12 Days of Christmas: Three French Men

On the third day of Christmas Yuppee gave to me Three French Men, (Two Turtle-necks and a Partridge in a Pear Tree).

Innovative fashion; a phrase often bandied about by the Fashion-following, who are always looking for the next cutting-edge collection, the next innovative fabrication or the next textile combination. And rarely do these fashion forward designers disappoint.  Still, no one does innovation and charts new territory like the French, especially French men.

We, here at Yuppee, have created festive-themed interviews with two of the top French male designers in the industry and a bio on one to watch as our gift to you on this third day.


Let me introduce you to the first of our three French men, Eric Tibusch. With looks that reference everything from pop glam-androgyny to silver screen iconography, Tibusch is proving time and time again that he is a force to be reckoned with. As Jean Paul Gaultier’s  prodigy, this self-taught haute couturier has collaborated with the likes of John Galliano and Karl Lagerfield. He is a master of materials, using difficult things like vintage monkey hair, whole crocodile skins and 19th century lace. And his designs have featured everything from shoe-hats and underwear as outerwear, to Avatar costumes and mom-inspired, Parisian couture.

Eric, what is your earliest Christmas memory?

The first Christmas I remember was when I was 2 years old, I was in Corsica with family and my parents and I was hugely afraid of Father Christmas!

Your AW 12/13 collection is very fanciful and fairytale-esque, for those dressing up this season, what dresses should they be wearing?

In my opinion, the perfect dress for Christmas is a red blood cocktail dress – not long – but with sleeves and a deep neckline front and back. Chic and sexy!

What is the one tradition your Christmas cannot be without?

At Christmas I can’t let one tradition take precedence over another!  They are all important to me: the log, the family, the turkey and especially the gifts! That’s Christmas magic.

Your perfect Christmas day would be?

My perfect Christmas day would be in a chalet on the mountain, with my beloved and some champaign, in front of the fireplace with with a bearskin on the floor. In three words: love, passion and romanticism.

Our second French man is Gilles Montezin. Well known for his elegant haute couture style, Gilles’ clothes have been worn by various high-profile celebrities from Madonna to Debra Messing and featured on fashion-girl Carrie in big-hit Sex and the City. Gilles developed a reputation for staying grounded in his couture construction roots and producing garments possessing quality unachievable by most of his generation.  They are vigilantly executed, eloquently detailed, lush of fabric, graceful, stylish – but still practical! One can only dream to have something custom made by such an artisan. But Yuppee can offer you  an insight into the lovely Gilles’ Christmas clichés.
What will Santa be bringing you this Christmas?

Time! I hope I will have more time to see my friends and family next year! I have tons of fun working with the best people though!
If you could re-design the conventional Mrs Clause outfit, how would you go about it?
Hmm..first I would give her a red Patten leather jacket and white Mongolian fur cape. And lets see how she’d walk in Louboutin Highness Shoes!
The biggest trend in fashion this Winter?
Shiny red, shiny silver and black lace dresses…match then with those Louboutins and you will melt all the ice there is in Iceland – promise!
On Christmas day are you a cautious un-wrapper or do you just tear everything open?
I kind of like to make the pleasure last a little, so I go slow at the beginning and frantically after! I do always keep a little piece of the wrapping though, I use them as bookmarks in the books I will read in the season – it makes me think of who gave me the present for years! This Season I will be reading the new McQueen bio by Judith Watt! It looks so promising!
And one to watch? Olivier Rousteing. Yes ladies he’s the handsome, current, and almost impossibly young designer of the storied French house of Balmain, which began in 1945. Originally known for it’s elegance and frothy concoctions, the house was shaken up by the designer Christophe Decarnin in the twenty-first century with a serious rock n’ roll edge. And, working underneath Decarnin was this unknown twenty-something by the name of Olivier Rousteing – a native Frenchman, having grown up in Bordeaux.  As a virtual unknown in the fashion industry, few knew what to expect before Rousteing unveiled his first collection in the spring of 2011, but any concerns soon subsided. He carried the torch for all the things for which his predecessor stood, minus the grime and plus a glimmer of sunshine. In other words, this collection’s gleaming, gold-embellished dresses and jackets actually seem to look every bit as expensive as they are, which is a respectable accomplishment. In a rare interview with, before his first collection, the young designer revealed that he wanted to bring the house back to some of its original glory by providing a couture look and feel that hadn’t been present under Decarnin’s watch. And since his designer title last year he has strived to bring glory to the “classic” style of French dressing adding a softer, more dressed up feel to the house, but with more definitely meaning MORE. From Fabergé eggs – with its rivulets of pearls and lavish embroideries and beyond.
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