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November 06, 2013 1:29 pm Photographed by

Can’t Stop This Duo: Talbot Runhof Takes Off

By MOAM Staff

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Talbot Runhof’s star is rising. After a steady expansion over the last 13 years, the German label is finally turning heads on both sides of the Atlantic, making headway at Paris Fashion Week and emerging as an American red carpet favorite.

Johnny Talbot, a former electrical engineer from Nashville met German-born Adrian Runhof in Munich, in 1991. At that time, Runhof worked in sales for various Paris-based designers and aspired to launch his own clothing line. Inspired by his career, Talbot, quickly threw in the programming towel and made a career move to fashion. The pair founded their first label, All About Eve, in 1992. Copyright issues — Joop! had a fragrance selling under the same name — forced them to change their moniker. The first Talbot Runhof store opened in Munich in 2000 and remains the label’s headquarters.

The duo’s credo: “It’s all about knowing when to stop,” captures their design philosophy. The couple’s strength is in their work balance. Runhof’s passions are fabric and styling. Talbot, with the precision of an engineer, concentrates on the construction of the pieces.

It often takes a second look to see the exquisite detail of Talbot’s drape that has made this label’s reputation. The pieces are restrained, elegant and wearable. Fabric research and selection take priority in the creative process for Runof; as such, each collection plays with a range of textures. The designers use plenty of traditional lace, tweed and tulle. Lately, though, together they have also been experimenting with high-tech materials, such as stretch fabrics with digital prints and holographic sequins.

After the launch of their eponymous brand, Talbot and Runhof quickly made a name for themselves in Germany with cocktail dresses, gowns, bridal wear and accessories. With creations regularly gracing the German-based red carpet events like the Bambi Awards and the International Berlin Film Festival, the pair won the national Petra Fashion Award in 2005 for best collection. The following year, the label was available for purchase in 19 Neiman Marcus stores in the U.S., followed by shop-in-shop openings at Unger in Hamburg and Breuninger in Stuttgart. 

Showing at Paris Fashion Week in 2006, Talbot Runhof is one of the very few German firms allowed a spot on the twice-yearly runway calendar. To crown the achievements in Paris and mark their 20th anniversary as designers, the duo opened their second boutique on Rue d’Alger, January 2013.

Talbot Runhof’s American red carpet breakthrough came Dec. 1, 2012, when actress Kristen Stewart sported a black and white lace cutout gown from their spring/summer 2013 collection at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Governors Awards. Soon after, the label was popping up on other VIPs, including Helen Hunt, Olivia Wilde and Helen Mirren. Fashion-forward actresses are clearly won over by their refined yet glamorous styles.

Talbot and Runhof are still expanding their horizons. Recently, they began adding daywear and fur-collared coats to their prêt collection. They are becoming bolder with their palette, too. The fall/winter ‘13/’14 collection boasts red and black brocade-pattern trousers, and day dresses with digital patchworks of florals and plaids in addition to the tailored, mixed-texture evening gowns that are beloved by many. 

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