Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Red Carpet Ready for La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival Courtesy of Mon Atelier

As I recently announced, I will be both a Presenter of the HISTORY OF FASHION IN FILM and Grand Juror for the International Fashion Film Awards at the upcoming La Jolla Fashion Film Festival.  And, as if having these two roles at this prestigious event wasn't honor enough, I am now thrilled to add I will be dressed for the opening and closing night red carpets exclusively by Mon Atelier!

Mon Atelier is the only couturier of its kind in Los Angeles and I have long been an admirer of its designer Ali Rahimi.  I'm not the only one--Anjelica Huston, Mariska Hargitay, and Eva Longoria are just some of their clientele.  No one appreciates and celebrates the connection between classic cinema and design better than the team behind Mon Atelier.  I couldn't be more excited.  See why--take a peek inside their glamorous salon in an article I did when I visited them in 2012 (below).  Though I focus on their lovely chiffon gowns in the piece, you will soon see that they offer many more examples of timeless style.

Stay tuned!


For those of us who love the style of the Golden Age of Hollywood, our imaginations run wild at the thought of the studios' costume design departments.  Designing giants such as Adrian and Helen Rose at MGM and Travis Banton and Edith Head at Paramount had lavish salons where they saw their clients, who were the most beautiful women in the world.  Stars like Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, and Grace Kelly visited these lavish ateliers that were filled with racks of custom-made gowns and fit to perfection by an army of assistants in front of three-way mirrors.  And in between their costume changes, the ladies could lounge on chaises, light a cigarette, and sip coffee (or cocktails) while gossiping about their life in Hollywood.  Though those days of the great studio system are now long gone, one Los Angeles boutique has done more than remember that time....Mon Atelier has brought that storied elegance back in both its couture as well as its stylish salon.

ABOVE: dreamy lemon chiffon fit for Lana Turner in the window at Mon Atelier

Edith Head at her Paramount salon with Grace Kelly preparing for To Catch a Thief

The design talent behind Mon Atelier is Ali Rahimi, a couturier whose brilliance appeared early in life; family found him creating clothes as a mere 6-year-old.  He studied design at school then worked his way through the fashion industry from sourcing to pattern making (the key to a great production process) to full-time design.  His love for classic cinema informed his design as well as the steadfast belief that the right dress makes a woman come to life.  Thus, he decided on a course of custom-made couture and started Mon Atelier in 1990.  He and partner John Barle opened their boutique on La Brea Avenue in 1996 and customers came running, including many second generation Hollywood like Mariska Hargitay (Jayne Mansfield's daughter), Joely Fisher (Connie Stevens' daughter), and Anjelica Huston (John Huston's daughter).  Oscar nominees Angela Bassett and Amy Adams are also among their fans.  As a testament to their timeless style, their clothes have been worn by girls of all ages--from a 3-month-old in a wedding to a 94-year-old Carol Channing when she performed at the Kennedy Center Honors.

As a customer, you truly experience luxury when you visit Mon Atelier.  When you arrive, the salon is bathed in a warm glow and walled with gowns in the most luxurious (often vintage) fabrics you've ever seen.  Silks, sequins, feathers, and lace are all around you.  It's hard to miss the infusion of Old Hollywood style, especially in the extraordinary craftsmanship of their built-in corsets and hand beading.  I've enjoyed hours with Ali and John talking about classic cinema and fashion.  For them, the connection is direct.  They are well-versed in film history and sources of inspiration frequently come from costume designers Jean Louis and Helen Rose as well as stars like Lana Turner, Doris Day, and Loretta Young.  In fact, anyone who works with the duo is given a list of required viewing, including Lana's Jean Louis wardrobe in Imitation of Life (1959) and one of my own Style Essentials Pillow Talk (1959).

Mon Atelier is known for gorgeous gowns, but they also have tailored suiting for women that is equally timeless in its design.  In fact, I was first introduced to the brand by Patricia Ward Kelly--Mrs. Gene Kelly--at the TCM Classic Film Festival.  There she stood on the red carpet in a perfectly cut navy suit from Mon Atelier, which made me immediately approach her.  Because of my own classic style, we struck up a conversation that included her great compliment to me, "Gene would approve!"  An introduction to Ali and John quickly followed as well as an invitation to the Centennial Tribute to Gene Kelly at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (AMPAS).  There she looked radiant in Mon Atelier once again.  And she wore yet another custom-made suit when she recently appeared on TCM to introduce Gene's greatest movies--such as An American in Paris and Singin' in the Rain--on what would have been his 100th birthday.

Everyone understands my passion for classic cinema and its incredible style, and Mon Atelier is some of the most perfect design I have ever seen.  It captures the magic that we love from Old Hollywood costume design while making it absolutely modern for today.  And because each of Ali's gowns, dresses, and suits are custom-made...well, you just have to feel like the luckiest woman in the world wearing them.  So steady yourself, ladies.  If you love fashion at its highest art form, Mon Atelier will positively set your heart racing.

Welcome to Mon Atelier

The sitting room is perhaps my favorite part of the salon

Mon Atelier is famous for luxurious fabrics that even include limited supplies of vintage
that are used to their best advantage in both men's ties as well as newly designed dresses

One wall of the atelier is full of color-blocked gowns

A favorite Little Black Dress--it's perfect, isn't it?

Speaking of perfection, you can see inspiration from Lana Turner 
in their yellow and white goddess gowns...so much my own personal style

Ethereal gowns in white line the other side of the salon

I adore white dresses...look at the detail and design differences in these gowns

Caftans are all the rage and I adore this one in orange floral sequins

John capturing me in a mirror that once belonged to MGM (and possibly Helen Rose herself)

Time to say good-bye...for now


The Lady Eve said...

I can certainly see why you're a fan of Mon Atelier, Kimberly. Beautiful gowns. Look forward to hearing more about the La Jolla events.

Kimberly Truhler said...

Thanks so much, Patty! I'm actually going a bit outside my usual style with the gowns I will be wearing, so it's going to be fun sharing all the inspiration behind them. :)

Christian Esquevin said...

Woo Hoo! We'll want pictures!Merveilleux!

Kimberly Truhler said...

Thanks Christian! Pictures will definitely be coming! ;)

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