The Art of Gossamer: Fanny Liautard’s Design Legacy

Fanny Liautard creates elegant wedding dresses and formalwear that combine the aesthetics of design with storytelling.

(Photo courtesy of Fanny Liautard)

Fanny Liautard’s creations are often identified immediately, as the eye is drawn to the translucent fabric enhanced with lace, embroidery, intricate crystal and pearl beadwork. Her wedding gowns, evening attire, and lingerie have an unmistakable lightness of being, as if created from gossamer webs — delicate, diaphanous, and fragile.

(Photo courtesy of Fanny Liautard)
(Photo courtesy of Fanny Liautard)

“The art of my job,” she says, “is to give comfort and elegance by giving life to the garment. This, in turn, brings a sweetness to accompany both daily moments as well as those exceptional, privileged moments — weddings, formal events. Both inspire me to create clothes that allow the wearer to help define the moment and tell the story.”

“The privileged moments of a woman’s life interests me, inspire me, and I love to sublimate these moments with the creation of a well thought out dress.” -Fanny Liautard

Telling the story through the clothes she creates allows also a sense of legacy that is sewn into the complex lace patterns and tiny crystal beading of her dresses. She knows that the garment represents not only an event in time, but also the story that surrounds it.

The legacy of the dress — especially a wedding dress — is defined by the story her design conveys.

(Photos courtesy of Fanny Liautard)

When she designs a dress, it feels as if she is writing a novel and the woman wearing it is her heroine.

Liautard says that when she designs a dress, it feels as if she is writing a novel and the woman wearing it is her heroine. In each of her collections, she tries to include a dress inspired by a novel, such as her designs inspired by the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Not surprisingly, her work has become very well known, especially in the rarified haute couture stratosphere. She graduated from the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, worked at Pierre Balmain, then spent years at the fashion house of Hubert de Givenchy. Now her collections have her distinctive name, Fanny Liautard, and her creations can be seen at Victoria’s Secret, Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Takashimaya.

(Photo courtesy of Fanny Liautard)

And yet, by her own admission, her passion is in the vision and creation of special clothing for special occasions. “I like to think I transform the customers’ dreams from my sketching paper to the dress worn for precious moments and exceptional life milestones,” she says.

“The silks I use come from Como in Italy, or Lyon in France.The laces are from Calais, France, and the embroidery is often from Switzerland or Austria. I sometimes work with embroiderers in India for very specific work. When we need custom embroidery, very often we sew and apply crystals and crystal beads on the fabric, one by one.”

(Photo courtesy of Fanny Liautard)
(Photo courtesy of Fanny Liautard)

And through this often deliberate, one-by-one technique, Fanny’s work blurs the line between artistry and artisanship. As an artist, she creates the vision; as an artisan, she constructs the vision into storied clothing to be worn for memorable events. These will be remembered not only as beautiful garments, but also as design legacies for years to come.