PARIS, France — Today, BoF takes you inside the atelier of Maison Gérard Lognon. Located in the heart of Paris, in a 17th-century studio with flooring that was laid in the reign of Louis XIV, the plisseur, or pleater, has helped craft couture and ready-to-wear collections since 1945.
To create the complex pleating patterns required by clients including Chanel and Christian Dior, Lognon utilises just steam and cardboard moulds. “We have a treasure here, and the treasure is the moulds," Nadine Dufat, managing director of Lognon, told BoF. The majority of Lognon’s three thousand cardboard moulds, which are exceptionally intricate, were drawn and folded by hand; only recently has technology begun to be incorporated into the process.
Vertically stacked, on shelves enveloping the warren-like working space, the regimented forms of the moulds are a constant reminder to those now working at Lognon of their predecessors’ craftsmanship. As one of the last plisseurs in Paris, and, indeed the world, the maison is a vital link to a hand-crafted skill that has been largely eradicated by mechanised production. Once, the maison employed 60 people. Now, it employs just eleven.
However, by joining Chanel’s Paraffection subsidiary in 2013, Lognon has secured its future for the moment, and given the maison time to prepare itself for the long-term. "We must be reactive and we must innovate. This is true creatively for the shows, but also for the production," explained Dufat.
Read more about how Chanel subsidiary Paraffection is sustaining savoir-faire craftsmanship here.