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Maison Ballaish Brings Turn-of-the-Century Paris to MePa

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Victor Bellaish is a former designer for Roberto Cavalli who's now based in Israel, but his main influence is neither Italy nor the Middle East. Instead, he's all about the feminine, romantic Art Nouveau style of early 20th century Paris. His new Meatpacking District shop—the label's first foray into the American market—was inspired by an old French dressing room, but it's not as musty as that would imply. The space, on Little West 12th near Tory Burch, is modern with old-fashioned accents: A sweeping curved staircase, high ceilings, exposed brick walls.

Everyone loves fin de siècle Paris, but Bellaish's other inspiration is a little more surprising. His name is Fricase, and he is a life-sized mannequin. Bellaish named him, designed his logo around him, and used him as a jumping-off-point for his collections, all of which might make you want to back away slowly—except that the clothing is beautiful. (Fricase is clearly a good influence.) The gauzy, crystal-studded gowns would be perfect for a wedding, and in fact Bellaish has reserved his upstairs space for bridal fittings and other custom tailoring.
· Maison Bellaish [Official Site]
· @Maisonbellaish [Twitter]