>> Just a few short days after showing his Spring 2012 collection for Vionnet, Rodolfo Paglialunga has left the brand. “Rudy is a talented designer who has allowed us to restart a sleeping brand,” co-owner Matteo Marzotto said, noting that the decision was consensual. Marzotto added that he has big plans to further grow Vionnet and extend its product offering. Italian twin sisters Barbara and Lucia Croce have been tapped to replace Paglialunga, who joined Vionnet in February 2009. [WWD]
Vionnet creative director Rodolfo Paglialunga presented his fifth collection designing for Madeline Vionnet's namesake house, pairing his distinct shapes with some of the bias cut draping for which the French label is known. Paglialunga, who spent years at Prada before being snatched up by Mateo Marzotto—Vionnet's owner since early 2009—designed a collection of rounded hemmed and asymmetric dresses, some with sheer panels and cutouts at the shoulders. Having recently collaborated on a shoe collection with Giuseppe Zanotti and dressed a number of starlets for award seasons, Vionnet is poised to officially make her comeback, after years of trying, this fall.
>> Christian Lacroix Shows Up on Golden Globes Red Carpet —Christian Lacroix's business may be reduced to licensing at this point in time, but it's a testament that without any new collections being produced, he's still scoring red carpet coups — to wit, his Spring 2009 couture at last night's Golden Globes on the much-watched Diane Kruger. On the other side of the spectrum, houses recently kickstarted under new creative direction also found their footing at the Golden Globes: Nicole Kidman and Carey Mulligan wore Peter Copping's Nina Ricci from Spring 2010, Ginnifer Goodwin was in Spring 2010 Vionnet by Rodolfo Paglialunga, and Chloe Sevigny took home her award in Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli's Spring 2010 Valentino.
>> French Buyers Were Not Enthused When Matteo Marzotto Took Over Vionnet —Matteo Marzotto, who was president of Valentino from 2002 to 2008, chats about his newest venture, the relaunch of French house Vionnet under the design capabilities of Prada alum Rodolfo Paglialunga: "One of the hardest things I have had to do since my business partner Gianni Castiglione [husband of Marni's Consuelo Castiglione] and I bought Vionnet in 2008 was calling stores and saying, 'Hi, do you remember me? I have bought this brand and it is going to be very glamorous. I would like you to come and see it.' I sent an average of 25 e-mails to each buyer, and wrote them letters explaining why we were doing it, and reminding them of my track record. I made it very personal. Even then, in the beginning, almost no French buyers came." [Financial Times]
>> We saw Phoebe Philo's first go at Celine a few weeks ago, and now it's time to peruse the first looks of another highly-anticipated matchup: Roldofo Paglialunga at Vionnet. The designer, who spent 13 years as Miuccia Prada's assistant and will have his runway debut at Paris Fashion Week in October, offers up a contemporary look at Vionnet's heritage Grecian constructions for Cruise 2010: “I looked at magazines, books, newspaper clips and anything I could find.”
>> An in-house team has produced the last two Halston collection since Marco Zanini left, but the search is still on for a creative director. Sources say that young London talent Marios Schwab might be the man — he's apparently been in talks with the brand — but Bonnie Takhar, Halston CEO, wouldn't confirm anything. “We have been looking at all options in the market, but we have made no decisions.”
If Schwab were to take the job, would he be required to shutter his eponymous label? Increasingly, brands are looking for devoted creative directors who don't have to split time between labels; in fact, a lot of brands are digging up designers who have never helmed a label before: Vionnet just hired Prada alum Rodolfo Paglialunga, Nina Ricci is supposedly going with Louis Vuitton-trained Peter Copping, Valentino recently promoted accessory designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, and Chloe decided on alum Hannah MacGibbon.
>> INSIDER WIRE —Confirming last week's reports, former Valentino chairman Matteo Marzotto and Marni's CEO Gianni Castiglioni have bought Vionnet. Creative directorship has been placed in the hands of Rodolfo Paglialunga, a twelve-year veteran of Prada, where he was one of Miuccia's assistants. The first designs will preview in early June, and Rodolfo will make his runway debut during Paris Fashion Week in October, the same time that Phoebe Philo makes her runway debut at Celine. [WWD]