Empowerment as an Accessory
My fascination with luxury fashion began with a house that recently re-launched. I don’t even remember how I stumbled across them, but their history is simply one of the most interesting I’ve encountered so far.
Founded in 1717, Fauré le Page produced weapons and armor for an extremely prestigious clientele. Notable clients include Kings Louis XV, Louis XVI, Napoleon I and various other aristocrats. They are credited with distributing arms to rioters during the French Revolution, a move that undoubtedly helped the brand survive (but don’t count on purse handouts any time soon). Even after the French Revolution, their list of elite patrons continuously grew. Beautiful carrying cases accompanied each weapon they sold, and it is this tradition that Fauré le Page reinterpreted into modern times.
Their current lineup packs a Silver Age Batman-like punch, with a patina comic book palette and a bold signature ‘Scale’ canvas. Keeping in the theme of comic book playfulness, their gun-shaped purse attachments seem to be the fashion equivalent to onomatopoeia. Understated yet impossible to remain unnoticed, the inserts steal the show simply because of what their shape suggests. While hearkening back to the weapon-making origins of the house, it is hard to ignore the connotations the gun-shaped attachments carry with them. Fauré le Page abstracts the shape slightly to strip away the more violent associations, thereby displaying that particular aspect of their history with a little playfulness.
Their ‘Scale’ canvas follows a similar theme, resembling an Art Deco interpretation of a suit of armor (or perhaps even a shot gun cartridge), however the subdued pattern is more suited to couture camouflage than fashion revolutionaries. In the French canon of luxury goods, Fauré le Page is unique in their ability to retell their story. Most houses have current lines that reinterpret their own histories, but because Fauré le Page’s symbols are so simple and ubiquitous,they are able to extend beyond mere branding.
Where they provided metal armor and muskets hundreds of years before, they now outfit their clients in high-end abstractions of armor and whimsical symbols of defense. The importance of symbolism to the fashion-minded almost goes without saying, but an examination of the things people carry with them (physically and spiritually) nonetheless provides compelling insight into their motivations. What then is to be said for a person who can relate so strongly to the struggle, fighting, defense, dominance, triumph, etc. implied by Fauré le Page’s line? Perhaps the answer can be found in the brand’s coat of arms, “Armé pour Séduire,” or “Armed to Seduce.” Empowerment is the undercurrent of Fauré le Page branding.
Fauré le Page enhances without distracting and never takes itself too seriously. If you’re looking for a subtle way to make a statement that is as intellectually stimulating as it is visually, Fauré le Page may be for you. The back story of your piece alone will certainly carry with it a great conversation starter.
What do you carry with you?
All photos are from the Fauré le Page facebook page.