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Baptiste Viry's Crafted Torso

The Parisian-based designer spearheads the onslaught of the new "accessory garment" hybrid reserved for the upper torso.

Following three women’s ready-to-wear collections and two accessories lines, Baptiste Viry’s latest offering is a re-interpreted concept he’s entitled the “accessory garment.”

A very personal homage to both, the S/S 09 collection ‘In Praise of the Bust’ embodies all that a ‘best of’ selection ought to. Shunning notions of functionality, symbolisation and social sign codes for an altogether altered perception of each, he invites us to take a wonder within his Universe inspired by a very different era. Lashings of a French heritage weave throughout the collection, upshot through a subtly neutral palette that is unmistakably so because the craftsmanship speaks for itself. “I love to give the garment a cerebral feeling, to endow it with a story even if I’m the only one to know what it is about, and forbid myself to create for the eyes only.” Focusing solely upon the upper half of the torso, the collection features hats, jewellery and a thorough variation of waistcoats in particular. A result of research on the deconstruction/reconstruction of the traditional pieces, they have unique vintage elements easily modifiable by detachment. Viry has created a waistcoat for one and all; whether it be military or safari, double layered or double breasted, he has satisfied even the most discerning waistcoat wearer.

A graduate of the world renowned l’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, Viry’s CV rest assuredly reads like a dream. Accompanied by a host of internationally recognised awards and an internship at Hermes, the outlook seems particularly bright for this star pupil. Also involved in artistic collaborations with Jean-Paul Gaultier and cultural magazine Kiblind, his artistic direction is applauded as highly as his design skills.

The masterful masculinity of each piece flirts with tailoring in a timeless but not a classic way. Unifying the heritage of an ancient time past with a distinct eye for contemporary detailing, it’s a rhetorical balance of the here and now with the way back when, and Viry has captured a niche in both.