Lookbook Images photographed by Hugo Aturi/Provided by the Designer
Fashion designer Paula Hian has launched her Fall/Winter 2016 Knitwear Collection, which she describes as “graphic, bold and textured; either toned down and in tailored form or jazzed up for more dramatic fashion.” The Paula Hian Collection, manufactured in France, is knitted in viscose/Lycra and novelty cotton/silk blends made from Italian yarns.
Miss Hian’s design philosophy comes into full bloom when “when color, shape and texture can be combined with modern style in a timeless way.” A lover of looking put-together, she wears her own designs and finds a kinship with women who refuse to become a slave to the trends. She designs for the independent minded woman who thinks on her own and has her own sense of style. The eloquent statement she makes with her clothes is perfect for someone who has always seen style as the best way to speak to the world without words.
Although she has been in the fashion design business for over fifteen years, her evolution into knitwear has been a labor of love, as well as one of necessity. As she recalls, “It really began with the fabrics. I would always see the same fabrics from the same textile mills that were nice, but not necessarily what I was looking for or didn’t fit the designs I would see in my head for the season. I kept thinking there had to be a way to make my own materials and really engineer my designs and materials how I would visualize them and then, in 2010, Voila!!, I discovered a knitwear factory in France as a place where I could do that and I felt reborn! With knitting, I see limitless possibilities for my designs.”
For Fall/Winter 2016, the black and white knit tweeds and abstract plaids are intended to look crisp and soft at the same time -“to reflect a feminine/menswear vibe I am looking to portray. I feel this should be a welcome change for transition and fall 2016.”
She has also continued to develop interesting knitwear materials that resemble wovens. “I created the embroidered soutache material for the killer boardroom Patricia /Renee Suit. Either in black/black or navy/black. And I dreamed up a lightweight herringbone to mix with double faced jacquard plaid to pleat into the Emily dress or combined it with solid double faced black sleeves to create the Maryse jacket. This herringbone tweed looks staid in black and white and then heats up when knitted in electric blue and juxtaposed against the black blocks of color.”
The colorways in the collection run the spectrum from black and navy to azure blue, poppy and electric blue into grey and tonal grey. “I see these colors and the mixtures of them as ‘Paula neutrals’…there to cleanse the palate. I am not a beige person- ever. Rarely pastels. These colors feel fall 16 to me rather than the browns and more traditional autumn-looking shades. The touches of grey I feel gave it the fall edge. And with white to brighten all up.”
The daughter of a photographer and a classical musician, Hian knew she wanted to be a fashion designer since age five, when she began sketching, cutting, and using a sewing machine to create her own wardrobe. She majored in art history at Northwestern University and attended New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology as a
While pursuing her post-graduate design degree, at F.I.T, she was selected to participate in the prestigious Concours International Des Jeunes Createurs De Mode competition, one of the world’s most prestigious international competitions for fashion students, in Paris, where she was awarded first prize. Her winning dress can be found in the permanent collection of the Louvre. Her label was born there and then, with France forever stamped as the birthplace of her career.
(Concours International des Jeunes Createurs de Mode has been called the world’s most prestigious international competition for fashion students. The annual event, with fashion students from leading fashion schools from all over the world, has been running for two decades. The much sought after award is distributed at a ceremony held in Paris every year. Participation in Concours International des Jeunes Createurs de Mode can be the beginning of a successful career at one of the internationally famous fashion houses, whose representatives are often seen in the audience hunting for new fashion talents. The creator behind Concours International des Jeunes Createurs de Mode is Federation de la Couture, du Pret-a- Porter des Couturiers et des Createurs de Mode in Paris)
Hian works from her studio outside of Philadelphia where she also has a Paula Hian retail store. She frequently travels to France, where she oversees the manufacturing of her designs. She also design custom pieces for select celebrity (and non-celebrity) clients. Additionally, The Paula Hian Collection is sold nationally at boutiques across the United States and online at at www.paulahian.com.
For additional information about the Paula Hian Collection, visit: www.paulahian.com.