The new label Heimstone proves any girl can speak French. By Meredith Fisher
There is something about French labels—Isabel Marant, Claude Pierlot, Vanessa Bruno—that make you want to give everyone double kisses, fire up a Gitane, and park it for hours in a café. The latest label to pique our curiosity, Heimstone, is no exception, and the French femmes behind it are the real objets de desire.
The idea for Heimstone was born while Alix Petit and Delphine Delafon were working at another French fashion company, Michel Klein. While both had always had a passion for creativity, it was their time together at Klein that fused their fashion friendship. "The most important thing we learned was that we needed our complimentary influences in order to develop something unique," recalls Alix. "The balance between Delphine's rock 'n' roll, grungy attitude and her love for dark colors created a great contrast with my desire for a more feminine, lighter design."
The initial result of their collaboration was a jewelry and swimwear line, but the girls always had clothing on their minds, so the union quickly spawned their first collection for winter 2007—a tight selection of dresses and sweaters that's both pretty and punky. "I had a strong desire to design little girl's dresses," says Alix. "But Delphine wanted to offset the girliness with unusual materials." To that end, dresses called the Pilote (Pilot) and the Matelot (Sailor) were constructed out of raw materials like jute. Dark grays and deep tans were also invoked to offset the graceful necklines and empire waists. But Alix didn't give up on her ladylike ambitions. "Delphine wanted to create a motorcycle dress, the Motard (motorcycle rider) I agreed but insisted on using precious materials such as silk and velvet." The servicemen theme extends to the Officier dress, the most military-inspired of the batch, decorated with admiral buttons and epaulets.
A covetable selection of sweaters, belts, and jackets complete the collection. "They're all designed to complement the main Heimstone specialty: the dress," says Delphine. The Cartable (satchel) belt would look as good attached to a handbag as it does wrapped around the Eden Rock dress, while the Ecolier (schoolboy) sweater does double-duty as a jacket. "The Heimstone girl is cool and edgy," says Alix. "But she likes comfort, like the pockets in our dresses." And that invisible French flair is evident in the Heimstone signature versatility. "She can wear a Heimstone dress during the day with boots and then change to heels and be ready for the evening. The girl we design for would rather be too formal then too casual."
The new label Heimstone proves any girl can speak French.