For several seasons running now, one of my absolute favorite fashion month activities has been stopping by the semi-annual Roger Vivier event. It is hard for accessories presentations to feel dynamic, but creative director Gherardo Felloni and the team make it happen by taking over a hôtel in Paris — or, once, a private home in New York’s West Village — and turning it into a kind of interactive film set by hiring professional actors and performers to fill the space.
It is always a blast, packed with clever references to moments in Vivier history and nods to international cinema. At past presentations, I’ve been whispered at ASMR-style by a maid holding Vivier slippers, shaken pom-poms with all-American cheerleaders in Vivier boots and watched clips from “Belle de Jour” with eight Catherine Deneuve lookalikes clad in classic Vivier pumps — just to name a few memorable moments. And the product is always front-and-center, tying these fun vignettes to the next season’s bags and shoes.
Needless to say, in a Covid-19 world that dictates social distancing, Felloni’s IRL interactive fantasies would be off the menu. Still, I should have known better than to think Vivier would resort to doing just another boring lookbook in its stead. For Spring 2021, the brand brought that spirit to a digital film project starring none other than French icon Isabelle Huppert.
Dubbed “Hôtel Vivier Cinémathèque,” the film sees Huppert leading you through a sort of choose-your-own-story style adventure via five odes to cinema: Horror, Fantasy, Crime, Thriller and Animation. (I’m partial to the segment paying tribute to camp classic “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”) In each scenario, Huppert presents the viewers with two options and one must select the correct option to find the key to advance forward; after three incorrect tries, you must start from the beginning. At the end, you’ll find “paradise” which is, of course, a room packed with Roger Vivier’s Spring 2021 goods.
The whole film is a feast for the eyes: Felloni, who handled creative direction on the project, is a longtime cinephile, and in collaboration with director Nicolangelo Gelormini and writer Andrea Danese, he has created something truly special. While I still miss the joy of wandering through one of Vivier’s hôtels, it’s a feat that the team was able to capture the magic of the experience through the digital format. And honestly, it was so fun and charming that I played through to see each wrong response, too.
See the Roger Vivier Spring 2021 collection in the gallery below, and play your way through “Hôtel Vivier Cinémathèque” here.