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Behind the Seams Fashion Panel at the French Cultural Center

All Photo credits: Joan Oliver

I recently had the pleasure of attending a French fashion panel at The French Cultural Center in Back Bay in Boston. The event, French Fashion Comes to Boston, served as the unveiling of the Center’s Behind the Seams Series, which is dedicated to exploring the many facets of the fashion industry.

The fascinating panel discussion was held in a sumptuous room of exquisite dark wood and gorgeous French moulding accented by ornate gold flourishes in the French Cultural Center’s Back Bay mansion on Marlborough Street. Upon arrival, the room was filled to the brim with Boston’s most ardent fashion lovers and Francophiles, and my small team and I were ushered to our seats in the front row marked “RESERVED.” Every person working at the Center was so gracious toward us, and I cannot thank them enough for their kindness and hospitality.

French panel speakers

Tokyo-based designer Julien David discussing his journey as a fashion designer with Laure Hériard Dubreuil, Founder and President of The Webster, in a fashion panel moderated by Michelle Finamore, Curator of Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.


The panel featured Laure Hériard Dubreuil, Founder and President of The Webster, a favorite of the world’s fashion elite and a must-see locale for anyone attending Art Basel or visiting Miami in general) and Tokyo-based designer Julien David who is known for his streetmade a splash when he, after only three fashion shows in Paris, was awarded the prestigious Andam Grand Prix in 2012 and subsequently completed a one-year mentorship with LVMH.

The speakers discussed the challenges they encountered upon entering the fashion world as well as how they navigated and managed to overcome obstacles to become major players in the fashion industry. Michelle Finamore, Curator of Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, moderated this discussion candidly and gracefully.

Laure Heriard Dubreuil and Lindsay Shores

With Founder and President of The Webster, Laure Hériard Dubreuil


After the panel there was a lovely cocktail reception, and I was very glad to have the chance to meet both Laure and Julien, who were incredibly kind and down-to-earth and had a lot to say about how they approach the fashion industry from the curated store side to the designer site, respectively.

This event preceded the grand opening of Laure’s new Webster location, a six-story, 12,000 square feet concept store in the heart of Soho in Manhattan, so she chatted about her excitement about this new venture while also touching on her Parisian roots. Julien spoke on his love of streetwear as well as the particular blend of fashion and culture that he has experience between his native France, and his adoptive home, Japan.

French Cultural Center

Speaking with the new Executive Director of the French Cultural Center, Barbara Bouquegneau.


French Cultural Center hors doeuvre

Passed hors-d’oeuvre from Paul.


In the room where the cocktail reception was held, a gallery of backstage pictures from Julien’s fashion shows were on display, as were exclusive outfits from his upcoming collection.

French fashion gallery

France meets Japan in the designs of Julien David!


Lindsay Shores at French Fashion Panel

Fashion is art that you wear!


French fashion gallery

Admiring photographs from behind the scenes at Julien David’s past fashion shows in the gallery of the French Cultural Center.


Lindsay Shores at French Cultural Center Boston

Contemplating Julien David’s streetwear and pop culture-focused entry in the fashion world, as well as the fascinating blend between fashion in France and Japan.


French fashion panel Boston

Making friends with Louide after the fashion panel at the French Cultural Center!


French Cultural Center panel

Me with a piece from Julien David’s latest collection at the cocktail reception following the Behind the Seams fashion panel.


French Cultural Center Fashion panel

Loving the 80s glamour of this fabric and cut! Design: Julien David


Scarf by Julien David

The very first design Julien David ever created. The large 200cm x 80cm silk scarf, woven in Japan, came from Julien’s idea of using the most precious silk he could find in the north of Japan and printing a graphic related to streetwear and pop culture.


If you or anyone you know loves fashion and all things French, remember to share this post via the social share buttons below and keep on the lookout for the French Cultural Center of Boston’s new Behind the Seams Series. I love the new direction that the Center is taking with Barbara Bouquegneau at the helm. She struck me as a remarkably intelligent woman with the right vision for the future of one of Boston’s most precious cultural and intellectual gems, The French Cultural Center.

Give the gift of French language and culture this holiday season! My husband Dan and I are members and love the community of intellectuals, art enthusiasts, and Francophiles that we meet at the Cultural Center’s events. I actually first started learning French at the French Cultural Center and am a fluent French speaker to this day. Wouldn’t French language lessons or a membership to the French Cultural Center be the ideal gift this year?

Meilleurs voeux!



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