Doesn’t matter if you can pull the look or not, you look great in Hervé Léger just because it’s Hervé Léger! Ever since I could lay my eyes on one of the legendary bandage-dresses, I couldn’t think about anything else but Mummies wrapping! (don’t miss the rest of the story, the pictures and the video right after the jump!)
However, I didn’t really take the time to read a full know-how of the Mummification process until now. With that same old vision but seriously upgraded by the scientific reading I now have two versions for the Hervé Léger clothing technique: mummies vs. lingerie!
The ancient Egyptians dressed their mummies in linen wraps for several reasons – the bandages kept the body together, kept the moisture away from the desiccated body but most importantly, allowed the embalmers to keep the lifelike form as accurate as possible! Not to mention they also added pieces of jewelry or amulets in-between the wraps! (the amulets were supposed to help the deceased in the afterlife journey!).
Hervé Léger saw the sacred potential of the wraps and he used that to make his way in fashion. And right he was! The bandage dresses make women feel sacredly beautiful! After studying in Paris and working for Karl Lagerfeld, Diane von Furstenberg, Lanvin and others, he presented his first ready-to-wear collection in 1993.
He reportedly drew inspiration in the very fabrics, taking advantage of the elasticity of Lycra and spandex. He practically took the underwear and unashamedly took it to light, following the tight wraps of Azzedine Alaïa, the first to have presented the bandage dress concept to the world.
Hervé Léger SA was sold to the mighty fashion group BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP in 1998. Ever since, Max Azria has taken the Hervé Léger design command remaining truthful to the bandages and thus making the maison’s name a sacred reference for glamourous and seductive prêt-a-porter.
What you might not know is that closely following the takeover of the major interests in Hervé Léger SA, the BCBG giant has cut the budget, a measure which Hervé Léger disapproved. He was fired, only 6 months after the takeover and he started designing for Wolford, but soon returned to fashion. (Wolford is an Austrian hosiery company that has become a legend in the matter, coincidentally, from the moment Hervé Léger magically touched the design panels chez Wolford!)
Hervé Léger has opened a new store in Paris (32 rue Jacob in Saint Germain des Prés), in 2001 under the name Hervé L. Leroux with evening designs, faithful to the bandage concept, priced at around $7,000.
Fashion has its backstage moments… Which one of the Hervé Léger you find more inspiring? The Max Azria kind or the originals? (Even if Max Azria’s bandage designs are highly praised, this Fall Winter 2008/2009 Collection wasn’t all that inspired and inspiring for me. I only fell in love with the black metallic dresses – despite of their obvious non-bandage style)
(you can read more about the process of Mummification here, more about Azzedine Alaïa here and here, more about Hervé Léger here and here. More about the new fashion identity of Hervé Léger, Hervé L. Leroux here; more about Wolford here and here; you can see the rest of the Fall Winter 2008/2009 Hervé Léger by Max Azria collection here, the infamous model falls here) (photos via style.com)