Dark Mermaid

A mermaid who dresses with jewels in the dark colors of the jellyfish in the depths of the ocean.

Chapter 14

Haute Couture outfit’s secrets : the Dark Mermaid and her jewels

Photos : Delphine Royer

haute couture secrets

Mermaids are fantastic characters that have always fascinated me. When I was very young, I remember her Gorgons hypnotizing Ulysses and his crew to attract them against the rocks. They embodied temptation.

These half-fish, half-human women are icons of our collective imagination. Disney made them a star in The Little Mermaid, in the Netflix series Wednesday, they are nicknamed the Scales, in the Harry Potter books, they make your blood run cold. Finally, I prefer to remember images of them, drawn in watercolor, in the cult film Fantasia.

Adrian Colin an incredible glass artist

At Julien Fournié Haute Couture, and thanks to the support of this incredible glass artist, best worker in France, Adrain Collin, I was able to create my first Mermaid for the First Love collection, adorned with the colors of the rainbow, seductive and bewitching.

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Julien Fournié’s illustration before the making of the Dark Mermaid

For the Première Creatures collection, this mermaid goes through the looking glass and becomes a poisonous character, with her sharp tentacles and poisonous rostrum.

three hundred patterns

She is adorned with jewels in the dark colors of the jellyfish of the ocean depths.

Tiaras, harnesses and pendants took Adrian Colin four months of work to create exactly the sketch I had sent him.

Nearly three hundred patterns were flame worked to combine the black crystal and translucent glass to achieve the exact shades. The harness of countless black crystal beads will serve as a showcase for the fragile glass patterns.

A detail of the Tiara created for the Dark Mermaid

It is my friend Laurence who will lend her magnificent gestures to sew all these elements. A game of patience.

It is my first of workshop Jacqueline and me who decide to carry out a skirt with a train in marquetry of leather tied under the buttocks. Twenty-five mat black full-grain lambskins to compose this meticulous marquetry. The fluidity of the leather will raise the sublime body of Alexandra Martinovich who magnifies it in ecstatic poses. Nicolas Degennes will make her mouth black and venomous, as if she had bitten a sea urchin. Jack from the Neville Salon proposed a very technical chignon, in order to sew the tiara.

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Julien Fournié, Alexandra Martinovich and Jack from Neveile Salon backstage before the fashion show of the Haute Couture collection First Creatures

All in length, spidery, with cat eyes, Alexandra will be the most theatrical Dark Mermaid possible.

I ask her during the fittings: “Are you steady in your shoes?” “You realize that you can’t fall with this armor…”. It is the danger of this look that fascinates.

We know very well that we can’t wear this kind of thing in real life. But this is also the essence of Haute Couture. We are on the border between art and clothing. You don’t buy this kind of clothing to wear it, but to show it.

Three cult pieces

But for all those who would like to have a piece of this precious talisman, I have imagined three cult pieces with Adrian Collin.

Octopussy, where tentacles intertwine in an inkjet.

Manta, where an inkblot becomes a deep-sea animal.

Jellyfish, a fascinating creature available in two sizes.

Mysterious objects that play with light.

haute couture
The illustration of the Dark Mermaid by Marc-Antoine Coulon

The Dark Mermaid bewitched the audience. Marc-Antoine Coulon immortalized her in a superb illustration.

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Founded in 2009 by the couturier Julien Fournié, Julien Fournié Haute Couture House has become a “guest member” in the official calendar of Haute Couture runway shows in 2011. This marked a first step in aknowledging Julien Fournié as a promising new brand in the circle of grand couturiers. With this new title, Julien Fournié has put on the runway for the first time in the history of Haute Couture, a collection only worn by black models.

In January 2017, the Julien Fournié House was officially classified as “Haute Couture”. The Haute Couture label, protected by the French Ministry of Industry, is given to a few houses (only sixteen prestigious names on this list today) which are combining the best of creativity in design and the utmost quality in garment making.

While respecting the tradition of Haute Couture, Julien Fournié has also forged new partnerships with high-tech giants such as Dassault Systèmes Apple and Tencent.

Julien Fournié was thus able to digitize the creation, design and personalization of his Haute Couture pieces. He is one of the rare designers of Haute Couture to master the new digital tools. Julien Fournié has introduced a new process in which clients are not just spectators of the creative process. They have become actors in the unique experience of creating a Haute Couture garment wherever they are.

Since December 2020, Julien Fournié has been developing a line of luxury bags and accessories. At first, the idea was to offer handbags seen in Julien Fournié Haute Couture shows and reserved, until then, for Haute Couture clients.

Since then, Julien Fournié has created new bags ranging from evening clutches to tote bags and handbags becoming one of the most exclusive luxury handbags brands.

These designer bags are made in the purest respect of artisanal traditions.

For the moment, these new luxury bags are exclusively available on the online boutique of the House.

In 2022, Julien Fournié has launched few pieces of jewelry sold on his online store.