Thursday, September 4, 2008

Afternoon Tea With Designer Jennifer Marvin

Marvin-Letourneux put me immediately at ease with a warm smile and greeted me with air kisses of friends rather than the hand shake of a first meeting. Feeling a bit nervous by my tardiness, Ms. This was not the first time we shared it together, but, I venture to say, probably not the last. I was relieved to find my guest for tea relaxing comfortably on the overstuffed chair with her sketch pad and pencils jotting last minute ideas following the meeting she had just had with a bride to be.

Lucky for me, my fellow American in Paris understood the difficulties with transportation due to the student demonstrations in Paris on Thursday afternoon. I was fashionably late to tea this afternoon.
She looked elegant, relaxed and sophisticated. Graceful flat front, side zips with covered buttons on the zipper flap. She assured me the trousers were hers.

I struggled to see one item with her label. She exuded refined elegance in her mélange of Givinchy, Valentino, and Giorgio Armani. "No, no, not at all, it is something I picked up in Italy." She wore python shoes, presumably from the same maker, beige trousers, a brocade beige and cream jacket stopping just above the knee, a sheer floral blouse with tiger-eye buttons and a organza scarf around her neck not obscuring her signature pearls. "Your's?" I was sure it must have been.

I was surprised by her little pewter python bag.
Alexandra Lampert: "You are very discrete about wearing your own creations?"
Jennifer Marvin: "No, no, I wear my own things, but I really appreciate the work of other designers, as well. I always think the ‘total look' is always a bit too much, so I like to mix it up." It seemed she would have rather spoken of the genius of Mr. de Givenchy or Valentino than of her own work. "Their work is and was timeless and two of my greatest inspirations."
A.L: "How did you initially get into the fashion industry?"
My father creates beautiful buildings, my mother stained glass, my oldest sister puppets…" Everyone in my family is creative. J.M: "I think it was just in my blood.
"Puppets?" A.L.
Really great, I especially like her sheep." J.M "Yes, my oldest sister makes black light stage puppets.
A.L "So you have been creating all of your life then?"
Embroidery, beading, sewing, painting, drawing…always making something" I was always doing something with my hands. "Yes, forever. J.M.
A.L. "How did you get from the ranch in Colorado to Paris, France?"
J.M. "You know, it is just how life went; I suppose it was just meant to be, I hadn't planned it that way. I find that if I go with the flow I just end up where I am supposed to be at the end."
"So, you just sort of floated here?" A.L.
"Yes, I suppose you could say that." J.M.
"What can we expect this coming autumn?" A.L.
We have been having a great time designing it and putting it together, I can hardly wait to see the end result." The design process has been such a labor of love and everyone on the team is very passionate, creative, and genuine pleasure to work with. That will be available for the fall of 2006. J.M "I am very excited about the crocodile collection coming out under the label of Vivian Mendal.
"This is the first time you have designed an exotic collection, right?" A.L.
Fortunately, the traditional craftspeople in Italy were really open to working the skins in innovative and new ways while keeping the traditional techniques." It is really a very different niche than working with the leathers I had been used to working with. Fortunately, we have access to the most beautiful skins and some of the finest artisans in Italy for this collection. The pieces can be cut in different ways to produce various effects.

The scales, textures and properties of the skins make the possibilities limitless. Secondly, the skins are such wonderful quality and Mark has developed such beautiful finishes and effects. To begin with, Vivian and Mark Mendal are just the most genuinely delightful people you could ever meet. "Yes, this is the first time, and it has really engaged my passions. J.M.
A.L.: "What can we expect this fall as far as apparel goes?"
I promise to keep you posted, Alexandra." I am currently considering a new branding opportunity, but it is in the very, very beginning stages. I can't seem to give that up, I just love it so much. You know I never stop doing wedding gowns. J.M.: "You know, I had really been concentrating on my leather goods, but have continued with some private collections.
A.L.: "You won't give us a little hint?"
But, we will see…I can't let you drag it out of me, you wouldn't want to jinx it, would you?" I can only tell you that it would be a great pleasure. J.M.: "I'm sorry, I really can't at this stage.
A.L.: "Certainly not! Jennifer, thank you for your time. It has been a great pleasure getting to know you."
I hope we can meet again without your little tape recorder to chat as friends." J.M.: "Thank you, Alexandra; I was delighted to spend this chilly afternoon with tea getting to know you.
A.L: "The pleasure would be all mine."
Meeting Jennifer Marvin this way was a wonderful experience and I am looking forward to that private cup of tea becoming friends "off the record".
Columnist Alexandra Lampert is a self-proclaimed practical-fashionista who shares her time between the world's most intriguing cities but claims Paris as her home.


Blogger template 'Kiwi' by 2008