Couture is a rarified world where Parisian designers handmake clothing perfectly tailored to a client’s measurements. Every detail is considered, and no expense spared as designers use the most sumptuous fabrics and extraordinary embellishments. But, it’s not just historic houses like Chanel, Dior, and Valentino that create couture pieces. There are young designers looking to this wearable art, designing pieces for a new generation of couture collectors with different sensibilities. At just 23, Maëva Bezzioune created her own couture line, MAË PARIS, after designing a custom wedding dress for herself. Initially a bridal line, the couture collection has expanded to eveningwear at her clients’ requests, and it now has a boutique on the prestigious Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris.
MAË PARIS presented its Spring/Summer 2020 collection, Caractère, during Paris Couture Week. Each look is inspired by a different, powerful woman throughout history, with characters as diverse as Jacqueline Kennedy and figures from Greek mythology. Bezzioune connects these women and unique silhouettes through recurring design elements including beaded pearls and structured corsets. She also incorporates elements for more modest clients and cultures, including sleeves. A signature of the collection is corsets, which she incorporates throughout. Bezzioune says she created the collection for women, eschewing what she calls the stereotypes of fashion. While the silhouettes are different — some cut close to the body, others more voluminous — it’s because she wants the collection to work for all women’s bodies and she wants them to find themselves in her dresses. Starting a collection at such a young age was a daring proposition for her, but she tells me, “I always dreamed of having my own collection, my own brand.” She wants her collection to inspire other women to dare to chase their dreams and to inspire them to feel powerful in her designs. Bezzioune says, “Some of my clients say, ‘No, I can’t wear that, I’m not a celebrity.’ But, when they put it on, they feel beautiful, powerful, and confident. That’s why I work in this métier. It’s my style, it’s my design, but in each piece, I want to pass on an experience to my clients.”
Next up for the young designer is a ready-to-wear collection, which she plans to launch in September during Paris Fashion Week. The couture collection focuses strongly on eveningwear, and the ready-to-wear collection will feature pieces to wear during the day, but they’ll still have enough glamour to wear at night. She envisions this client as a powerful businesswoman who loves fashion, and needs pieces that can carry her through all aspects of her busy life in exceptional style. “That’s the DNA of the brand,” she says. She likes to play with the androgynous side of fashion, both in her collection and in her personal style, so she worked with men’s tailors to incorporate aspects of menswear into the collection. “I wanted to integrate the mix of women, men, the sexy side of women, and the intelligent and powerful side. Every silhouette in the collection will be centered around a different character. I think the clients will be drawn to the silhouette that is the closest to their personal character. It’s a little game we play with our clients, to see which they are drawn to, whether it’s close or a paradox.” While the couture line has corsets as a signature, she turns to shoulders in the ready-to-wear collection, with sharp shapes and powerful lines.