This, for me is the perfectly Parisienne black beret. It also seems the perfect embodiment of the Autumn trend for bookish romanticism in the spirit of Alessandro Michele’s new Gucci, Valentino’s flowing print dresses, Sacai’s beautifully deconstructed tweeds (my imagination or somewhat reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn’s “bookseller” costume from Funny Face?) and Miu Miu’s eclectic combinations. I love the concept of taking the familiar basic item, glamourizing it, and adding a touch of humour.
It made me curious about the designer behind it, Benoit Missolin. All became clear when I read on his website that he was born in Provence; is inspired by colour, print and embroidery; and he started his fashion career with Christian Lacroix. There is a certain irrepressible joy about his designs that seems very close to the spirit of Lacroix’s fashion. After completing his studies at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture and apprenticeships with Lacroix and Mugler, among others, he eventually found his own design niche in millinery. I, for one, am glad he did.
Now, his designs are stocked in some very prestigious shops worldwide, and seem especially well-represented in Asia where I expect they provide a perfect counterpoint to a very petite figure. In London you can find his headpieces at Liberty, Viola and Browns Bride. In Paris he is represented on both Rive Gauche and Rive Droite at Bon Marche in the 7eme and Les Suites in the 8eme. He has collaborated with the legendary photographer, Jean Paul Goude, and is about to feature in Carine Roitfeld’s next CR Book.
So I confess to having been completely captivated by this little dose of Parisienne pzzazz. I saw it. I adored it. I bought it. And I’m going to have a lot of fun wearing it.