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Michele and Olivier Chatenet are the founders of E2.  A French label that specializes in refashioning vintage designer finds into contemporary, desirable and wearable pieces. With a celebrity following, including Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, and a by appointment only studio in Paris, they explore new directions with their label, outside of the traditional fashion system, far removed from marketing, and closer to the customer. Mixing contemporary styling with antique and ethnic heritage pieces, E2 aim at offering individuality through their work. In tune with the current dissatisfaction with the fashion systems timing of delivering spring styles in January and fall in June, E2’s styles are sold directly from the runway or showroom, in season, making for a freshness impossible to obtain with the usual long lead times inherent in our industry.

The collection is divided into groupings, each piece unique and customized, with reworked vintage items from the couture greats, the likes of Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Lanvin and Madame Gres. Some pieces are subtly altered, while others are entirely recreated from scratch. Ethnic and folkloric costume is also reworked for a contemporary feel, and created from scratch by Michele and Olivier. A unique collection of dresses made exclusively from vintage silk scarves rounds out the groupings, not simply handkerchief point sun dresses, but complex, subtle creations with delicate interplay of colour and print. “Just as new can become old, vintage can become new.”

With a combined history of working in couture for some of the greats of the industry through the 1980’s and 1990’s, between them, they have worked for Chanel, Thierry Mugler Azaxine Alaia and Comme des Garcons to drop just a few names! The pair created their first partnership in 1987. Renowned for their minimalist design, Michele Meunier and Olivier Chatenet were the masterminds behind the brand Maiot-Chanet. E2 was formed in 1999, as a means of exploring new directions in design that embraced their passions for classic vintage clothing. Sourcing items to rework from estate sales, auctions and flea markets, the duo prefer to showcase their work in an exhibition format rather than a fashion show, to best showcase the detailed workmanship and allow customers to see their work up close and personal, instead of breezing by them on a catwalk. Often creating unique one of a kind items on a commission basis, they also produce items for exhibition and sale. In the ten years that E2 has existed, their atelier has grown from the original two to twenty Five.

Garnering major press coverage from the likes of W, Luxx and Amica, pieces can be bought on line through the couture lab website, direct from their gallery like shows, or by appointment at their atelier.

The E2 vintage collection is no longer available; however, Olivier Chatenet’s work can be found at www.olivierchatenet.com

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