When Hervé L. Leroux resigned from his position at Guy Laroche, the company chose Damian Yee, an assistant designer at Laroche, to take the helm. (See my earlier posts on Leroux at Laroche here and here.) According to his LinkedIn profile, Yee graduated from Toronto’s Ryerson University and worked at Martine Sitbon, Karl Lagerfeld, and Barbara Bui before joining the staff at Guy Laroche. He is currently a faculty member of École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne and the Fashion Studies program at École Parsons à Paris.
Damian Yee designed two collections for Guy Laroche, including the Jubilee collection celebrating the house’s fiftieth anniversary. Vogue Patterns licensed two of Yee’s designs for Laroche, one from each collection.
1. Guy Laroche Prêt-à-porter Spring/Summer 2007 (shown October 2006)
Damian Yee’s first collection for Guy Laroche was inspired by the Mireille Darc’s Laroche dress, worn by the actor in Yves Robert’s comedy Le grand blond avec une chaussure noire (1972). (See Yee’s interview here.) You can view this collection at Vogue Italia here; there’s also a FashionTV YouTube video here.
The first Yee/Laroche pattern, Vogue V1047, is an evening gown for stretch knits. This pattern is still in print:
The envelope description reads: Misses’ Dress. Self-lined, gathered, floor length evening dress with keyhole front drape, waistband with wide beaded trim, asymmetrical seam skirt (angled at right side) and left side invisible zipper closing.
Here is a runway photo of the V1047 gown, shown with matching silver sandals:
2. Guy Laroche Prêt-à-porter Fall/Winter 2007-8 (shown March 2007)
Yee’s second collection for the house marked Guy Laroche’s Jubilee. The anniversary collection had a red carpet theme, with luxurious textures, lots of red, and a runway covered in what looks like red PVC. You can view the entire collection online at Vogue Italia, or watch the FashionTV YouTube video here. The show’s sound designer has posted a clearer video (with French program text) here.
Here is the collection image from L’Officiel 1000 modèles:
Vogue Patterns’ selection from the Jubilee collection, Vogue V1078, is a draped jersey evening dress:
The envelope description reads: Misses’ dress. Dress is fitted, self-lined, with front and back gathers, front drape, all in one front and back detail, back zipper, back drape panels and spaghetti straps.
Here is a runway photo of the V1078 evening dress:
When Dior celebrated its fortieth anniversary, Vogue Patterns issued a commemorative pattern, Vogue 1919. (Paco Peralta has a copy on Etsy.) But the Laroche Jubilee pattern is unmarked. Maybe the Laroche anniversary was overshadowed by Dior’s sixtieth anniversary, which also took place in 2007.
It’s hard not to compare Damian Yee’s work at Laroche with Leroux’s. To my eye, the younger designer’s two collections look unfocused, perhaps especially after four seasons of Leroux’s cohesive work. Vogue Patterns seems to have responded by choosing two of Yee’s designs that clearly show his predecessor’s influence. Still, the two draped evening looks are standouts in Vogue’s recent catalogue.