My chat with these designers has engaged, re-energized and reassured me that high end modern fashion is still very much alive and well. These two showed me that not all designers are about the blah blah blah of fashion as are so many today. Their entire modus operandi tells me that their collections will be and are, incomparable additions to today’s world of fashion as well as that of the future vintage variety. Think of them as a 21st century Dior, Lacroix or possibly YSL (all of whom are 5 star designers in their past and present value).
The LOYD/FORD label is a rarity … a treasure; Franck Ford (usually the voice of the brand) and Seven Loy are masters of their métier. The techniques and applications recall the glory days of Haute Couture, save the made to measure aspect. Their collections are produced and designed with no boundaries, no trends in mind and only on their terms; their vision allows for no skimping on design, fabrication or the amount of atelier type details. This is not mass produced fashion in its truest sense, this is the confluence of Haute Couture and ready to wear. Their dresses are wildly lush, sumptuous, modern and unimaginably detailed.
Yes, these designers have designed for international red carpet moments and they have even designed wardrobes for the stage but they opt not to trade on celebrity regardless of its so called importance in today’s fashion business. Let’s hear their take on today’s fashion and you can decide on your own as to where LOYD/FORD belong in the Pantheon of fashion … today … or in decades to come.
So in their own words and “typing”... meet Stefan Loy and Franck Ford aka Loyd/Ford.. Franck speaks for both of them …
Jeffrey Felner: What kind of women wear your clothes and who would you say you design for in terms of either celebrity or personality traits?
Loyd/Ford: We just had a tulle gown with and a couture harness on Avril Lavigne for stage and video , sold out 2 new styles overnight at Montaigne Market in Paris with no clue who Avril is or who bought the 16 dresses in 24 hours .. .in the past we dressed Nicole Kidman, Cher, Britney, Courtney Love, Angelina Jolie etc…. strange mix but guessing our look was and maybe is more show than muffin shopping… with this new brand we design real beauty with no shock effects just rich and classic looks… our woman is that.
JF: Without comparing yourself to any one designer; who would you like to be categorized with when it comes to fashion and why? Alive or dead?
L/F: Margiela /Dior .. The concept of deconstruction… the revolting against the fashion world … A desire to enjoy life, a private house … The silhouette characterized by a small, nipped-in waist and a full skirt falling below mid-calf length and now transformed in to micro mini and deconstructed looks with perfect French seam … meticulously made and perfectly proportioned…… all that is what we do and that’s based from looking at the 2 greatest and their philosophy.
JF: In your opinion, what makes your clothes stand out from other collections?
L/F: We sew and hand stitch ourselves and with a team of in-house sewers. Thanks god we have no other hobbies after work, we control each item and we always add some extra soul to each piece by draping and finishing each garment like a couture gown. As long as we are able to do that we will have a special “couture like” ready to wear collections. We want to stay like that and grow at the same time to higher quantities. That’s our daily mantra and so far we doubled each season. To make a production of 80 of the same dresses where each one looks like a one of kind couture dress that’s a real challenge. We think the final touch is visible in our clothes and it stands out.
JF: Can you describe your feelings about the state of fashion in today's world and its importance?
L/F: There is so much hype for so little talent these days. I think it’s possible to win the CFDA award if you have the right beard at the right season. We had a buyer who was really exhausted to buy …. but she said “ I have to buy that overpriced boring clothes.. . I just have to ... it’s an image for my store.” Meantime we sold out the same time she marked down the super brands. Fashion is the only art form you can wear on your body to reflect your art, style and vision and we just admire the people who are individual and authentic.
JF: Do you have a specific type of store that you want to sell to and why is your collection complementary to the other collections in that store?
L/F: Being harmonious with Valentino and Alaia on the same display is the goal and that’s where we are selling... luxury retailers with true fashion sense and personal customer service like Hirshleifers (NY), Maxfied (LA), Montaigne Market (Paris) and other fine places... the shopping world is so over packed and racks are "trend dead”… we love the action where the dressing room is a wicked garden!
JF: What is your stance on internet selling... do you think that more customers will employ this or do you still stink that brick and mortar stores remain the best way to shop and why?
L/F: The world's premier online luxury fashion destinations!!! How many worlds of people do we need to feed them all with the same brands on 1000 shopping pages next to 1000 retail stores where the industry and editors guide the consumer all to the same brands. I think you enjoy a personal shopping day with an exhausting dressing room act and a nice lunch and a good time more than a “klick” for another dress. I think people buy wedding dresses already online. How sad is that? Do you want to marry me? “ klick! “
JF: I understand that you are both art collectors. Do you collect any artists in particular or with any preconceived thoughts of what to buy?
L/F: Joseph Beuys, Baselitz, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, Warhol….. plus infamous and unknown artists. There are pieces on the list but also realistic numbers on the bank account … art comes with success.
(L) Seven Loy & Franck Ford.
(L) Illustration by Gladys Perint Palmer. (R) Illustration by Marc-Antoine Coulon.
(R) Avril Lavigne, video for "Let Me Go" in LOYD/FORD beaded harness dress.