Blue trench coat, cherry handbag with brass knuckle handle and pink ruffle satin wedge shoe by Undercover.

The fashion fantasies of Jun Takahashi, mastermind of the Undercover label, always seem to tell us a story.


Dark fairytale or fun nightmare ?


Neither, both.

Photography by René Habermacher.
Styling by Suzanne Von Aichinger, all looks by Undercover.
Creative direction by Antoine Asseraf.
Production by Agathe Rousselle, assisted by Marion Louapre.
Colour management by Dimitris Rigas.

Portrait of Ingrid Astier: Hair by Philippe Mensah @ L’Atelier(68) / Make-up by Min Kim @ Airportagency.
Undercover: Starring Tako @ Next / Hair by Marc Orsatelli @ Agence Aurelien / Make-up by Min Kim @ Airportagency.
Special thanks to Versae Vanni, Jun Takahashi, Chieri Hazu, Hiromi Otsuka, Giorgio Martinoli, Hôtel Saint Merri, La Perouse, Alice Revet.


Lilac silk tulle tutu dress with jagged leaf bodice, lilac jagged leaf crown by Undercover.

For his summer 2015 collection, Takahashi sent black winged debutantes down the runway, counterbalanced by black-perfecto clad fallen angels.


Writer Ingrid Astier has always been drawn to the “noir.” Her novels, published by the prestigious house of Gallimard, give a “fair” account of its pull on her.


Like a phoenix in reverse, Undercover’s haunting impression inspired Astier to write a short exclusively for Paris is Dead.


“Deep Purple” by Ingrid Astier


“Il suffit de fermer les yeux pour faire la nuit en soi.

“To make it night inside yourself, you only have to close your eyes.


Blue trench coat, cherry handbag with brass knuckle handle and pink ruffle satin wedge shoe by Undercover.

Longtemps, je l’ai cherchée dans les rues de Paris, jusqu’à douter de l’existence de cette femme aux ailes de feu. Qu’avais-je suivi, elle ou mon rêve ?

For a long time, I sought her in the Parisian streets, to the point of doubting the very existence of this flame-winged woman.


Black leather motorcycle jacket with taffeta ruffle trimmed sleeves and leather fringe belt detail with black 
skirt with ruffle hem and black cock feather wings with wrap around leather ribbons, black flat patent leather 
shoes with snakeskin straps and black cherry ornament, all by Undercover.

Paupières closes, absence aux autres et à soi, la rêverie dévore l’esprit, dans ce lit où je ne sais plus si je dors ou si je vis.

With eyelids closed, absence to others, and to oneself, dreaming devours the mind in this bed in which I no longer know whether I’m sleeping or living.

Le peuple intérieur s’éveille.

The people inside awake.


Hieronymus Bosch printed dress with black jagged leaf collar, sleeve and hem trim, Hieronymus Bosh print wedge 
shoes and pink jagged leaf crown by Undercover.
Pink metal leg bracelets by Ambush for Undercover.

Des songes bruissent comme des oiseaux. Les draps me font des jambes de coton. Des phrases me traversent : « Mais si la mort n’était qu’un mot ».

Dreams murmur like birds. Bedsheets turn my legs to cotton. Phrases traverse me: “But if death were only a word ?”

Crevel se bat avec Kakuzô : « La seule fleur dotée d’ailes est le papillon. » Je me livre au mystère, à son empire, au hasard des croisées. Jusqu’où la beauté d’une femme peut-elle nous hanter ?

Crevel fights against Kazuko: “the only flower bestowed with wings is the butterfly.” I surrender myself to mystery, to its empire, to chance encounters. To where can a woman’s beauty chase us ?


Black dress with jagged leaf trimmed collar and bell sleeve with black cock feather wings 
with wrap around leather ribbons by Undercover.

Dans ma tête, un bestiaire halluciné profite de l’ombre. Ne jamais trop laisser grandir la nuit en soi. Un phénix d’or et de pourpre brûle les dernières teintes du couchant.

In my head, a phantasmal bestiary thrives in the shadows. Never let the night inside you grow too big. A phoenix, golden and purple, burns away the lingering hues of sunset. I ask it to take me to the land where fantasies take bodily form.

Je lui demande de me mener jusqu’au royaume où les fantasmes prennent corps. « Connais-tu ces terres, Phénix ? » Caresse de ses ailes. Il survole le jardin des Délices. Qu’est-ce que ces fraises des bois entre mes doigts ? Est-ce toi ? Voici la cavalerie de la nudité.

“Do you know those lands, Phoenix?” The stroke of his wings. It surveys the garden of earthly delights. What are these wild strawberries between my fingers? Is that you? Here’s the cavalry of nudity.


Black dress with gold wire mesh inserts by Undercover.

Des corps où la peau est lumière trouent le vert de leur chair. As-tu décidé, Mort, d’un congé ? Comme c’est profond, la pensée.

Bodies whose skin is light, tearing holes of green in the flesh. Have you decided, Death, to take a break ? How deep thought is.

On dit aller, parfois, au fond des choses… Mais de soi ? « Continue à creuser ». Et si je creuse en moi, vais-je m’évider ? L’amour est une mine, un réseau souterrain. Glissements de terrain : le pur et l’obscur, la fée et la bête. Qui possède ma tête ?

We are sometimes told to get to the bottom of things… But of oneself? “Keep digging.” And if I dig within myself, will I hollow myself out? Love is a mineshaft, an underground network. Landslides: the pure and the obscure, the fairy and the beast. Who possesses me?


Left: Black chiffon top with jagged leaf sleeve detail and black jagged leaf crown by Undercover. 
Right: Cherry handbag with brass knuckle handle by Undercover.

Deux cerises lustrées à la force du poignet tendent leur miroir. Je me penche et vois un crâne. Un Pacman ricane. Non loin, Eros et Thanatos s’embrassent.

Two cherries, shiny through wrists’ work, hold forth a mirror. I lean down and see a cranium. Pacman in a delirium. Nearby, Eros and Thanatos kiss.


Blue trench coat, cherry handbag with brass knuckle handle and pink ruffle satin wedge shoe by Undercover.

Dans quelques heures, je renaîtrai, pour continuer à te chercher.”

In a few hours, I will be reborn, to keep searching for you.” – Ingrid Astier


Writer Ingrid Astier is wearing vintage mauve brocade dressing gown with Watteau back. 
Shoes by Christian Louboutin.

Did you chose Paris, or did Paris chose you?

Paris is an octopus born of the Seine. It took me in its tentacles and never let go of me. Though I never really asked.

How does one become a parisian?

One becomes a Parisian walking by the Seine. Romantic endings start growing out.

Where is the center of Paris? – Where are you in Paris?

The Seine, always ! It is the soul of the city. But whenever I’m riding my bike, I live in each and every corner of Paris.

Was there a golden of Paris or is it now?

The Golden Age ? Hasn’t it always been over ? There is only in nostalgia… I would have loved to watch women going down the Opera stairs, dressed in Christian Dior in the 50’s, to plot with feelings with René Crevel, the poet, hidden in the hollow of a balcony from the Pont Neuf in the 60’s, to have known the great Tony Gomez parisian nights in the 80’s, to have hung around cemeteries with Cyril Collard in the 90’s… Early 2000’s, sliding along the night, rollerskating with my boyfriend remains my own golden age. Having dinner in Paris today is also fantastic. And about pastries and chocolates : Paris is not dead at all !!! Even after a trip around the world.

How do you see Paris in 5 years?

Ask the medium lady from the Denfert-Rochereau trailer.

Your writing research has been very grounded in the details of the city’s seemingly automatic functioning, and its underworld?

As long as you haven’t fathomed a city upside and down, you don’t know really it. I need to dive into the Seine with the river squad, to listen to the fishermen’s stories, to sink into fortresses (the morgue, the quai des Orfèvres or a thugs’ nest), to find out improvised places where Haitian play the bezique while eating buccaneer chicken – to go beyond the postcard. Paris is a small capital: you can jump very quickly from one environment to an other, no transition. I love those clashes.

How did you enter that process? How does Paris influence your writing?

When I left Bourgogne for Paris, I wanted to find nature again. Some escapades canvas as well. The river gave me the opportunity to reset a fantasized world where both action and contemplation are melted. Just like Victor Hugo did when dreaming Paris from Notre-Dame, or Luc Besson from the underground world with Subway.

Do you imagine dying a parisian?

No, Paris is a vampire. It requires loads of energy. For my own twilight, I demand oceans or mountains. Freedom, wide, silence.

Is Paris Dead? If so, what comes after? What is after death?

Rather than « after death, » I prefer Except death from !!! (Chk Chk Chk) and its psychelic rock. Nick Offer is the only singer who can shoot a music video with his slippers on. Their drummer died in an elevator accident in New York… After death, there is life. Except that it happens without you now, you just skipped your turn.

What are you current and future projects?

The Angle Mort (« Dead Angle ») promotion, and a bold novel called Même Pas Peur, out in April (Syros). And then in 2016 my next Série Noire Gallimard novel on which I’ve been working on for two years… And a secret project, as beautiful as a cherry blossom tree who will decide for his own season.

— A story about