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 Karine Arabian

   
 

Giving in to fantasy in Paris...

   

 

  

 

Fashion is always fantasy.  Shoes as transformation - a woman in high heels walks differently; practical is all of a sudden uplifted into something sensuous and coltish.  The foot has always been eroticized.  In Paris, there is a designer out of every Arabian Night fantasy with her line of beautiful, sexy, and fabulously constructed shoes (think stability) with prices that are not as high as those of the other grands couturiers of the high-fashion footwear world.  Karine Arabian is an artisan of fashion, someone for whom each creation is an artistic undertaking.  She talks of palettes the way an artist would, of shape the way a sculptor might and of the satisfaction of finishing a new boot the way an architect might admire a house just constructed.   

Arabian works out of a small atelier and shop in the picturesquely named Rue Papillon in Paris's decidedly down-to-earth 9ème arrondissement.  She grew up in a family of artisans: her grandfather was a cobbler and a bookmaker, her father a tailor - perhaps the source of her attention to detail, to craftsmanship.  In earlier collections, Arabian was inspired by Armenian filmmaker Sergei Paradjanov.  His eccentric collages, colorful palette and wild sense of composition are reflected in her eclectic bags and shoe designs.  Arabian has designed jewelry for Chanel and dresses for her own line, but today she delights in simply creating shoes and accessories. 

For her 2009 Spring/Summer collection, Arabian reprises retro 70's colors with rich turquoises, light browns and yellow skin tones so ephemeral that they appear almost sun-faded.  She marries materials such as lizard and crocodile to rounded elegant shapes or angular high heel boots.  Heavy lock-like buckles adorn some pieces - fashion as protection and security. 

Arabian has resisted the siren call of joining larger fashion houses that might curtail her artistic freedom.  She easily convinces you that she is happy just the way things are on Butterfly Street: a designer, her shoes and an uncompromising artistic vision.  When in Paris, give in to fantasy…. 

 

Discover: Karine Arabian 

 

Tags: paris  jewelry

 

 

 

 

       
 

 
       
     

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