The story of Fête Impériale

Founded by Laura Gauthier Petit, la maison Fête Impériale was born in 2015.
Shaking up codes, the brand mixes aesthetics that might at first glance be antinomic
to develop unconventional and highly creative collections.
Bridging the gap between the Belle Epoque, with its jostling traditions and strong artistic currents,
and the punk modernity of the 80s, which saw the paradigm of femininity evolve into a liberated, decadent universe,
Fête Impériale offers unique, strong and feminine creations, soft protective andcosy armors.
In a word : outrageous.

Laura Gauthier Petit, founder and artistic director

From an early age, Laura Gauthier Petit was immersed in the world of couture, initiated by her grandmother, an outstanding dressmaker. Her mother, who eventually took up the torch, always made a point of designing her daughter's ceremonial dresses herself, involving her in the choices and thinking behind the garments. That's all it took to create a spark...

Originally from Réunion Island, Laura Gauthier Petit grew up on this sublime island of lush vegetation and developed a passion for art history, with a particular affinity for late 19th/early 20th-century trends such as Fauvism and Impressionism.

After ten years working in the digital sector in Paris, Laura Gauthier Petit moved to London and joined the John Lewis department store for 4 years. Another step towardsthe world of fashion, which stillfascinates her to this day.

On her return to Paris, her appetite for fashion was further developed and her eye for the sector sharpened; it was here that she realized that the fashion market was lacking an accessible French luxury brand with creative concepts mixing punk rock, femininity and heritage. This was all it took for Laura Gauthier Petit to embark on the Fête Impériale adventure.

Why Fête Impériale ?

Under the Second Empire, fête impériale brought together sovereigns, the international elite, artists and courtesans
for sumptuous social events that challenged the established lines of good society.
Between the lightness conveyed by "Fête" and the historic, baroque character of "Impériale",
it didn't take much for Laura Gauthier Petit to see in this name the one that would embody the spirit of her brand.

Fête Impérialeoutrageous way of life

More than a look, a state of mind

While French chic is popular the world over, it's still often associated with a classic, timeless silhouette in all-blue or black, with the unmistakable marinière.

Laura Gauthier Petit's vision of Fête Impériale is less binary, freeing herself from the portrait of the Parisian woman conveyed by the collective imagination. Here, color reigns supreme and print is the keystone of creation. The starting point for each collection is a new print, which defines a dominant Pantone tone and enables a whole range of specific colors to be used, giving a unique soul to the creations. Everything starts with the color, then the thread is pulled to write the story of the collection, from the style to the final silhouette.

Exclusive prints, the signature of Fête Impériale

Emblematic of Fête Impériale creations, exclusive prints sign each collection. Somewhere between fantasy and phantasmagoria, Fête Impériale prints are powerful and intense, true creative choices that advocate an assertive style free from the shackles of convention. Playing on opposites, always in a non-conformist spirit, Fête Impériale prints feature original motifs, mixing paintings, illustrations and photography, straight out of Laura Gauthier Petit's unbridled imagination. It's in this creative writing process that this self-taught interior decorator brings her ideas to life, telling a story, scripting her memories and paying homage to her favorite artists.

Strong commitments to sustainable fashion

Fête Impériale is also a brand committed to sustainable fashion and respect for the environment. Each model is designed in Paris, at the very heart of the Fête Impériale atelier. Creation of the season's flagship prints, material testing, definition of the panton, silhouette design, technical sketches and collection development with pattern-making and fabric testing: all these stages prior to manufacturing are carried out by our team in our Paris offices. Fête Impériale works on a "à façon" basis, i.e. product development is entirely in-house and an "in-house" prototype is made available to the factory for manufacturing quantities.

Our materials are carefully selected, with an emphasis on natural or recycled materials, and our collections include many pieces with Oeko-Tex Standard 100 or GOTS certification. We also often choose to have our fabrics woven and printed in Italy, a country whose textile know-how is beyond question, or to design models by upcycling deadstocks in order to give new life to dormant fabrics.

Fête Impériale works with factories that manufacture our collections in limited series. These factories, true partners of the brand, are mainly based in France and Europe (England, Spain, Italy, Poland, etc.). We also collaborate with a Tunisian factory (especially for denim, recycled leather and vegetable leather) which has the particularity of employing only women, helping them to become emancipated and autonomous through their work.

These choices come at a cost - the cost of know-how, quality and respect for the environment - and are at the heart of Fête Impériale's DNA.

A wardrobe with a thousand faces

At Fête Impériale, the wardrobe is designed in its entirety to liberate the body and offer a feeling of well-being, the comfort of pyjamas, but always chic and dressed up. Powerful pieces with marked size , strong shoulders, enveloping the silhouette like protective armor conferring strength and power, always in the prism of femininity. The pieces are fluid, multi-functional and even androgynous, and couture details highlighting the expertise of Fête Impériale flourish (we immediately think of smocked collars, Victorian collars, etc.).

Laura Gauthier Petit is convinced that every woman can be (or want to be) 1,000 things at once, and that she shouldn't be locked into stereotypes that hinder her creativity. Like a declaration of love to femininity, Fête Impériale offers the chance to shake things up by embodying the different facets of each woman in turn.

The Fête Impériale brand is first and foremost a brand for women, imagined by a woman.