for Fall/Winter, with the knits appearing in appliqué touches on polite, but slightly twisted wool coats and in mixed patterns for artful little dresses.

Barneys New York and its Japanese branches, as well as Ikram in Chicago and, are now carrying the collection. Lemoine engaged a model, an intriguing blonde who looks a lot like her, to play the collection’s muse in a scratchy Super 8 film shot by Pukio Ruis, staged in the only house in Paris designed by Dutch Architect Rem Koolhaas. (Apparently, if you’re an architecture buff, you know whose house this is.) Alice’s doppelganger, all curves and cool French blonde good looks, stands motionless in the house’s wall-less elevator as it goes up and down and up. Lemoine found several old projectors to screen the film against a central column. The idea apparently was to evoke a diaphanous girl who possesses a certain aggression.  “She looks at you without seeing,” says Tricote’s Communications Director Marie Schneier. “This collection is about a blonde who is not so blonde.”