I recently had the enormous pleasure of visiting Yahav Ron’s fashion salon Paris 99, tucked away inside a lovely old apartment building behind the cafe strip in beachside Elwood. Attending by appointment, Yahav offers up a special fashion shopping experience. Not only does he source new and preloved high end fashion from Europe and the USA which he offers at much more affordable prices, but he also creates his own unique fashion label.
Stepping inside the foyer of Yahav’s studio, is where the delightful experience of visiting Paris 99 begins. The foreground is set with a half made couture gown artistically strewn across an antique sewing machine table, and mannequins dressed in exquisite drapes of fabric tease the eye. But this is just the beginning to a much more wonderful two hours ahead. Yahav led me up a sweeping staircase, from which a number of rooms were filled with racks of garments. But before exploring the racks, Yahav and I sit down and chat over chocolate, champagne and cranberry juice ~ an experience not just reserved for me, but to all Yahav’s visitors!.
Yahav passionately shared his journey over the past 15 years from fashion student, to designer and collector of high end fashion items. In 2007, whilst undertaking a Honours degree in Fashion at RMIT, Yahav participated in an exchange program in Amsterdam, where his love for old clothing and working with reconstituted materials took hold. An old discarded armchair spotted on a side street provided the inspiration for his Graduate Collection completed in 2008. As is characteristic of Ron Yahav’s own label, his designs are based on drapes and folds. He says he “enjoys letting the fabric speak” by keeping the integrity of the fabric, letting folds fall naturally. And he rarely pulls out a sewing machine. Instead Yahav rolls, folds, and creates weight throughout the garments which affects the fall of the piece. Where required, Yahav sews by hand. The delicate hand stitching is a sight to behold, and rarely seen.
Whilst it was hard to pull myself away from Yahav’s stories and wonderful collection of fashion text, delving into Yahav’s new and preloved fashions finds from Europe and USA soon put that to the back of my mind. Yahav busied himself amongst the racks, pulling out items of clothing for me to try on. We didn’t discuss sizing at all, nor what I was after. Incredibly Yahav pulled out all sorts of pieces in my size – exquisitely made skirts and tops, cocktail dresses, gowns, outlandish coloured jackets, sequined pop star jackets ….. he
certainly challenged my fashion choices, which was just what I needed! I had a ball, and a good laugh too. And he doesn’t pull any punches either. Yahav told me if the piece I was trying on didn’t suit my shape, if it needed taking in or didn’t sit quite right. All the items are incredibly well made, which is not particularly surprising given some of the labels he has on offer, which ranges from the big well knowns to the smaller edgy salons (think Balenciaga, Lanvin, Dries Van Noten and ALAIA, Ann Demeulemeester, Proenza Schouler, A.F Vandevorst and Narciso Rodriguez amongst so many others!).
Whilst Yahav is based in Melbourne, he does make the occasional visit interstate with bags full of garments for you to peruse. He is in Sydney this week, before dashing back to Melbourne to participate in the the L’oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural program. Commencing on 14 March 2013, Yahav is celebrating his sold out event, “The Highest End of Green Fashion”, where he is offering special appointments to attendees to explain and share his range …. and of course drink champagne! Yahav is happy to take appointments to visit his salon – You are bound to have a wonderfully personal experience, with lots of laughter guaranteed.
By Appointment Only
A: 4/6 Ormond Road
Elwood VIC 3184
M: +61 424 583 409
E: enquire @paris99.net