Dream Makers

On Aura tout Vu does it their way

On Aura Vu Tout is a colloquial French phrase meaning “you think you’ve seen it all”, and quite possibly the most appropriate name for a label ever. In a world where the word “unique” is frequently overworked, the design duo that call themselves “proud creators of disorder” create work where the concept of the imaginary is pushed to its limits. Their restless search for new ways to express a vision both humorous and fantastical involves artisanal craftwork and pure artistry such as welding, joinery and sculpture, always executed with a breathtaking level of detail and imagination.

On Aura Tout VuFounded in Paris in 1998 by Livia Stoianova, Yassen Samouilov and André de Sà Pessoa, the team initially created accessories and embroidery for Christian Lacroix, Givenchy, John Galliano and Christian Dior before developing their own ranges of accessories, leather goods, jewelry and couture clothing.

In 2004, they were invited to join as invited member of the hallowed elite of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. “Our wish was to make On Aura Tout Vu a global label,” says Livia. “Our mentor was Christian Lacroix; he gave us the desire to be different.” They certainly shy away from convention, creating looks that are singularly offbeat yet polished to perfection that find favor with a raft of celebrity clients—Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Tara McDonald and Gwen Stefani among man others. Inspired by the likes of Salvador Dalí and Tim Burton, previous shows featured edible garments, winged unicorns (favored by Lady Gaga) and “fire dresses” that appeared to emit smoke.

On Aura Tout Vu, necklaceThe brand’s DNA is all about believing in your ideas—even when nobody trusts you just do what you believe in. No surprise, then, that when describing their creative purpose they quote Winston Churchill’s famous phrase: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Says Yassen, “Couture savoir-faire is, for us, a mirror of our spirit and our state of mind. Crazy ideas often come from our cultural heritage, and Bulgaria is rife with phantasmagorical tales that have influenced us.”

On Aura Tout Vu, necklaceThey started using Swarovski crystals twenty years ago, because, says Livia, they bring glamour and a dreamlike quality, and they reflect life’s magical, sparkling moments. In June, On Aura Tout Vu showed two stunning pieces at the World Jewelry Facets exhibition in Shanghai: a necklace made of clear crystals that is a nuanced, offbeat take on a classic piece; another that is a dramatic confection of chains and crystals, like a 1920s interpretation of ceremonial jewelry worn by a warrior princess. “We wanted to make a piece that could protect and at the same time reveal a woman’s strength,” they explain. “Anyone from age 17 to 60-plus can wear these pieces. If you’re at ease with yourself and you happily defy conformity, then this jewelry is for you.”

On Aura tout Vu is the ultimate in playful luxury: full of surprises, it stimulates the senses in entirely unexpected ways. You have been warned…