Local e-retailer Love, Bonito is haute

Local e-retailer Love, Bonito is haute
Rachel Lim, model presenting a look from Love, Bonito, Viola Tan and French designer Julien Fournie.

Singapore - A collaboration between a French haute couture designer and a fast fashion e-tailer had been unheard of, until now.

On Saturday, French haute couture designer Julien Fournie and local online retailer Love, Bonito, which is known for its affordable clothing, will showcase their collaboration collection at Fashion Week 2013 at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets to the show have all been sold out.

The limited-edition collection of about 15 looks, which will include dresses, jumpsuits and blazers, will be sold on the website, www.lovebonito.com, about a month after Fashion Week. Prices will range from $50 to $200. Love, Bonito clothes usually retail for $25 for a top to $50 for a dress.

The co-founders of Love, Bonito, Ms Viola Tan and Ms Rachel Lim, caught Mr Julien Fournie's show at last year's Fashion Week and were so attracted by his technicolour collection of bodysuits and billowing gowns that they asked to work on a collection with him.

They raised the idea with Mr Frank Cintamani, who organises the annual Fashion Week, who then put them in touch with the designer.

But while the co-founders and designers behind Love, Bonito were eager to work with a haute couture designer, Mr Fournie had his reservations.

"Naturally, I was worried that my brand would be diluted. But I looked at their products and found that they were extremely well-made and used good materials," says Mr Fournie, who spoke to Urban through an interpreter.

Elaborating on his reasons for agreeing to the collaboration, he says that he was impressed by how the Love, Bonito business had grown, based on selling affordable clothing.

"I've only done garments that are exclusive and are very expensive, but there are a lot of women in Paris who want but cannot afford a Julien Fournie couture dress," says Mr Fournie, a graduate of the famed Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, which offers courses in fashion design and techniques and produced design stars such as Yves Saint Laurent and Issey Miyake.

Prior to starting his eponymous couture label in 2009, Mr Fournie had worked at Celine, Dior and Givenchy. For the two designers of Love, Bonito, who have no formal education in fashion design, the experience has been exhilarating.

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