Anne Valerie Hash: Couture is an experiment
Anne Valerie Hash has likened couture to a laboratory.
The designer used to show as part of Haute Couture Fashion Week, which draws to an end in Paris today. She closed her ready-to-wear label last year, but that doesn’t mean she’s lost an appreciation of the highest form of fashion.
“Couture is going to stay for a happy few. It's going to be like a window. It's like a laboratory, it's not the reality of the woman day to day,” she explained to vogue.co.uk. “It's good that we keep that savoir faire, the artisanal way, to believe, to create. From couture, I went to pret-a-porter, but today the way we do pret-a-porter is almost couture."
Anne decided to shutter her company because she was finding it very stressful. She calls the decision her time to “take a pause”, explaining she also has a family and needed to make sure she wasn’t spreading herself too thinly.
She is now making a return though, thanks to her role as creative director at Comptoir Des Cotonniers which is a French womenswear chain.
“It's very different because the territory is less free, but it's not negative, it can be very positive to build a story inside another brand. It can be good to have a way to follow. I was a designer and I used to do everything, take decisions in five minutes," she explained.
Anne is trying to bring touches of her signature style to her new role, while ensuring she doesn’t veer the company too far away from its routes. It’s this balancing act which has inspired her of late and she’s made sure she is very attuned to what the clients want.
That means making sure that all clothes are wearable for everyday life. Although the designer loves looking at extravagant catwalk shows such as the ones regularly staged by Chanel and Louis Vuitton, for her it’s about offering a style that real women can fall in love with.
“40 years ago, you said: she's a Saint Laurent woman, now she's a woman who has style - she's sporty, she's this, she's... we don't talk about fashion as brands anymore, we talk about styles,” she said.