Heimstone – Paris Fashion Week AW1112

The AW1112 collection shown at Paris fashion week this March is Heimstone’s 9th collection.

I am discovering them for the first time. The brand was created in 2007, by Alix Petit and her friend Delphine Delafon whom she met while working as a stylist with Michel Klein.

Heimstone flagship boutique at 23 rue du Cherche Midi, 75006 Paris. Also sold in over 10 countries around the world. See their site.

Read on for more info on the Fall-Winter 2011-2012 collection.


The inspiration for their collections is as big as the world and the attention to detail is as focused as a single stitch. Most of their inspiration comes from their travels around the world. Most recently a coup de coeur from the Unisted States which is also where they hunt down the items that act as décor in their boutique, but are more of an integration of the style of clothing that they create than they are simply decoration.





It is obvious that these are travelers, when you look at their leather-work and bags. When you travel you need something sturdy, secure, versatile and full of pockets!





Other hints of their traveling inspritation are much more subtle, such as the images they use to make their silk and coton prints. Below you see a coton blouse where the image has been taken from Google maps, after a storm in Scandinavian country where the trees had all been uprooted and were floating on the water. The images taken from that Google maps view has been repeated over and over on the fabric print.

You’ll see on the two following pieces a printed silk with an image that was taken, again from Google maps, during the volcanic ash episode.

Clothing inspired by catastrophic events in nature…




In addition to inspiration from natural disasters and the United States, this collection is also inspired from a trip to Mexico. The result is far from the typical cliché type of designs, and is wearable in Paris, on a road trip, or where ever your travels may take you.











Throughout the collection we see a beautiful elf-like green hue that has a calming effect, a natural tendency and an ability to spark the stylist imagination. Green is often seen as a difficult color to wear, but they have incorporated it nicely into all aspects of this collection. The natural fabrics are a pleasant feature of this brand as well. High quality leathers, raw and delicate silks that feel like a dream, wools, cottons… it’s all real. Real fabrics. Real inspirations. Real style. Real design. We will be following this brand, hopefully for years to come!



Vicente Rey rayonne – Vicente Rey shines

Vicente Rey : © E. Fontarnau

At the recent Prête-à-Porter fashion week in Paris at the beginning of October, I discovered a shoe designer who isn’t necessarily new to the fashion scene, but whom I had never known of before. Vicente Rey. Born in Galicia, Spain he studied fashion in Barcel ona and was an apprentice under ARIS, master shoe-maker, with whom he learned the traditional fabrication of shoes. Many refer to his creation as works of art, and they certainly would look pretty in a domed glass case in a museum, but I think they’d look even better on my feet!

Récemment à la Semaine de la Mode Prête-à-Porter à Paris au début d’octobre, j’ai découvert un créateur de chaussures qui, s’il n’est pas nécessairement nouveau sur la scène de la mode, moi je ne l’ai jamais connu auparavant. Vicente Rey. Né à Galicia en Espagne, il a étudié à Barcelone et a été jeune apprenti sous ARIS, maître bottier, avec qui il a appris la fabrication traditionnelle des chaussures. Son travail est considéré par beaucoup comme de l’art, et certes ses créations seront bien jolies sous verre dans un musée, mais je pense qu’elle seraient d’autant plus belles sur mes pieds!

Vicente Rey for Estrella Archs

Vicente Rey spent several years in Paris in his atelier-boutique at number 20 rue des Tournelles in the Marais, but left about a year ago to resource himself, find some down-time with family and to set up camp in Barcelona where his work originally began. He felt the need to get away from the stress of Paris and of the atelier-boutique where he had found himself spending all his time, working constantly.

Vicente Rey a passé quelques années à Paris dans son atelier-boutique au 20 rue des Tournelles dans le Marais, mais a quitté Paris il  a un peu plus d’un an pour se ressourcer, trouver du temps de repos en famille et pour s’installer à Barcelone où se trouvent les origines de travail du créateur.

I contacted the award winning designer to ask for an interview and he graciously agreed. I began by referencing the design seen at the Estrella Archs fashion show for which she used a design made by Rey ‘s own hands. Lucky! Estrella Archs who knew Vicente’s work, came to him originally looking for a toe-shoe design but this proved to be too difficult for a fashion show; Vicente’s resulting design is even more original and delicate. It is a high heel without a heel (the support is wedged into the arch of the foot) that gives the illusion that one is walking on tip-toe like a ballerina, and the entire thing covered with pink tights so the line of the leg from the thigh to the ankle to the toe is completely unbroken. It is one long, smooth and graceful outline of the feminine leg which gives subtle yet incredible seductive powers! This stunning shoe was conceptualized and created in less than a month before the show in Paris. Impressive.

J’ai contacté le créateur primé lui demander un entretien et il a gracieusement accepté. J’ai commencé sur le sujet de son modèle que j’avais vu récemment au défilé d’Estrella Archs dans lequel elle chaussait ses mannequins/danseuses et qui a été créée à la main par Rey lui-même. Quelle chance! Estrella Archs qui connaissait le travail de Vicente l’avait contacté au début pour des chaussures en pointes de ballerine, mais cette forme aurait été trop difficile pour un défilé. Le design qui en résultait des mains de Vicente et encore plus délicat et original. C’est un talon sans talon (le support du pied est un cale sous la voûte plantaire) qui donne l’illusion que l’on marche sur la pointe des pieds comme une ballerine, et le tout couvert d’un collant rose pour donner une ligne ininterrompu de la cuisse au doigt de pied. Cela donne une jambe longe, lisse et gracieuse qui dispose de pouvoirs de séduction incroyables! Cette étonnante chaussure a été conçue et créée en moins d’un moins avant le défilé. Impressionnant.


Vicente Rey shoes

The strong feminine aspect of this footwear differs greatly from what fans are used to seeing from the designer, meaning : one often sees articles that have a more sharper edge or angle to them along with his signature “nail” style heels that have an almost dangerous feel to them. The recent design that we saw at the Paris SS2011 fahsion week is not necessarily his very first of this type, he made one model last winter but with a lizard leather; and he said that he would like to work more with this specific heel design. Thank heaven!

L’aspect très féminine de ce modèle est bien différent à ce dont on a l’habitude de voir de ce créateur, c’est-à-dire, ses articles ont souvent un coté plus dangereux avec des contours plus dures et des pointes très accentuées avec son talon “clou”. Ce nouveau modèle vu récemment à la semaine de la mode Printemps-été 2011 à Paris n’est pas en réalité sa première chaussure de ce type, il en a fait l’hiver dernier mais avec un cuir lézard, et il a dit qu’il aimerait bien travailler encore plus avec cette forme de talon. Dieu merci!

Vicente Rey for Estrella Archs SS2011 I asked Vicente if this softer look was something that he felt he was moving into, for future collections. He replied that femininity was something that always spoke to him in his work. This new model that Estrella Archs used for her fashion show in Paris was inspired directly by ballerinas and the desire to be lifted up on the ball of the foot, to give a sens of lightness and weightlessness. “I love to play with balance” he said. Unfortunately this design may not ever see a production line nor a boutique shelf because it is a very delicate model to produce and wear because of the fragility of the tights that go with the design. Lucky for us shoe crazies, most of Vicente’s work is custom, so you could request this design if you fall in love with it!Vicente Rey

J’ai demandé à Vicente si ce look plus doux allait devenir une mode chez lui, pour des collections futures. Il a répondu que la féminité est quelque chose qui lui parle toujours dans son travail. Ce modèle qu’Estrella Archs a pris pour son défilé à Paris a été inspiré directement par des ballerines (qui on défilé en dansant) et par le désire d’être soulevé sur le point du pied, pour donné une sensation de légèreté et d’apesanteur. “J’aime jouer avec l’équilibre” il a dit. Malheureusement il est bien possible que ce design en particulier ne verrait jamais de ligne de production ni d’étagère en boutique car il est très délicat à produire et porter à cause de la fragilité des collants qui vont avec. Heureusement pour nous les folles des chaussures, la plupart du travail de Vicente est sur-mesure, alors vous pourriez commandé ce modèle si vous en tombez amoureuse!

When asked if he considers himself an artist… he replied that he thinks of himself more as an “artisan”. But he is an artisan that designs and creates which is much less common. Most designers do not make more than a prototype, and most artisans don’t design. Vicente said that he likes to focus not only on the visual beauty of his pieces but also the comfort for the foot which he does a lot of in his custom-made work. “Working and creating with my hands is indispensable to me” he insisted. “And although I can’t do everything or make everything, I at least make my own models and prototypes”.

Vicente Rey

Vicente Rey

Quand il est interrogé sur si il se voit comme un artiste… il répondait qu’il se voit plus comme “artisan”. Mais c’est un artisan qui fait le design et la création de ses chaussures, ce qui est moins courant. La plupart des designers ne font pas plus qu’un prototype, et la plupart des artisans ne font pas le design de leur travail. Vicente a dit qu’il aime se focaliser non seulement sur la beauté visuelle des ses pièces mais aussi sur le confort du pied, qui est un grand partie de son travail sur-mesure.   “Travailler et créer avec mes mains m’est indispensable” il a insisté. “Et même si je ne sais pas tout faire, je fais au moins les prototypes”. Vicente Rey for Estrella Archs SS2011

So what inspires him in general? “It all depends” he said. “I start by working with volumes and then the materials and I see what the material does what shapes it can take.”

Alors qu’est-ce qui l’inspire en général? “Tout dépend” il a dit. “Je commence en travaillant les volumes et puis les matériaux et je vois quelle forme il prend”.

And what about the strong permeation of theater and dance into his work?  He explained that his very first shoe design (made without knowing anything about shoe design) was his final project for the end of his studies, and it was a shoes with forged metal which he said was “impossible to walk in!”. BUT the shoes were worn by dancers who had a choreographed sequence on the catwalk, and much to his surprise they were able to move quite well (with practice) in them! As for theatrics, in order to pay for his education he made costumes for theater and tango dance productions that sought him out. Or maybe “It’s my culture that gives this theatrical aspect” but his work is not inspired directly from theater and dance, it just seems to ooze out from his creations all by itself!

Et pourquoi une si forte influence de théâtre et de danse dans son travail? Il a expliqué que son premier design de chaussure (créé sans avoir jamais fait de chaussure avant) était le projet final de ses études, et c’était des chaussures avec un talon au métal forgé qu’il disait” impossible à marcher avec!” MAIS les chaussures ont été portées par des danseuses qui défilaient à une chorégraphie, et à son grand étonnement elles ont trouvé le moyen de danser gracieusement (après répétition bien sûr) avec! Et pour le coté théâtral, pour payer ses études il créé des costumes pour le théâtre et des spectacles de danse de tango qui lui ont recherché. Ou peut-être “c’est mon culture qui me donne cet aspect théâtral” mais son travail n’est pas inspiré directement par la danse et le théâtre, il semble que son travail le suinte tout seul!

Although Vicente loves Paris, he doesn’t foresee a move back here soon, nor for an indefinite period. Ideally he love to be able to come for a few months at a time, and then spend a few months in Barcelona, and then a few months somewhere else. Sounds somewhat nomadic to me…it’s no wonder he creates shoes!

Bien que Vicente aime Paris, il ne se voit pas y retourner  bientôt, ni d’une manière permanente. Idéalement il aimerait pouvoir venir pour quelques mois à la fois, et puis passer quelques mois à Barcelone, et puis aller quelque part d’autre. Cela me semble un peu nomade, non?… ce n’est pas étonnant alors qu’il crée des chaussures!