On the heels of his FW17 runway show at the Grand Palais in Paris, Guillaume Henry invited us to the Nina Ricci showroom to take an up-close look at the beautifully designed collection. Over croissants and café au lait, he told Barneys’ Fashion Director Marina Larroudé about his creative process. “The inspiration is all about my idea of who the Nina Ricci woman is. I always have in mind this French aesthetic and couture heritage,” he explained. “This season, she’s traveling in the West and more than ever, she’s full of joy.”
That joy came through in many ways: a fruity plum and blush palette that popped against black and prune. Never one to be overtly sexy, Henry embraced his signature subtle boudoir sensibility. We were especially enamored of a black sequin number boldly worn open to reveal a bra-like top. He told us how everything comes back not just to Paris, but to his fantasy of who the Parisian woman is.
“I grew up in the countryside the east of France, and when I was a kid I was dreaming of Paris. I started to build my own image of what Parisian style was,” says Henry, who grew up loving French cinema and closely studying the women in the films—who they were and how they dressed. “When you’re doing a show, reality is something else. For me, a show is a scenario—like a movie. But at the end of the day—what’s fashion? It the quality of the coat, the beauty of a fabric, the noise of a beautiful silk—all that is key for me.”