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IFM students open the ball at Paris Fashion Week in front of Brigitte Macron and Rachida Dati


Highlights: IFM students open the ball at Paris Fashion Week in front of Brigitte Macron and Rachida Dati. 27 among the 1,300 students on this new campus which, following the merger of the IFM with the Chambre syndicale de la couture in 2019, became the first school in the world 100% dedicated to fashion. “80% of our teaching revolves around the creation of design and 20% around theory,” explains Leyla Neri, director of the master’s program.

Report - The 27 graduates of the Master of Arts in Fashion Design from the French Fashion Institute showed their collections this Monday on the campus of the great Parisian fashion school. Verdict: a mastery and creativity that “bluffed” the president’s wife and the...

It cuts, it sticks, it sews….

Two weeks before their end-of-study fashion show, the graduates of the IFM's Master of Arts in Fashion Design are working with great concentration.

There are 27 of them, coming from all over the world (France, Iraq, Italy, Korea, China, Belgium, Germany) and from all establishments, including La Cambre in Brussels and La Central Saint Martins in London.

27 among the 1,300 students on this new campus which, following the merger of the IFM with the Chambre syndicale de la couture in 2019, became the first school in the world 100% dedicated to fashion.

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In this 9,000 m² building which zigzags like an apple green snake on the quays of Austerlitz on the banks of the Seine, 14 training programs at CAP, Bachelor, Master and Executive MBA level prepare you for all fashion professions as well in the areas of management as well as creation and know-how.

At the top of the creative pyramid, master's students in fashion design or knitwear are invited, like every year, at the opening of Paris Fashion Week, to show their "incredible talents", with a dedicated fashion show.

This was the case on February 26, 2024, in front of Brigitte Macron and Rachida Dati, the new Minister of Culture, seated in the front row.

A top selection

First act to get the ticket to the parade: show your work to a committee of experts with diverse and varied perspectives (

senior designers

from Balenciaga and Courrèges but also the artistic director Olivier Theyskens for the artistic overview or the business and development of Jacquemus for the pragmatic vision).

Result ?

they were all selected for the big show (unlike last year when 8 students were not selected).

“80% of our teaching revolves around the creation of design and 20% around theory,” explains Leyla Neri, director of the master’s program.

We are here to give them a very advanced artistic and technical education, but our goal is also to train empathetic designers who will inject humanity into the studios.

Hence our human resources and team management seminars which complement all our courses.”

In summary: there is no question of giving birth to egotistical robots locked in their ivory towers.

Presentation of the creations of IFM students.

(Paris, February 26, 2024.) Guillaume RoujasIFM / press photo

Fashion passion

Moreover, when we question them, most of these students, both over-the-top and discreet, do not necessarily express the desire to become all-powerful “DAs”.

“They have a more distant and critical look at fashion than previous generations,” continues Leyla Neri, “what matters most to them is living from their passion for clothing, beautiful materials and the construction of volumes.

They are much more into doing than appearing.”

Their masters?

Martin Margiela and Raf Simons.

The houses they would dream of joining?

Bottega Veneta, Loewe, Alaïa, Balenciaga, Gucci or Comme des Garçons.

This year, this class had the chance to develop its projects under the leadership of Olivier Theyskens firstly and the house of Dior secondly.

“This is the first time that this major house has embarked on a major project with a fashion school,” enthuses Leila Neri.

Maria Grazia Chiuri and the studio's designers came to complete our teachers' lessons and the students had the chance to visit, in addition to the haute couture and ready-to-wear studios, the label's ultra-secret archives.

Leather and silks from the great houses

This is also the whole point of the IFM: its ecosystem.

Located in the City of Lights, in permanent contact with luxury groups (LVMH, Kering, Chanel) and the know-how of France (the 19M and its artistic crafts in particular), it offers students an address book remarkable (both for internships in large houses and one-off collaborations with exceptional craftsmen).

Thus Cécile, 30 years old, who for her collection focused on the transformation of women through the ages has developed several types of pleating with Karen Grigorian, a master pleater, one of the last in France.

Karen, 25, praises the quality of the material made available to students.

In addition to the scraps of wonderful fabrics donated by the biggest brands such as Alaïa leather or Schiaparelli silks, they also have 3D printers or incredible computer-programmed knitting machines at their fingertips.

Karen, who specializes in knitwear, used it for her collection called “L'impression du temps” to reproduce reliefs of vintage jewelry and metal watches on her clothes.

In front of Brigitte Macron and Rachida Dati

Monday February 26, 3 p.m., it's finally the big day.

The IFM show opens Paris Fashion Week in front of nearly 400 guests.

Among them, Brigitte Macron who arrives, alongside Rachida Dati, Minister of Culture, and Olivia Grégoire, Minister Delegate in charge of Business, Tourism and Consumption.

They are accompanied by Sidney Toledano, the president of the IFM, Xavier Romatet, general director of the school and Bruno Pavlovsky, president of the fashion department of Chanel and of the IFM foundation.

In the front row, artistic directors - Guillaume Henry (Patou), Alexandre Mattiussi (AMI) -, CEO and HR Directors of major Parisian houses are also setting up shop, just to spot the future great creators that they will perhaps recruit into their studios.

On the podium, the silhouettes follow one another, wildly inventive, each telling the story of today's world in their own way.

Intellectual ladies and kawaii girls

Qianhan Liu is Chinese and he gets the ball rolling with his oversized leaf-covered coats laser-cut from leather and pantsuits made from recycled leather that looks like aged wood.

Throughout the passages, incredible knitwear, sculptural volumes, offbeat tailoring, disruptive fluidity, strict or fanciful lines, artisanal fabrics and high-tech fabrics... A jacket swells with matte fur reminiscent of monsters from our childhood, while another in draped denim is dripping black latex as if emerging from dark water.

Winged creatures in their papier-mâché dresses covered with silver pellets follow neo-duchesses in crazy outfits, somewhat severe intellectual


in long black leather skirts and blouses with high collars precede kawaii girls with pink hair in oversized blazers and skirts. pleated.

Tell and re-enchant the world

There are also real fairy tale princesses in ruffled malabar pink lurex ball gowns, funny cowboys who go to the office in their beautiful, ultra-stylish tennis striped suits, dancers who tie on their bodysuits in jersey pleated capes with trains as long as those of brides, boys who dress as opera divas and girls who play businessmen in jeans, white shirt, frog jacket and striped tie.

Also very noticed are these pregnant women in their long dresses in fragmented knits and young boys from all walks of life who parade side by side in their clothes joined together like Siamese twins.

Strength and fragility, gothic and fanciful, radical and humorous, and a lot of imagination.

All emotions arise, all feelings clash, like this generation trying to re-enchant a world that they know is complicated.

Brigitte Macron “bluffed”

In the finale, applause and an admiring first lady.

Backstage, Brigitte Macron shares her impressions with us.

“I am amazed by the quality of their collections, by their creativity and the work on materials, particularly on knits and other textiles so innovative that I was unable to determine what they were.

I also found that there was a lot of style, outfit, originality and humor in their clothes.

I really liked these twins who paraded in the same assembled outfit,” sums up the wife of President Emmanuel Macron.

And to continue: “I had already come to attend a fashion show in 2022 and I measure the level of excellence of this school which welcomes all nationalities and aims to grow and promote French creation which already has an incredible resonance in the whole world.

Being at the IFM is a dream, especially for its ecosystem which gives access to all the biggest houses.

But I know that we must help these young talents, support them when they leave school.

This is a very important subject for me.

Both in fashion and in design, I realize how difficult it is, these young people are sometimes forced to have two jobs to live.

What does the first lady also think of this new generation of designers who will perhaps be the future greats of tomorrow?

“When I visited the IFM campus in October 2021,” continues Brigitte Macron, “I was struck by their energy, the effort they put in to bring their project to fruition and I was very surprised by their great maturity.

In my opinion, they are truly creators, artists even, and I have a lot of respect for their work,” she concludes with a smile.

Source: lefigaro

All life articles on 2024-02-26

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