PARIS – Everything's coming up roses — and hydrangeas, pansies and poppies — for Andrew Gn this season. After a dark, leather-accented collection shown in February, the Paris-based designer has lightened up for resort with his ebullient English-garden-inspired collection.
The designer — who created white ensembles for Emma Stone at the Amazing Spider-Man Berlin premiere and Calista Flockhart at the Oscars, a graphic black-and-white gown for Elisabeth Moss at the Emmys, and famously had to re-create Julianna Margulies’ black-and-gold Golden Globes gown in just 48 hours after it went missing en route to L.A. — wanted to shake up his subdued palette this season with bright florals.
“It’s a bit of a change. I just wanted to inject some joy and surprise into the collection this season. I was thinking about the full summer in a lush English garden with flowers growing everywhere. I wanted joy and bursts of color,” he tells Pret-a-Reporter. “You’re wearing the whole garden on your body.”
Gn, who shows two runway collections per year and creates two additional collections, is showing the first part of his pre-spring 2015 collection just after Haute Couture week in Paris. The racks are full of bright floral patterns in kelly green and vermilion, pale rose blush colors mixed with fuchsia, and embellished with raffia flowers, embroidery and 3D sequin details — all handmade in Parisian workshops.
"We don’t want to call it couture, but it is like couture. We call it atelier sometimes. It’s just terminology. And it’s either pre-spring or cruise or resort, depending on what the buyers want to call it," he explains. "It’s just terms these days. L.A.'s always hot anyway, and the collection can be worn year-round." The collection ranges from formal shorts to full-length ball gowns.
On the day Pret-a-Reporter visited his Parisian atelier, the designer was busy fielding requests from stylists, including Elizabeth Stewart who was eyeing a royal blue ensemble for Jessica Chastain, and sending swatches and sketches for a hush-hush upcoming Emmys client.
He laughs about the unspoken PR rule of never counting on an actress to wear a custom-made dress until she actually steps out of the car and onto the red carpet. “It’s an honesty thing. If she doesn’t want to wear it, isn't feeling it's right that day, OK. No games, I need to know the truth,” he laughs. “If I were a woman I would change my mind all the time.”
Gn loves the informal L.A. vibe and recalls dining at Soho House and dancing until dawn at Hollywood’s A Club Called Rhonda last year. He visits the city every October to meet with individual stylists before the awards season rush begins, and is looking at real estate there and in San Francisco for planned West Coast store openings in 2015. “I’ve looked at the Melrose Place area, but I’d like to find something a bit more away from the crowd, like here,” he says referring to his atelier hidden off an 18th century gated courtyard. “We’d like to see our VIPs in a very special way.”
“With Instagram and social media, there’s no distinction between L.A. and Paris anymore. I think the whole world is becoming one. There’s still obviously a slight difference between the way a Parisian woman would look and an L.A. woman would look — she might accessorize it a different way, but let’s face it, the world is getting smaller and smaller.”