Eric Tibusch: Combining Old Hollywood with French Elegance

The art of couture has always been reserved for those brave souls who have the requisite technical skill, the creative genius, and quite frankly, the nerve to create one-of-a-kind looks in a market that is oversaturated with sometimes, unspectacular ready-to-wear garments. Remember, what we now know as the fashion industry started out solely as an expression of couture creations, gradually morphing into prêt-a-porter in the 1960s and 70s.

Still, there are those who choose to express their vision in perhaps the most difficult and expertly scrutinized segment of the industry. Eric Tibusch is one of those courageous young couturiers who has found his œuvre in the uncompromising world of haute couture. From collections that reference bygone iconic couture houses to being inspired by the limitless possibilities of the feminine silhouette, Tibusch after five seasons is becoming a couture force to be reckoned with.

After his 2012 Fall couture collection in Paris, Eric Tibusch graciously spoke with Fashion Reverie about his passion, his inspiration and his unquenchable thirst for beauty.

Fashion Reverie: Your couture collections are always fashion forward but definitely reference past fashion icons like Elsa Schiaparelli and others. Could you speak about that?

Eric Tibusch: To be honest, I’m a big movie buff ; culture in its broadest sense is very important to me. References such as French haute couture houses (Elsa Schiaparelli) are a part of my French DNA. However, in my collections, references from the past mix with my projections for the future.

FR: There is always a surprise in your couture collections; an exposed leg here; a titillating glimpse there. Why this particular design aspect to your couture collections?

Eric Tibusch: I like to deconstruct and reinvent clothing. I am always trying to develop, for my couture collections, an unusual, crazy sense of creativity.

 FR: You also use lots of models of color. Could you speak about that?

Eric Tibusch: I always integrate models of color into my runway shows and campaigns because it expands perceptions of beauty and elegance. A variety of skin colors uniquely sublimates color associations.

FR: For your Fall/Winter 2011 collection you stayed on trend by using sheer fabrics such as silk organza, chiffons and chantilly lace. However, you combined these sheer fabrics with some very interesting textures such as alligator, crocodile, fox and monkey fur. Why these combinations?

Eric Tibusch: For me, combining different fabrics in an unusual way represents the independent, rock star spirit. I like to mix different materials, which is a kind of adventurous risk, and when mixed together, actually works and distills an aesthetic never seen before.

FR: What is the inspiration for your current couture collection?

Eric Tibusch: Movie actresses from the Hollywood’s Golden Age, such as Joan Crawford, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, Bette Davis, and Marilyn Monroe, had a large influence on cinema and fashion and created the concept of Hollywood glamour.

Those movie stars still shine in my mind. I revisit these classics in my current couture collection using solstice chantilly-embroidered lace and linen organza, combined with leather. I pay tribute to Hollywood, where American chic meets French elegance.

Rudolf Valentino, Clark Gable, Marlon Brando and the emblematic figure of the Great Gatsby inspired me to recreate Hollywood’s masculine elegance. For this collection, I recreated the kind of mystery that still inspires today’s man, using the most luxurious materials such as Loro Piana’s super 160 Summer Tasmanian. I also link the masculine and the feminine figure by using the current trend of diaphanous, sheer fabrics.

FR: Why did you include menswear in your current couture collection ?

Eric Tibusch: I decided to include menswear in this collection because in recent years the menswear market has become very strong. Also for the past two years, I have dreamed of creating a collection that contained clothes that I would want to wear. My vision of menswear is a classic approach with a touch of whimsy and creativity mixed with a solid foundation of masculine charm.

 FR: What are your fabric choices in this collection?

Eric Tibusch: In this couture collection I use leather, silk and lace textures and fabrics used in previous collections. However, in this outing I also incorporated some new materials, like naturals flowers, duck wing feathers and some wood products.

FR: Who is your customer?

Eric Tibusch: My customer spans a wide age demographic from 20 years of age to very mature women. My clientele is also every international, from the US to Russia, Japan, Middle Eastern countries, England, and of course France.

Images courtesy of Eric Tibusch

FR: In this economic downturn, how have you adjusted your brand to withstand a challenging economy?

I launched my fashion house in 2006, which was early in the financial crisis.  That said, my fashion house is surviving this downturn. In fact, we don’t know what it is to have a fashion house in good economic times. And perhaps, this crisis has caused us to be more creative.

FR: What is next for you ?

Eric Tibusch: I’m already working on the next couture collection, and the ready-to-wear collection will soon be available in boutiques and retail stores, as well as my new jewelry collection.

—William S. Gooch

Eric Tibusch image courtesy of

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