About Fifi Chachnil
Fifi Chachnil loves femininity and for three decades has designed for and been inspired by the women’s differences. From her atelier in Paris she works with a comprehensive view to reassure and introduce woman to a world of sensual and frivolous beauty. Her creations are sentimental and often represent the fantastical caricature of the Parisian women.
© Nathalie Demontes
© Pierre et Gilles
How the story began
In 1984 Fifi launched her first collection under the name Chachnil. A collection of ready-to-wear garments that brought an element of theatre and sparkle to clothing at a time when the black deconstructed style of Japanese designers were â la mode. She produced skating outfits, ruffled bloomers and cowgirl and tiger print suits worn by musicians such as Nina Hagan and Marc Almond, artists and the Parisian elite on and off the stage. It was during this time that she established a penchant for showing her collections in quintessentially Parisian venues. Venues include the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, Le Lido on the Champs Elysee and Le Crazy Horse Paris.
Lifelong friendships with fellow artists Pierre et Gilles and Ellen von Unwerth were formed during these early years. As with Ines de la Fressange, Julie Depardieu, Philip Catherine, Victoire de Castellane and Helena Noguerra whom Fifi continues to dress and work with today.
During 1996 after an inspiring trip to Los Angeles, Fifi pursued her love of designing lingerie and launched the house of Fifi Chachnil. Today Fifi presents collections of ready-to-wear, lingerie, swimwear, accessories, fragrance and the recently launched ‘Mini Fifi’ for children.
In 1995 Mademoiselle Fifi was in Los Angeles to photograph her latest collection of dresses and it was during this trip she discovered the exciting concept of ‘extroverted nudity’. From this moment she looked to and began designing lingerie, in particular lingerie so beautiful it should be seen.
« In contrast to everyday clothes that require an acknowledgment of style, lingerie is a woman’s secret that opens the door to all kinds of fantasies. »
Fifi’s devotion to designing beautiful lingerie has seen lingerie included in all of her seasonal collections since 1996. Her debut lingerie collection included the culottes ‘Joyeuse’, ‘Minette’ & ‘Bloomer’ all now classic styles to the house of Fifi Chachnil and still regularly featured in her collections today. These culottes were presented alongside the first Fifi Chachnil corsets, stockings and night gowns and were all an instant hit in Paris, Tokyo and in the United Kingdom.
« Woman have a poetic quality that expresses itself through fantasy- it is quite a useless quality, yet at the same time highly necessary when creating a style. »
Fifi Chachnil’s style is always sensual, yet never outrageous. It is overtly feminine, it’s ‘femme fatale’ and it’s for all women.
Her creations are sentimental and often represent the fantastical caricature of a Parisian women. There is always an element of humour and is a style that honours frivolous beauty.
© Fifi Chachnil
« My shows are the opportunity to celebrate and bring together all the things I love: music, choreography, design, theatre, creating scenes, bringing together my team. »
Infamous for showing her collections in quintessentially Parisian venues such as the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, Le Lido on the Champs Elysee and Le Crazy Horse Paris. Some of Fifi’s most distinguished shows however, have been in the ‘Grand Escalier’ of her atelier in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. The Grand Escalier shows becoming somewhat of a tradition to the brand.
At times Fifi has broken tradition and chosen to show her collections in Capri, Miami and most recently at the V&A Museum in London.
With a fondness for theatre and musicals Fifi Chachnil has always included woman and girls within her shows that inspire her from dancers and showgirls to models, actresses, artists and friends.