Author Archives: Garance

The New Mini

Attention please, the new minis are here.

They’re high waisted and make your legs look super long. They’re worn like in the 60’s (just in case you hadn’t noticed, we’re getting hit by a pretty strong 60’s revival) and this is how they’re going to be worn on the street, or let’s say, for women with normal legs and normal life with a lot of commuting included, with a good pair of reassuring tights (ew, metro / taxi seats)

Weekend Inspiration #195

At the home of Antoine and Gwen in Montmarte.

The Jumpsuit

Fall is the best time for jumpsuits, and this one is sort of perfect.


You can find more ideas on my Pinterest!


By admin

The Jumpsuit

Fall is the best time for jumpsuits, and this one is sort of perfect.


You can find more ideas on my Pinterest!


By admin

Poppy

Do you know Poppy Delevingne ?
I love this girl – with her blondness and sweetness and English-style cheekiness.

Here are a few photos we took for my new Happy Diamonds project with Chopard. We wanted the photos to feel like you were spending the day (an amazing day, of course – it’s Chopard after all, it’s sublime) with her at home.

Poppy

Do you know Poppy Delevingne ?
I love this girl – with her blondness and sweetness and English-style cheekiness.

Here are a few photos we took for my new Happy Diamonds project with Chopard. We wanted the photos to feel like you were spending the day (an amazing day, of course – it’s Chopard after all, it’s sublime) with her at home.

Flying Over New York City

This summer, for the first time in my life, I rode in a helicopter.

It had been one of my dreams in life, I don’t really know why – and it was when my family came to visit me in New York that I finally decided to go ahead and do it. It’s very easy to take a helicopter to fly over New York – you just have to go to the heliport… It’s a bit expensive, but a great gift if you dream of seeing the city like you’ve never seen it before.

Helicopter NYC

A lot of people totally scared the hell our of me before I went (“You’re going to crash!!!” “Those things will explode against a building if there’s even the tiniest bit of wind!!!”)(let’s just say that people who are afraid of heights don’t go easy on you when it comes to convincing their friends not to risk their lives) so even though I do have a little bit of a dare devil in me, let’s say I was quietly freaking out.
But hey, it’s very organized and regulated, ok, and hoards of tourists show up to do it every day, so in terms of danger, the risk is probably close to zero. But still.

You’re going to think I’m crazy, but the thing I was most excited about was the take off. I’ve always had a thing for the propellers, the wind, the noise… And that crazy forward motion the helicopter makes when it leaves the ground. I thought being inside must be kind of like riding Space Mountain. And I LOVE Space Mountain…

But I was a little disappointed, because you actually you don’t feel anything at all. You take off from the ground like it’s some kind of magic, and a few seconds later, you’re flying over the Statue of Liberty.

Helicopter NYC Statue of Liberty

And that’s when it starts to get really amazing. I won’t tell you much more about it – I’ll just share a few photos with you. It’s beautiful, it’s sublime, it’s magical. You feel so small and big at the same time, it’s like you could take the whole city in your hand. You can see the full expanse of Central park, the full height of the city, the beauty of its bridges, and the incredible romanticism of it all. It’s simply sublime.

Helicopter NYC Skyline

You have to do it at least once.

If you’re not afraid of heights, of course.

Big kisses!

Translated by Andrea Perdue


By admin

Flying Over New York City

This summer, for the first time in my life, I rode in a helicopter.

It had been one of my dreams in life, I don’t really know why – and it was when my family came to visit me in New York that I finally decided to go ahead and do it. It’s very easy to take a helicopter to fly over New York – you just have to go to the heliport… It’s a bit expensive, but a great gift if you dream of seeing the city like you’ve never seen it before.

Helicopter NYC

A lot of people totally scared the hell our of me before I went (“You’re going to crash!!!” “Those things will explode against a building if there’s even the tiniest bit of wind!!!”)(let’s just say that people who are afraid of heights don’t go easy on you when it comes to convincing their friends not to risk their lives) so even though I do have a little bit of a dare devil in me, let’s say I was quietly freaking out.
But hey, it’s very organized and regulated, ok, and hoards of tourists show up to do it every day, so in terms of danger, the risk is probably close to zero. But still.

You’re going to think I’m crazy, but the thing I was most excited about was the take off. I’ve always had a thing for the propellers, the wind, the noise… And that crazy forward motion the helicopter makes when it leaves the ground. I thought being inside must be kind of like riding Space Mountain. And I LOVE Space Mountain…

But I was a little disappointed, because you actually you don’t feel anything at all. You take off from the ground like it’s some kind of magic, and a few seconds later, you’re flying over the Statue of Liberty.

Helicopter NYC Statue of Liberty

And that’s when it starts to get really amazing. I won’t tell you much more about it – I’ll just share a few photos with you. It’s beautiful, it’s sublime, it’s magical. You feel so small and big at the same time, it’s like you could take the whole city in your hand. You can see the full expanse of Central park, the full height of the city, the beauty of its bridges, and the incredible romanticism of it all. It’s simply sublime.

Helicopter NYC Skyline

You have to do it at least once.

If you’re not afraid of heights, of course.

Big kisses!

Translated by Andrea Perdue


By admin

Different

Azzedine Alaïa showed his collection in Paris on Tuesday night – in his studio as he usually does …

… according to his own schedule, not during fashion week, away from all the top models and drama of the front row. He’s been excusing himself from the obligations of the fashion world for years, and even so, he’s been able to maintain all his influence and importance. His company only keeps growing, and all the while, he remains fiercely independent.

He created a real atmosphere in his studio – a warmth – something special. One of my dreams is to be invited to one of his private dinners where he cooks for his friends… it sounds like the ambiance is amazing.

I just wanted to say it makes me dream, and even if I’ll never have his genius, I hope to be able to follow the same kind of path – creating something great, but intimate, special, and different. And cook for my friends!!!

Azzedine_Alaia_2
Translated by Andrea Perdue

By admin

Different

Azzedine Alaïa showed his collection in Paris on Tuesday night – in his studio as he usually does …

… according to his own schedule, not during fashion week, away from all the top models and drama of the front row. He’s been excusing himself from the obligations of the fashion world for years, and even so, he’s been able to maintain all his influence and importance. His company only keeps growing, and all the while, he remains fiercely independent.

He created a real atmosphere in his studio – a warmth – something special. One of my dreams is to be invited to one of his private dinners where he cooks for his friends… it sounds like the ambiance is amazing.

I just wanted to say it makes me dream, and even if I’ll never have his genius, I hope to be able to follow the same kind of path – creating something great, but intimate, special, and different. And cook for my friends!!!

Azzedine_Alaia_2
Translated by Andrea Perdue

By admin

Instagram vs. Real Life

Ummmm, hang on. Excuse me for just two seconds. I can’t talk now, I have to Instagram something. Oooook….there we go.

Send.

Ok, all set. It’s posted. Woooo, 10 likes! In two seconds!!! Heheheh. Oh sorry. I’m here. How’s it going? Are you on Instagram? How’s your Instagram life? Super cool, right?

The thing with Instagram, it’s the difference there is between our real life and the dream life we post. Ok so we’re all supposed to know it and take Instagram life with a grain of salt, but let’s be honest, we all forget.

We really think we can follow people’s life on Instagram. And then things happen like :


Friend : “Oh, sorry – I didn’t reach out too much these past week, I saw on Instagram you were busy travelling and very happy.”
Or things like : “Oh my gooood, you had the best summer didn’t you!”

Me: “Huh? What are you talking about? I mean, I went through a break up, I moved, it was kind of a mess there for a minute. Ohhh, you mean my INSTAGRAM? Well, yeah – it’s my Instagram account!!! Don’t judge me by my Instagram!!! I had a summer that was sometimes amazing, sometimes boring, sometimes awful. Just like everyone else. And four nice photos of Greece (Okay I have to admit, one pretty amazing week) don’t make my whole summer amazing.

But at the same time, I totally jump to conclusions too. One of my friends spent three weeks posting lovey selfies with her new guy, and I said:

Me: “Oh honeeeey!!! I’m so happy for you! You met the love of your life! He’s so cute with his beard!”
My friend: “The guy with the beard? That asshole? No, no – it’s over now. Good riddance! But since you can’t really make a break up announcement on Instagram (unless you post some inexplicable quote that only three people will understand, like “All ends are beginnings” “Love is never enough” “Singles do it better”) everyone thinks I’m still with him.
But no worries – two weeks without cheesy love selfies and everyone will have forgotten.”

So there you go. That will teach us to only post the happy photos, right?

But have you ever tried posting a photo of something normal, or even a little depressing?
Oh la la, total disaster, unfollowing festival, disappearance from the planet of likes.

Even in friendship, Instagram can create complicated interferences. Like :

Friend : “Hey so you’re spending your life with *insert name of new friend* !!!”
Me : “What? No I’ve seen her twice! Okay maybe three times but totally randomly.”
Friend : “Ah yeah? Well you certainly spend your life on her Instagram account, look.”
Me : “What why do you follow her. Ooooh what shit, I hadn’t seen that, also looks like I’m (Okay I was) completely drunk!”

Ok, fine, I’m exaggerating. It really depends what you’re looking for with your Instagram account. There are still normal people out there (= old people, from before the selfie generation and the age of narcissism) who just want to stay connected with their friends.
There are even people with private accounts!!! I even know a few of them! They exist.
My twisted brain thinks it’s because they’re too pretentious to join the race for likes. But the nice part of my brain says they’re totally right to do that.

I’m surprised it’s even an option anymore, actually – a “private profile”, such an old world concept.

So other than those rare creatures with private accounts, we know the story.
The more followers you have, the more validated you feel. The more followers you have, the easier it is to use Instagram for work. So you end up in situations like :

Friend: “Merde, I have to work tonight!! I’m being paid to Instagram this party for *insert brand name* and there’s nothing to Instagram. No celebrities, nothing – not a single thing worth taking photos of. It’s dark, everyone is bored, no one is dancing except for that it-girl from 2006 and if I post her they’ll probably fire me. You wouldn’t want to take a selfie with me, would you, Garance?”
Me: “Oh come on really? Fine, ok.”
Friend: “Ok, but wait, you have to at least look like you’re having fun!!!”
Me: “Ok. Woooooh!”

Or things like :

PR : “Too bad you couldn’t come to our party the other evening but I saw you still had fun on the tables of the Boom Boom Room! It’s wonderful that you weren’t sick after all!!! Good for you, good for you!”
Me : “…”

Yeah.

So here’s the thing. Between Instagram and real life, I say, always pick real life.
Just know – Instagram always wins in the end.

 

Translated by Andrea Perdue

Those Boots!

I love the idea of wearing a simple, monochrome look with a killer accessory.

Here, for example – a pretty perfect silhouette for fall, don’t you think ?


Glitter Finished Leather Ankle Boots, Saint Laurent

Photo by Sandra Semburg.

Cecile Cassel

Cécile Cassel is the kind of rock-star cool you dream to be in your french dreams – but just where you would expect some moody parisian songs, her super bouncy energy, her died blonde hair and her bold voice make her really stand out of the crowd.

She has a totally awesome band called HollySiz, its sort of mature electro pop with a rock influence.

Fabulous Dress + Classic sneakers

When I predicted the arrival of flats 26 seasons ago (Garance is in Susan Miller mode), I never would have thought they’d reach such a deep layer of the fashion world. Take my friend Lisa Marie Fernandez, for example – there are over 10 photos of her on this blog and there’s not even one where she’s not wearing heels (except for the ones we took at the beach – we’re not at Hugh Hefner’s, after all), and now, all of a sudden, bam!!!

Adidas Gazelle.

Ok, sure, she wears them Lisa Marie style, and that’s what’s interesting about it.


 

Sweater Weather

Its finally sweater weather and I couldn’t be more excited.

Find more shopping ideas on my Pinterest!


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Sweater Weather

Its finally sweater weather and I couldn’t be more excited.

Find more shopping ideas on my Pinterest!


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Edit No. 1 / Part 4… The White Coat

This is one coat I have totally fallen in love with for the fall. My coat obsession isn’t really a secret anymore and after seeing this one on Alana, I immediately added it to my collection. I love how chic but still easy a white coat is, you can wear it with absolutely everything– just be careful where you sit ;)

Coat, Nili Lotan; Skirt, Proenza Schouler; Turtleneck, H&M; Bag, Other Stories; Shoes, Stella McCartney.

Styled by Dianna Lunt / Makeup by Tatyana Makarova / Hair by Eloise Cheung

For more from this series, click here!

White Noise

As you know, I’ve been following Gaia’s work for a while. The more time goes on, the more impressed I am by her talent and the quiet, elegant way she goes about turning the high end jewelry world upside down.

Her jewels are always so beautiful and she always offers new ways to wear jewelry. We saw this with the knuckle rings and the earrings that you wear as a cuff on your ear.

I was at her studio at Place Vendôme the other day, trying on some wonderful beauties (the diamonds !!!) that I will probably never own, when she offered to let me borrow the rose gold White Noise rings.

“But take more than one, it’s better if you wear a couple,” she told me. In the beginning I didn’t know – I hadn’t thought about wearing them like that. I left with them on my fingers and that’s when I fell in love with them.

What I really love is the idea of jewelry that you never take off and that is a part of you. I haven’t found mine yet but these few days with the White Noise rings, that make me think of a drawing on my skin, really inspired me…

PS : Here ! A photo I posted on my Instagram :)

Gaia Repossi White Noise Rings Garance Dore Instagram

La Perfection

In New York, the city of perfection, you always have this chronic feeling of being a little bit out of it in the back of your mind: honestly – like, you’re doing ok, but you could do better.

No big deal, as long as you decide that it’s not your goal in life to be perfect. But you’d almost have to make yourself a tee-shirt that says “I don’t care about perfect” (or “Fuck Perfect” if you’re Cara Delevingne) to get people to leave you in peace with your averageness.

Because here, and, um, in fashion in particular, the cult of perfection is really tough, even though we all love “Girls”!!! (It’s so nice to see normal people!!!)(On TV!!!)

So here’s what I want to talk to you about today – after almost five years of carrying out sociological studies in New York, it seems to me that the pursuit of perfection has its roots in the search for…

The perfect man.

Being in a couple in New York is a serious thing. So. Serious.
Like, you better not mess up.

It’s like some kind of extreme casting call – Survivor style (the last person who can keep their balance standing on a buoy in the middle of an ocean of failed love stories wins). It’s a type of dating* where everything about the guy is a test – from the places he likes to go (“He took me to eat a BURGER! Can you imagine? MEAT??!! I’ll NEVER reply to his text messages again, do you hear me!?”) to all his different skills (sexual, professional, Does He Wear a Pair of Common Projects Like He Should) and you can test him to your heart’s content without actually having to commit to a relationship (for French people who understand nothing about this subject, see the box at the end of the article)(ok, fine, we can’t do boxes on the blog yet, even with our awesome new format. Next version, there will be boxes, I promise).

Marriage is such an institution here. It’s kind of like the sign that a person “Wins at Life”.

Let’s not even talk about how wedding ceremonies here are the culmination of years of fantasizing and social pressure (as you can see in the 75463523 romantic comedies about marriages that always end well), let’s just focus on the myth of the perfect man.

Who is the perfect man?

Well, you can’t trust American movies where the woman (who is adorable, beautiful, stylish, funny, and has a good job) ends up with the nerd (who is slightly chubby, and a little weird, but so funny and irresistible!!!) – those movies were made precisely by the nerdy guys. I think it’s safe to say it skews the story a little bit.

That’s not how it works in real life. Oops, I mean, in New York.

In New York, to be perfect, a guy has to have a really great job (first criteria), has to be relatively attractive (but mainly just the great job)(stable, well paid, respectable), has to be relatively not too much of a jerk and… well that’s about it actually.
Pffff, it’s easy to be the perfect man in New York.

What’s not so easy is being the perfect girl. There’s a big imbalance. Because what is the perfect man looking for? The perfect woman. Yep, of course, why not? There are loads of perfect girls in New York, apparently like five times more than there are guys.
So let’s see who our perfect woman is. Here we go.

Ok, first of all, let’s talk a little bit about the perfect New York girl’s body.
We’ve talked about this before (actually we talk about it all the time): New York girls are thin and muscular, and anyone who doesn’t have that “perfect” body is seen as the really nice friend who isn’t really part of the game (I happen to think those are the girls who are winning at life, but once again, that’s just my personal point of view as a girl who’s a little off in her own world).

I don’t know if that’s what the New York guy looking for the perfect woman actually wants deep down, but in doubt, I’m going to assume he must tell himself that’s part of the package and plus, socially, it’s just the body you’re supposed to have.

So, body wise, I want to give a little shout out to my friends who are truly thin, they exist, LIKE BRIE WHO EATS COOKIES ALL DAY LONG (and healthy things too) but apart from those rare AND annoying girls, you end up with skinny, muscular girls who are kind of obsessed with whatever non-food they’re not going to eat next time they won’t be at all hungry (I mean, right this second!)

Not to mention all the hours spent at the gym, on top of it all. You have to work to be perfect. And say you love it, too. We’ll come back to that later.

You also have to have the perfect job, and that, kids, is not easy.

I was talking to a friend of mine who works in PR (it’s a great job, actually, when you think about it) (You can get into the cool parties!!!) and she was telling me that the guy she was dating was dating another girl at the same time (I warned you!) who had a dream job, something to do with traveling (so much better than getting into cool parties – you can fly off on cool trips for free!!!) (with free massages included!)
The problem is that the same guy was also dating (I know what you’re going to ask, and no, I have no idea what the limit is on how many people you can be dating at one time) a model, which pretty much tops all the cool jobs, even if there’s no real benefit to dating someone who is a model other than the fact that you can say “my girlfriend is a model”.

Ah yeah but give them a break, it must feel pretty good.

You have to have a dream job and in a city of dreams, it’s not easy.

So it’s kind of the battle of the dream jobs. And even if what you really want deep down is just to be plopped down at your computer procrastinating at a job that doesn’t stress you out too much (there must be people who want that, right? so what?)(I totally root for them) well – you feel dumb on a date.

Other thing to be perfect, you have to have a group of perfectly edited friends.

You have to have your BFF, of course. The BFF of the moment (the one you want to be seen with at parties)(ok, I know, I’m being cynical. But this whole post is cynical, so don’t pretend like it bothers you, and plus I’m French, cynicism is our religion!!!)(I tricked you with a super romantic illustration and here we are killing any hope of romantic encounters) the group of lawyer friends or friends in finance for the day when you need investors (and apparently they’re good contacts for finding a husband), the group of happy artist friends who like to party (nice but a little loud), the group of power friends (CEOs, EICs), the famous friend (if you live in New York and you don’t know anyone famous, you don’t live in New York), and finally, of course, the gay friend, how could I forget?

A network like that takes years to create, but you must persevere! Perseverance is a sign that you’re a perfect girl who never gives up (and, oh the horror!!! gains 10 pounds after three months of marriage!!!)

Ok, so all of that is just the basics.
Like the ABCs of perfection.
And then there are all the extra options to choose…

But difference does it make when you know that the competition is so intense!!!
(if you want to know just how intense the competition is, please see the box that’s not in a box at the end of the article)

In order of importance.

1/ Have a great apartment. Ok, it depends on your age, but a great apartment counts. It has to have a doorman (who knows why, but having a doorman is a real sign of social success in New York)(I don’t have a doorman, I’m so screwed) Or even better – a rooftop!

2/ … In the right neighborhood!!!
Ok, if the apartment in question is in Harlem (even if we all agree, Harlem is THE up and coming neighborhood!!) it’s not as good as if it’s in the West Village, right.

3/ Have amazing clothes!
Yep, in New York life, you’d better have fashion connections. So you can wear all the clothes you can’t afford to buy yourself, like Carrie Bradshaw (now I finally understand how she was able to wear all those amazing clothes on a journalist’s salary! She had friends in PR how ignorant can a Garance be!!!)

4/ Be ‘in the know’. Know all the good restaurants. Know the owner of the restaurant so you can snag a table at the last minute. Get into a club in the blink of an eye. A huge plus, you have to admit.

Yeah.
It’s a lot.
Of things to do.
And you can’t just do them. You have to do them perfectly, if possible.

And you have to make it look totally natural.

That’s the fifth pillar of perfection, and it’s the one that drives me the most crazy making a fuss in my little innocent French brain. You have to do all of that, and on top of it all, pretend like you’re cool with it.

But you can’t be good at everything in a city as stressful as New York AND be relaxed about it all. To reach that degree of perfection, there’s some part of you that has to be a control freak. But since no one likes a control freak, you say things like:

“I love burgers!!! They’re my favorite thing!”
“I’m such a party girl!!!”
“I love beer!”
“This apartment? Nah, I decorated it myself little by little, with my best friend” (best friend = my decorator)
“I’m real, you know, friendship is a deep thing for me”

So there you have it. It took me almost five years to decode, but now I’ve finally understood – nobody perfect is cool and nobody cool is perfect.

* A little note on dating here. It doesn’t quite mean the same thing in French (or anywhere else in the world)

It’s so simple in France. No, seriously. You meet a guy, you get along with him, you don’t ask too many questions. Is he The One or not The One? Who cares. Life will tell you. In the meantime, “Are you coming to my place tonight???” We’re SO innocent!!!

In the US, you date, and it’s super hard to explain – I was even trying to explain it to Emmanuelle Alt (= fashion credibility insert) the other day and she was shouting “No way! WHAT?! I can’t believe it!!!” But yes, it’s true. Here, let me try to explain here:

A “date” is a guy you “see”. It means you plan evenings together or days together, you learn about each other. It may mean that you kiss, or not. You may sleep with the guy the first night, or not until weeks later.

But dating doesn’t mean you are “with” him. You’re not his girlfriend, he’s not your boyfriend. He’s just a guy you’re dating, and it’s perfectly possible that he’s dating other girls. And you totally have the right to date other guys, he wouldn’t have anything to say about it.

When I make big eyes at people when they tell me this, they always say “But it makes sense!!! How else would you know which person is the best for you?”

Pfff. So now I have to talk to you about the idea of “the best person” but I’ll do that next time, it’s like deep, deep deep subject, you know.

But come on, LIFE IS NOT A JOB, MY DEAR NEW YORK FRIENDS.

Ok, so apparently, there comes a time when you have “the conversation” otherwise known as DTR, “Define The Relationship”. Like, if you really love each other and all the other guys you’ve tested out don’t measure up, you might decide to become “exclusive”.

In other words, (if I understand this correctly, there are still a lot of nuances I don’t get) you become boyfriend and girlfriend.

Yeah, it’s bizarre. Or not. I’m not sure.

Is competition tough in New York?

So apparently, according to my friend Joyann, there is one guy for every four girls in New York, which explains the number of single and fabulous girls and the number of guys who are not single and not fabulous at all and still get so much heat in girls salons.

I think these kinds of numbers are only here to increase the poor New York woman’s anxiety levels and paralyze the hell out her into spending three more hours on a treadmill, so I say, fuck statistics.

We might as well just all go move to Ohio. Erik is from there, so it can’t be too bad.

A little note on French Love explained to Americans, because they are just as surprised when we talk to them about the way we fall in love.

For us French people – we meet someone. It might be a friend you’ve had for a long time, or someone you’ve just met in a bar. Suddenly, it clicks. You talk for hours. You kiss. You might sleep together, if you want to. Anyway, you don’t make a big deal of it.

The next day, if the guy (or the girl) is still there and you’ve made them a coffee, BOOM. It’s done.

You’re boyfriend and girlfriend! Whoo, just as simple as that. And no need to go looking elsewhere. You don’t try out the merchandise in France.

You like someone, and you go for it, right away.

Maybe that’s where we get our super romantic reputation from.
And why people are so fascinated by our non-fascination for perfection. Who knows ?

Translated by Andrea Perdue

At the Canal

There are a few things I miss from Paris – one of them is the beautiful atmosphere around the apéritif.

No one in New York has been able to reproduce the carefree atmosphere that reigns around apéritif time in Paris cafés, and even less the free flow of the end of the day around some of Paris’ most famous places…

Getting Creative

I know what you’re going to say, since we talked about it the other day in the comments about Ji Hye Park’s suspenders: overalls aren’t for everyone, you have to be super skinny, etc. Let me be the first to say that if anyone can understand, it’s me, with my very discreet body type that’s all right angles.

But that doesn’t stop me from trying one on from time to time. Every time I do, I cry laugh for two seconds, and then forget about it.

So what are we supposed to think now that people are getting creative with suspenders?

In theory, it’s a catastrophic idea to wear both suspenders on one side – it’s something a 12 year old kid might be able to pull off (Punky Brewster, are you there?)(What, you don’t know Punky Brewster?)(OMG we have to do her bio for you) but actually, here, with the neutral colors and, you have to admit, that big, genuine smile, I find it super charming.

Ok, so I’ve got three things to say about this photo:

1/ Suspenders are IN which means I am OUT.
2/ Sometimes it’s ok to go along with the weird, creative trends that pop up (remember Kriss Kross and their backwards pants? No? OMG we have to do their bio for you)
3/ And sometimes not. (Miley’s boob stickers at the Wang party were a bit TOO creative)(What do you mean it has nothing to do with suspenders?) (Ok, fine, I’m jet lagged, ok??)

What do you think?

Translated by Andrea Perdue

We Have a Winner

The grand prize for heels…

…that can make it through anything this season goes to these flawless, super comfortable Zara pumps. You can literally go jogging in them – that’s how perfect the heel height is, and they don’t make you look like a flight attendant either (you know what I’m talking about, flight attendant shoes – the ones for sensitive feet that look like melted heels – trust me, I know from experience – I used to wear them when I was a hostess, one of the worst jobs I’ve ever done in my life, and let me remind you that as far as terrible jobs go, I also taught wind surfing in a nudist camp, remember?) but these stay looking great.

Tested and approved by you during fashion week, these shoes are the winners. And plus, they’re not even expensive!

Translated by Andrea Perdue


By admin

We Have a Winner

The grand prize for heels…

…that can make it through anything this season goes to these flawless, super comfortable Zara pumps. You can literally go jogging in them – that’s how perfect the heel height is, and they don’t make you look like a flight attendant either (you know what I’m talking about, flight attendant shoes – the ones for sensitive feet that look like melted heels – trust me, I know from experience – I used to wear them when I was a hostess, one of the worst jobs I’ve ever done in my life, and let me remind you that as far as terrible jobs go, I also taught wind surfing in a nudist camp, remember?) but these stay looking great.

Tested and approved by you during fashion week, these shoes are the winners. And plus, they’re not even expensive!

Translated by Andrea Perdue


By admin

Spring Trends: Eyelet

The Trend: Eyelet

How I would wear it: I really loved this eyelet detail from the spring collections– it’s delicate and feminine but still feels cool. I think the pants from Isabel Marant are my favorite!

The best looks: From left to right, Chloe, Louis Vuitton, Isabel Marant, Valentino, Hermès

For more spring trends, click here!

2 Girls

If there’s one thing I like maybe just as much as getting deep into a lively conversation with a friend, it’s catching two friends in the middle of a lively conversation.

A Bientot!

A few things before I head back from Paris…

It has been SO lovely there’s no need for a jacket.

More on my Pinterest!


By admin

A Bientot!

A few things before I head back from Paris…

It has been SO lovely there’s no need for a jacket.

More on my Pinterest!


By admin

The Perfect Combination

Leather jacket? Check. Striped tee? Check. Super cool oversized red sunglasses? Check.

The perfect combination!

Lolita / Paris

It’s been a while since our last Paris City Guide and for this one I thought Lolita would be perfect! I always ask her about the cool new spots when I come to visit and she never disappoints! So, here is Lolita’s Paris!

What are three words that define Paris?
Electric, character and grey.

What makes someone a Parisienne?
A girl who doesn’t brush her hair and is polite enough to get her way.

How do you get around the city? Metro, bike, walk, scooter?
I love the bus! I know all bus lines… it’s scary.

Any secrets to navigating the Paris streets?
If your not a native to Paris, I’d suggest an iPhone

What is your favorite arrondissement and why?
The 6th, Rive Gauche always, because it’s the most refined.

What hotel do you recommend to visiting friends?
Hotel l’Hotel on rue des Beaux arts or Relais Christine on rue Christine, both in the 6th.

The best place for…

A café: Telescope, rue Villedo, 75002

A baguette: Any boulangerie that has hot baguette just out of the oven. Boulangerie Carton, rue de Buci.

A glass of champagne: I prefer a glass of cold wine but I’d say Cafe de Flore or La Palette.

What is one restaurant you must eat at while in Paris?
Ferdi on rue du Mont-Thabor in the 1st, Le Dauphin on Avenue Parmentier in the 11th or Chez George, rue du Mail in the 2nd.

What’s the best thing you can get at Picard?
I havent been in a while, but I remember their fondant au chocolat like it was yesterday!

Where do you like to go out with friends?
I like an apartment party otherwise any club where my friend Clara 3000 is DJing.

I have to ask, because of a bit of a Studio obsession with French hair, where do you get yours done?
I get mine done at David Mallet, rue Notre Dame des Victoires. It is the best! My color is done by the wonderful Louis, supervised by genius, Remi.

Do you have a favorite spa? What do you get done there?
My favorite spa is Maison Popincourt on rue de Verneuil for the Iyashi Dome, a Japanese sauna.

Where is the best place to get a manicure?
Le Bon Marche at the OPI corner.

Where do you go to get in a good work out?
I’ve started boxing recently but otherwise aqua biking at Maison Popincourt.

What are some of your favorite places to shop?
Le Bon Marche and Chez Moi.

Where can you find the best vintage? (And by best vintage, we mean all the Birkins…)
Les 3 Marches, rue Guisarde in the 6th or the flea market of Saint Ouen.

The best park to spend an afternoon in?
Jardin du Luxembourg.

Is it ever okay to wear a beret in Paris?
Unless its worn ironically, then non, merci.

What is one souvenir to bring back from Paris?
Saucisson.

Pharmacie must haves?
1. Créaline Bioderma
2. Doliprane, for headaches.
3. Magnesium Vials by Oligosol for energy.
4. Botot tooth paste

The best view of the Tour Eiffel?
Trocadero I’d say, even if I hardly ever go.

One thing you can do when visiting Paris to look like a Parisian and not a tourist?
No backpacks, no deliberate comfortable clothing, no socks with sneakers, no map and make an effort to speak French.

Okay, now some really hard questions…

Left Bank or Right Bank? Left
Louvre or d’Orsay? Louvre
Croque Madame or Croque Monsieur? Madame
Coco or Karl? Karl
Macaron or Chouquette? Chouquette
Monoprix or Monoprix? Monoprix or la Grande Epicerie, obviously.

Click here for more city guides.

Mellow Yellow

I had to show you the rest of this look from yesterday!

Nothing like some bright yellow to add really make your outfit pop… and those Dior sneakers don’t hurt either!

Mellow Yellow

I had to show you the rest of this look from yesterday!

Nothing like some bright yellow to add really make your outfit pop… and those Dior sneakers don’t hurt either!

Spring Trends: Denim

The Trend: Denim

How I would wear it: As you maybe alreayd know, I’m a pretty big fan of white denim which means I usually never wear blue denim. I think that might change for next spring…

The best looks: From left to right, Fendi, Sonia Rykiel, Stella McCartney, Chloé and Kenzo.

For more spring trends, click here!

Thank you, Tabitha.

I stopped by Tabitha’s spring presentation on Sunday and of course, found a few pairs of flats that I felt a instant connection with.

I mean it! I especially like the denim ones and that pointy toe is perfection!

Thank you Tabitha :)


By admin

Thank you, Tabitha.

I stopped by Tabitha’s spring presentation on Sunday and of course, found a few pairs of flats that I felt a instant connection with.

I mean it! I especially like the denim ones and that pointy toe is perfection!

Thank you Tabitha :)


By admin

Le Boot Café

The other day between shows we bumped into Laura grabbing a coffee at Le Boot Cafe in the 3e.

Viv

I was so happy to get the chance to catch up with Viviana – and with her style !!! this week.

You know how I’ve always loved her very Italian style – she has such cool, unique pieces that she mixes so well with classic items. Those white sequin jeans with a pair of Stan Smiths? Too cool. Her black brogues with perfect white socks, mod dress and army jacket? Really really too cool. Also, the fact that she’s wearing flats? So so so so cool.

Okay! I hope you get inspired!!! I’m on my way to try to find an outfit for the last day of Paris fashion week!!! At this stage, it might be jeans and tee-shirts. I hope you don’t mind ;)

Click on the arrows to see more images…

Viviana is wearing: Jacket, Zara; Dress, Valentino; Shoes, Valentino; Sunglasses, Ray-Ban / Jacket, Blazé; Shirt, Current Elliot; Jeans, Pinko; Bag, Saint Laurent; Shoes, Adidas Stan Smith; Watch, Rolex Sea Dweller and Swatch x Vogue Italia / Skirt, shoes and bag, Valentino.

At Coperni

Coperni Femme was a brand I was really looking forward to see during Paris Fashion Week…

Spring Trends: Karate Belts

The Trend: Karate Belts

How I would wear it: I love this easy knotted belt, especially with a cool pair of trousers like at Loewe. I won’t be waiting for spring for this one…

The best looks: From left to right, Loewe, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Tome, Alexander Wang and Marni.

For more spring trends, click here!

Suits

There is a real difference between the jumpsuits I wear and have been showing you recently on the blog. Mine are a little used and oversize, sunday-at-the-farm vibe and the ones I’m showing you today, that are way more fitted.

Social Eyes

Last week we met Cècile Togni (maybe you remember her from our project with Whistles?! ) to check out Safilo’s new Parisian sunglasses showroom.

In celebration, Cècile invited a few of her friends to pick out their favorite singlasses, we caught Candela in some funky Fendi speckled cat-eyes, while Lou and Pauline went for more classic styles from Gucci.

Her showroom was a perfect place to run into some cool girls!

Click on the arrows to see more images.

Long Sleeved

It’s a bit refreshing to see some long sleeves when everyone is always rolling them up– of course, you still need use of your hands! I like how Pernille layered this shirt with a turtleneck and a pair of a shorts, it’s a really good way to deal with this fall weather!

Photo by Sandra Semburg.

City Greys

Taking inspiration from the city (Paris of course!)…

…and shopping for soft greys this weekend. See more on my Pinterest!


By admin

City Greys

Taking inspiration from the city (Paris of course!)…

…and shopping for soft greys this weekend. See more on my Pinterest!


By admin

Career / Marion Anais Forand

This is Marion, who is French, lives in New York and is the Designer of Accessories at Jason Wu. I’ve known her for a few years and I really admire her creativity and the way she goes about her career. I thought you might be interested to learn more about her dream job!

Where did you grow up?
In the South of France. My parents live in La Drome, it’s the countryside.
My father lives in a thousand year old church. It’s very special, my garden is very old century and the atmosphere is very hippie.

When you were growing up, what was your dream job?
To be a fashion designer.

Why? What made you so excited about fashion?
I was 4 years old, and when I didn’t know what to do, my mom would give me a piece of paper and a pen and would say “sketch something! Sketch what you have on your mind. If you don’t know what to do, just draw or write something.” She always told me that if I didn’t know what to do with my life, to just be creative, don’t wait for the world to provide you with something. Just create it. And we didn’t have clothes, so we would create them. We would design a print: my mom would design a skirt I wanted.

I think when you have a dream you may forget it for like 10 years, but it will always come back to you. I don’t know how, but it happens. I sometimes feel that I’m creating something that has a cartoon feeling. It’s all about proportion, how attractive it can be. I really love animation for that because you don’t fall in love with the story, you fall in love with how artistic it can be. So yeah, it was to work for Walt Disney as an illustrator or be a fashion designer and I always said that. I never changed my mind.

So did you go to school to study fashion?
I went to ESMA (Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques) for two years and then the third year was in Paris and I had to have a specialization so I did haute couture and modelisme, so I can make clothes as well. I never thought about designing accessories – ever.

But the funny thing is that I come from La Drome near Romans which is a town known for having the best shoe factories. I used to go there when I was a kid, I was obsessed with the shoes and I forgot that.

She [my mom] always told me that if I didn’t know what to do with my life, to just be creative, don’t wait for the world to provide you with something. Just create it.

What did you do after ESMA?
So I went to ESMA and I was 21 years old. In France, you have to find a job when you’re 21 years old, but who wants to hire you? You have a general idea of who you are, but you’re not sure, your taste is not that perfect, it’s really hard to know yourself at 21. It was 10 years ago and the internet was not everywhere yet. I was always buying magazines. Now I feel like people can relate to fashion more easily when before it wasn’t that easy. It was more luxurious items, it was more a dream. It was different.

I felt that I had to continue my studies so I went to school and did a Master’s in Marketing and business development. Then I had a few jobs – I was obsessed with Yves Saint Laurent and especially Stefano Pilati, he did a wonderful job, the dresses, the cut was amazing. They were looking for an intern, but I became an assistant in accessories. I thought it was really weird to sketch shoes every day, it felt very weird and then one day I fell in love with it.

What do you think made you fall in love with it? What was the switch?
The day I understood that it was really architectural and that it was not all about the technique. There are always limits – shoes you cannot do everything you want, but you can always find a way to get something that is unexpected. I did the shoes for Calvin Klein Collection last year and they were rubber balls and the entire sole was flexible. They were high heels, like 110cm, but they were flexible. There were different layers, and one was soft.

When you were in school, was part of your studies about shoes?
Never!

That’s crazy, because I feel like it is so technical!
I went to the library like 5 days before my interview at Yves Saint Laurent and I was like “okay how does it work?” And well obviously we didn’t talk about that stuff, but I felt like I could understand the job.
It takes a long time to really feel comfortable designing shoes and to be sure that you don’t look ridiculous when you go to the factory because they know what they are doing and they are really good. You can’t go there and not know what you’re talking about. When you go to Italy, you walk in with the real people and those are the real artists.

When you got your first job at Saint Laurent, did you know someone, or did you just apply?
There was a website about fashion where they post jobs, it’s not big positions, but they were looking for an intern, I had no idea but I thought I was the only one applying for the position, but there were so many people because it’s so competitive at Saint Laurent. I’m really glad I did it.

What did you learn at Saint Laurent?
The good part about Saint Laurent is that I worked with 2 very different people and Francesco Russo is amazing. He is super creative and is good at extremely precise sketches. He sends a sketch and there are no explanations needed because it’s all perfect. And he asked me to sketch exactly like him so that nobody would recognize the sketches are mine and it was the same for the rest of the team, they all sketch really well. I know now that my sketches are really good, because I learned from one of the best.

Then I went to work with Alain Tondowski and his approach is very architectural, and his constructions are always very well thought out and he takes a lot of time. It’s all about balance. He stays in the factory and looks at everything, every little detail.

So what was next? How did you come to New York?
I was in love with New York, so I sent my resume to Proenza Schouler because that show they did with the fish collection, I thought “Oh my god, this is really cool. It’s fun, it’s fresh, it’s new.” I met Darren Spaziani, the accessories design director at the time, first and it was so amazing. He’s so creative and he told me “Okay, I’m looking for a designer to work with me on bags and shoes and jewelry and I’m looking for a partner who can help me build something,” because when they launched the PS1 it was really a hit bag.

Then I was working on bags, just like that– it happened to be with this amazing guy. It was a great time because the company was growing and felt like a family and it was working well. It was so different from Paris – the way you work here, there are no rules. Like one day they’ll be “Do you want to work on jewelry?” and it’s like “Okay!” It doesn’t happen this way in Paris. There’s a guy I know who designs for scarves for a luxury brand and he cannot change jobs because he’s a scarf designer – but he can design other things too! That’s the thing, I felt that here, if you have an idea, you can do it.

I did that for 3 and a half years and then I got a great offer at Calvin Klein Collection to design the shoes for Francisco Costa. I felt it was such a good change, and I was really excited about the job. I did the shoes for the 10 year anniversary show, which was last year.

Then Jason Wu called me and wanted me to do bags and shoes, and his company, it felt like family. So here I am.

So what’s your official job title now?
Now I am the Designer of Accessories. I talk to Jason and I talked to Marie Charensol, the Design Director of Ready to Wear, and it feels really good to be sure that the bags are going to be great with the shoes because it’s all linked.

How big is an average accessories design team?
Saint Laurent design team was 2 people for the men’s shoes and 2 for the women’s shoes. At Proenza we did everything, Darren and me, and I had an assistant. At Calvin Collection it was me and my assistant.

What is the working relationship like when you’re doing the accessories with the people who are doing the clothes?
It’s very different from one company to another. Saint Laurent it’s like Calvin, at big companies it’s on another floor. You have meetings with Stefano or Francisco and then they provide you with a general idea for the theme of the show, but it’s a little more separated, so you work on your side and usually the company has a very strong identity – so you know when you’re good at designing a Calvin Klein collection and you know the looks, so you don’t have to define the woman – you know who it is. It’s more about saying something and working with the code and usually you design blindly because somebody is going to look at everything, but you don’t know how the collection is going to look.

When you go to Italy, you walk in with the real people and those are the real artists.

So in a smaller company, is it a lot different?
So different! Jack and Lazaro would see the sketches and they have an idea of what they want, but Jack would be like “Oh, I feel that, I like that” and then you would all talk together. It’s an open conversation.

Usually in very big companies you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not that easy. It’s pretty challenging because you have a general idea of what you want to do, and they’ll tell you, but it’s always too late, so it’s a bit complicated.

What typically comes first, the clothing and then the accessories, or do you feel that it happens at the same time?
No. Shoes you have a deadline because it takes time to make the mold and you have to make the form of the shoe, and the heel is last and it doesn’t take as much time, but they have to make the actual pieces in plastic. there’s a process for the heels and it takes different timing. So you can’t change your design a lot.

Is it the same with the bags?
With bags the limitation is the leather. But you can change a bag like 2 weeks before the show. But with shoes, if you want to change a heel from 110cm to 75cm, 3 weeks before the show, it’s going to be very difficult. You can make it happen, but it’s hard.

Accessories can make up a big part of the company’s business, because it’s a lot easier to sell a bag or a pair of shoes than it is to sell a dress or a skirt, so do you take into account sales and what you think is going to sell well?
Yes. What I do, I have in mind one bag for the pre-collections, it’s more of a casual bag, and then show bags are for the shows. But this season, I did the Diane Bag and the Charlotte bag. It’s an easy bag and very easy to wear, so I would say I do one bag for the show and one classic bag.

Is it the same for the shoes too?
Shoes are different. It depends on the company. The best is a company like Saint Laurent where you have different lines. It’s extremely organized and you find a way to sell the shoes very well. Then small companies you if you go for fashion shoes, it can be a risk, but if you want to sell shoes it’s such a specific business, you have to compromise the style. It’s really hard to sell super fashion shoes.

Do you feel like you’re able to express your creativity in your job and not be limited by what needs to sell or what needs to go in the collection?
I think so. It really depends. 5 years ago I was disappointed because I felt like I couldn’t go more crazy, but these last few years, people have gone more minimalist and everyone wants that, so I feel like especially for shoes right now, we don’t want to go crazy and it actually sells, so that’s a good thing.

Aside from the sketching and design portion, what else does your job entail? Can you talk more about the production part of it and what it is to actually be an accessories designer?
If you think about a bag in a collection, and it’s a timeless bag, you design that, and then you have to think about the practicality. If it’s a big bag, it is just going to be for tall girls, because a big bag is never going to be for petite girls.
You have to think about it for production, those details. How heavy the bag can be, the price, the hardware, how the suede can last, the colors, how the leather is going to wear, you have to test the leather, try all the bags and wear them. You have to consider if the bag is going to collapse or if it’s going to stay. If you want it so rigid that it looks vintage, it’s a long process because you’re still working on it after it’s done. You have to look at the bag for 6 months to see how it reacts in real life. This bag, I like it, but I feel like the hardware is annoying when I walk – it catches my jacket, things like that.
For shoes, if you have a good factory, usually the shoes will last; you just have to be careful that they are comfortable. Then the design is just the design.

How do you test all of the products?
For testing a bag there’s only one way: using it! I carry the bag and I don’t try to treat it nicely! After few weeks, I know if we need to change the leather, or if there is technical issues that we didn’t notice before.

For the shoes, usually I test with a shoe model. We can see after 10 minutes if something is wrong with the shoe.

Do you travel often to the factories, how do you work with production in that sense?
I used to travel every month, going to Italy every month, but it depends. There are some seasons you have to travel more than others, for example if the construction of the bag is very complicated you have to go see them at the factory and talk to them and try different things.

So what do you do with them when you’re there at the factories?
For shoes the first trip is to make the new lasts: I go to the factory that makes the lasts with very detailed sketches. Shoe design is really about being very picky and a millimeter can make a big difference visually and for the fit!

Then I work with the technicians to make them. It’s like a sculpture: you sculpt the last with the shape you want.
I do the same process for the heel; accurate sketches and then “sculpting” the heel with the technicians.

Then for the 2 next trips I look all the prototypes on a foot model and I change the lines to make it look exactly like what I have in mind. And if there are any technical issues–a stitching placement hurts the foot, or a strap position doesn’t hold the foot enough–I improve it with my technicians.
I also look at all the materials that I ordered to double check that the color is right, that the thickness is good for the styles I am going to use it for.

For the bags and belts, I go to Italy to pass the modifications on the prototypes. I concentrate a lot on the lines–it has to be visually attractive–and on the practicability–Is it too big? Is the length of the strap right? Is the bag too heavy? Do we need another pocket? –and on the structure and reinforcement of the leather. And I double-check all the materials again.

Why do you work with Italian factories?
Italy has amazing factories and passionate artisans and technicians.
It’s been centuries of knowledge that generations transmit from one to the next.
In this world of consumerism, it is very important to preserve that kind of treasure. When you buy a luxurious item: a bag, shoes, belts, gloves, that are made in Italy, they are made with great attention by people who do their best to create something unique.

How much do your sketches and the final differ from one another?
They don’t differ.

Is that why the technicality of the sketches is so important?
The technical sketches always get you to where you need to go. It’s the same for Ready To Wear – you have to think about how it has to be crafted.

How do you make a shoe comfortable?
There are some placements where we know that we cannot have a cut or stitching because that hurts. Some leathers are not easy to use either because they are too stiff.

There are some measurements to know, when you make a pointy toe, so it won’t be too narrow but still visually interesting.

Then, the technicians can tell you if they are concerned about a detail.
I personally think that the height doesn’t matter if the instep is well made, which depends on the factory, but 115 mm height (talking about the last, not the heel) is the maximum for me.

How far in advance do you work on the pieces for a collection?
Four months.

Where do you find inspiration?
It depends. Usually people get inspired by artists, you see a painting and then it makes you feel this way – this is more for the original vibe, for the show.
For a bag, I feel like it’s a mix of something I would love to have and that’s missing. It could be also finding a handle I love, and then figuring out, like a puzzle. Sometimes it’s something like the function – like this kind of bag, this kind of girl. Sometimes it’s a little less dreamy, you kind of have to get real with bags. With shoes you can design shoes more dreamy. With bags you know who is going to be the client and the muse.

How about for jewelry?
I did jewelry for Proenza one season when they used ropes, they told me that we should have some jewelry for the lookbook, not to sell it, just to have something interesting to add. And so just by hand I did something super crafty with beads and stones and I showed them and they thought it was really cool and they decided to use them.

How do you produce something like that in mass?
Well then it was a long process to get things looking crafty but also usable. This season the jewelry for Jason, it’s all brass so it’s not crafty. I did sketches and went to the factory and showed them exactly what I wanted it to be done. It was such a short time, to really get it done. The inspiration is all coming from the bag.

How closely do you follow trends and how do you know if there’s a trend that the industry is feeling?
For bags there are trends for sure, you know Mansur Gavriel, Floriana is a friend of mine and she told me about the bucket bag a long time ago and then she launched it and now everyone is doing a bucket bag. And then the Trapeze tote from Céline and now there are trapeze totes everywhere. I try to really not follow that and do the opposite, so if it’s a bucket bag, I am not going to design a bucket bag. Or if the trend is soft totes, I am really not going to try soft totes.

What’s an average day like for you?
Morning is always about emailing Italy because of timing. Then I always try to keep an hour to just chill and look at different products, and a few blogs and always on the Internet you find cool stuff, just what’s happening. I look at bags, I try to go to some museums and watch some movies, but I like to try to focus on one thing, like today is going to be a bag day, tomorrow is going to be a jewelry day and shoe day. I really don’t find it interesting to jump from one thing to another. I get confused.

Do you spend the rest of the day doing a lot of sketching?
Yeah.

What do you like the most about your work as a designer?
I think I like when I sketch something and you know when you’ve sketched something there’s something there. That moment when it clicks and you stop and you’re like “okay, I know this is a good one” and there’s like 20 bags but this one you know is the one you want. That’s my favorite moment.

What’s the most challenging?
When it doesn’t click, when it doesn’t happen. The worst is when you sketch something and you’re like “that reminds me of something” or you do something and the following day you see a bag in the street and it’s already been done. I’m not crazy about shows either.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from anyone?
I would tell you some things that my mom tells me. When you work in fashion you forget sometimes, because you can panic for the silliest things. Sometimes I will wake up at 4am worrying about the stitching. My mom will always say, “I’m going to tell you something and don’t get mad at me, but it’s only a shoe.” So I would say don’t get so serious about it. There are going to be many shoes, many bags, and as long as you’re happy about what you just did, it’s good.

When you have an assistant working for you, what do you look for in someone that you would hire?
A nice person that anticipates everything. It’s hard to find someone that’s going to be professional and anticipate the problems we’re going to have. It’s really about that, and a lot about timing and being creative and taking the time to be creative.

What would your advice be to an aspiring designer?
Work hard when you’re young because then you can really have fun. But you have to work very hard and don’t expect people to love you. Try to find different ways to make it happen. If you want to have a good bag, you can make it happen in 4 prototypes or 1. If you’re clear and can explain things very well, you’re a good manager. You have to work on the way you communicate ideas. You have to be aware that it’s about it’s about expressing your enthusiasm.

There are going to be many shoes, many bags, and as long as you’re happy about what you just did, it’s good.

What is an average salary for someone who works on a design team?
You can make a lot of money. But when you start, you get nothing for like 5 years. But when you do get it, you can have a very good life. You really have to prove yourself.

What’s your dream for your career?
I think I would be happy working with a team with nice people and have every day be exciting. Just continue what I have with Marie, it’s great. I don’t believe in crazy hours. You don’t get a better result working 10 hours a day. It’s nice to come in and just do it.

Do you ever dream about having your own brand or are you happy working with other brands?
It sounds great on paper, but when you have your own company, half of your brain is crazy with numbers. So not for right now.

Career / Marion Anais Forand

This is Marion, who is French, lives in New York and is the Designer of Accessories at Jason Wu. I’ve known her for a few years and I really admire her creativity and the way she goes about her career. I thought you might be interested to learn more about her dream job!

Where did you grow up?
In the South of France. My parents live in La Drome, it’s the countryside.
My father lives in a thousand year old church. It’s very special, my garden is very old century and the atmosphere is very hippie.

When you were growing up, what was your dream job?
To be a fashion designer.

Why? What made you so excited about fashion?
I was 4 years old, and when I didn’t know what to do, my mom would give me a piece of paper and a pen and would say “sketch something! Sketch what you have on your mind. If you don’t know what to do, just draw or write something.” She always told me that if I didn’t know what to do with my life, to just be creative, don’t wait for the world to provide you with something. Just create it. And we didn’t have clothes, so we would create them. We would design a print: my mom would design a skirt I wanted.

I think when you have a dream you may forget it for like 10 years, but it will always come back to you. I don’t know how, but it happens. I sometimes feel that I’m creating something that has a cartoon feeling. It’s all about proportion, how attractive it can be. I really love animation for that because you don’t fall in love with the story, you fall in love with how artistic it can be. So yeah, it was to work for Walt Disney as an illustrator or be a fashion designer and I always said that. I never changed my mind.

So did you go to school to study fashion?
I went to ESMA (Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques) for two years and then the third year was in Paris and I had to have a specialization so I did haute couture and modelisme, so I can make clothes as well. I never thought about designing accessories – ever.

But the funny thing is that I come from La Drome near Romans which is a town known for having the best shoe factories. I used to go there when I was a kid, I was obsessed with the shoes and I forgot that.

She [my mom] always told me that if I didn’t know what to do with my life, to just be creative, don’t wait for the world to provide you with something. Just create it.

What did you do after ESMA?
So I went to ESMA and I was 21 years old. In France, you have to find a job when you’re 21 years old, but who wants to hire you? You have a general idea of who you are, but you’re not sure, your taste is not that perfect, it’s really hard to know yourself at 21. It was 10 years ago and the internet was not everywhere yet. I was always buying magazines. Now I feel like people can relate to fashion more easily when before it wasn’t that easy. It was more luxurious items, it was more a dream. It was different.

I felt that I had to continue my studies so I went to school and did a Master’s in Marketing and business development. Then I had a few jobs – I was obsessed with Yves Saint Laurent and especially Stefano Pilati, he did a wonderful job, the dresses, the cut was amazing. They were looking for an intern, but I became an assistant in accessories. I thought it was really weird to sketch shoes every day, it felt very weird and then one day I fell in love with it.

What do you think made you fall in love with it? What was the switch?
The day I understood that it was really architectural and that it was not all about the technique. There are always limits – shoes you cannot do everything you want, but you can always find a way to get something that is unexpected. I did the shoes for Calvin Klein Collection last year and they were rubber balls and the entire sole was flexible. They were high heels, like 110cm, but they were flexible. There were different layers, and one was soft.

When you were in school, was part of your studies about shoes?
Never!

That’s crazy, because I feel like it is so technical!
I went to the library like 5 days before my interview at Yves Saint Laurent and I was like “okay how does it work?” And well obviously we didn’t talk about that stuff, but I felt like I could understand the job.
It takes a long time to really feel comfortable designing shoes and to be sure that you don’t look ridiculous when you go to the factory because they know what they are doing and they are really good. You can’t go there and not know what you’re talking about. When you go to Italy, you walk in with the real people and those are the real artists.

When you got your first job at Saint Laurent, did you know someone, or did you just apply?
There was a website about fashion where they post jobs, it’s not big positions, but they were looking for an intern, I had no idea but I thought I was the only one applying for the position, but there were so many people because it’s so competitive at Saint Laurent. I’m really glad I did it.

What did you learn at Saint Laurent?
The good part about Saint Laurent is that I worked with 2 very different people and Francesco Russo is amazing. He is super creative and is good at extremely precise sketches. He sends a sketch and there are no explanations needed because it’s all perfect. And he asked me to sketch exactly like him so that nobody would recognize the sketches are mine and it was the same for the rest of the team, they all sketch really well. I know now that my sketches are really good, because I learned from one of the best.

Then I went to work with Alain Tondowski and his approach is very architectural, and his constructions are always very well thought out and he takes a lot of time. It’s all about balance. He stays in the factory and looks at everything, every little detail.

So what was next? How did you come to New York?
I was in love with New York, so I sent my resume to Proenza Schouler because that show they did with the fish collection, I thought “Oh my god, this is really cool. It’s fun, it’s fresh, it’s new.” I met Darren Spaziani, the accessories design director at the time, first and it was so amazing. He’s so creative and he told me “Okay, I’m looking for a designer to work with me on bags and shoes and jewelry and I’m looking for a partner who can help me build something,” because when they launched the PS1 it was really a hit bag.

Then I was working on bags, just like that– it happened to be with this amazing guy. It was a great time because the company was growing and felt like a family and it was working well. It was so different from Paris – the way you work here, there are no rules. Like one day they’ll be “Do you want to work on jewelry?” and it’s like “Okay!” It doesn’t happen this way in Paris. There’s a guy I know who designs for scarves for a luxury brand and he cannot change jobs because he’s a scarf designer – but he can design other things too! That’s the thing, I felt that here, if you have an idea, you can do it.

I did that for 3 and a half years and then I got a great offer at Calvin Klein Collection to design the shoes for Francisco Costa. I felt it was such a good change, and I was really excited about the job. I did the shoes for the 10 year anniversary show, which was last year.

Then Jason Wu called me and wanted me to do bags and shoes, and his company, it felt like family. So here I am.

So what’s your official job title now?
Now I am the Designer of Accessories. I talk to Jason and I talked to Marie Charensol, the Design Director of Ready to Wear, and it feels really good to be sure that the bags are going to be great with the shoes because it’s all linked.

How big is an average accessories design team?
Saint Laurent design team was 2 people for the men’s shoes and 2 for the women’s shoes. At Proenza we did everything, Darren and me, and I had an assistant. At Calvin Collection it was me and my assistant.

What is the working relationship like when you’re doing the accessories with the people who are doing the clothes?
It’s very different from one company to another. Saint Laurent it’s like Calvin, at big companies it’s on another floor. You have meetings with Stefano or Francisco and then they provide you with a general idea for the theme of the show, but it’s a little more separated, so you work on your side and usually the company has a very strong identity – so you know when you’re good at designing a Calvin Klein collection and you know the looks, so you don’t have to define the woman – you know who it is. It’s more about saying something and working with the code and usually you design blindly because somebody is going to look at everything, but you don’t know how the collection is going to look.

When you go to Italy, you walk in with the real people and those are the real artists.

So in a smaller company, is it a lot different?
So different! Jack and Lazaro would see the sketches and they have an idea of what they want, but Jack would be like “Oh, I feel that, I like that” and then you would all talk together. It’s an open conversation.

Usually in very big companies you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not that easy. It’s pretty challenging because you have a general idea of what you want to do, and they’ll tell you, but it’s always too late, so it’s a bit complicated.

What typically comes first, the clothing and then the accessories, or do you feel that it happens at the same time?
No. Shoes you have a deadline because it takes time to make the mold and you have to make the form of the shoe, and the heel is last and it doesn’t take as much time, but they have to make the actual pieces in plastic. there’s a process for the heels and it takes different timing. So you can’t change your design a lot.

Is it the same with the bags?
With bags the limitation is the leather. But you can change a bag like 2 weeks before the show. But with shoes, if you want to change a heel from 110cm to 75cm, 3 weeks before the show, it’s going to be very difficult. You can make it happen, but it’s hard.

Accessories can make up a big part of the company’s business, because it’s a lot easier to sell a bag or a pair of shoes than it is to sell a dress or a skirt, so do you take into account sales and what you think is going to sell well?
Yes. What I do, I have in mind one bag for the pre-collections, it’s more of a casual bag, and then show bags are for the shows. But this season, I did the Diane Bag and the Charlotte bag. It’s an easy bag and very easy to wear, so I would say I do one bag for the show and one classic bag.

Is it the same for the shoes too?
Shoes are different. It depends on the company. The best is a company like Saint Laurent where you have different lines. It’s extremely organized and you find a way to sell the shoes very well. Then small companies you if you go for fashion shoes, it can be a risk, but if you want to sell shoes it’s such a specific business, you have to compromise the style. It’s really hard to sell super fashion shoes.

Do you feel like you’re able to express your creativity in your job and not be limited by what needs to sell or what needs to go in the collection?
I think so. It really depends. 5 years ago I was disappointed because I felt like I couldn’t go more crazy, but these last few years, people have gone more minimalist and everyone wants that, so I feel like especially for shoes right now, we don’t want to go crazy and it actually sells, so that’s a good thing.

Aside from the sketching and design portion, what else does your job entail? Can you talk more about the production part of it and what it is to actually be an accessories designer?
If you think about a bag in a collection, and it’s a timeless bag, you design that, and then you have to think about the practicality. If it’s a big bag, it is just going to be for tall girls, because a big bag is never going to be for petite girls.
You have to think about it for production, those details. How heavy the bag can be, the price, the hardware, how the suede can last, the colors, how the leather is going to wear, you have to test the leather, try all the bags and wear them. You have to consider if the bag is going to collapse or if it’s going to stay. If you want it so rigid that it looks vintage, it’s a long process because you’re still working on it after it’s done. You have to look at the bag for 6 months to see how it reacts in real life. This bag, I like it, but I feel like the hardware is annoying when I walk – it catches my jacket, things like that.
For shoes, if you have a good factory, usually the shoes will last; you just have to be careful that they are comfortable. Then the design is just the design.

How do you test all of the products?
For testing a bag there’s only one way: using it! I carry the bag and I don’t try to treat it nicely! After few weeks, I know if we need to change the leather, or if there is technical issues that we didn’t notice before.

For the shoes, usually I test with a shoe model. We can see after 10 minutes if something is wrong with the shoe.

Do you travel often to the factories, how do you work with production in that sense?
I used to travel every month, going to Italy every month, but it depends. There are some seasons you have to travel more than others, for example if the construction of the bag is very complicated you have to go see them at the factory and talk to them and try different things.

So what do you do with them when you’re there at the factories?
For shoes the first trip is to make the new lasts: I go to the factory that makes the lasts with very detailed sketches. Shoe design is really about being very picky and a millimeter can make a big difference visually and for the fit!

Then I work with the technicians to make them. It’s like a sculpture: you sculpt the last with the shape you want.
I do the same process for the heel; accurate sketches and then “sculpting” the heel with the technicians.

Then for the 2 next trips I look all the prototypes on a foot model and I change the lines to make it look exactly like what I have in mind. And if there are any technical issues–a stitching placement hurts the foot, or a strap position doesn’t hold the foot enough–I improve it with my technicians.
I also look at all the materials that I ordered to double check that the color is right, that the thickness is good for the styles I am going to use it for.

For the bags and belts, I go to Italy to pass the modifications on the prototypes. I concentrate a lot on the lines–it has to be visually attractive–and on the practicability–Is it too big? Is the length of the strap right? Is the bag too heavy? Do we need another pocket? –and on the structure and reinforcement of the leather. And I double-check all the materials again.

Why do you work with Italian factories?
Italy has amazing factories and passionate artisans and technicians.
It’s been centuries of knowledge that generations transmit from one to the next.
In this world of consumerism, it is very important to preserve that kind of treasure. When you buy a luxurious item: a bag, shoes, belts, gloves, that are made in Italy, they are made with great attention by people who do their best to create something unique.

How much do your sketches and the final differ from one another?
They don’t differ.

Is that why the technicality of the sketches is so important?
The technical sketches always get you to where you need to go. It’s the same for Ready To Wear – you have to think about how it has to be crafted.

How do you make a shoe comfortable?
There are some placements where we know that we cannot have a cut or stitching because that hurts. Some leathers are not easy to use either because they are too stiff.

There are some measurements to know, when you make a pointy toe, so it won’t be too narrow but still visually interesting.

Then, the technicians can tell you if they are concerned about a detail.
I personally think that the height doesn’t matter if the instep is well made, which depends on the factory, but 115 mm height (talking about the last, not the heel) is the maximum for me.

How far in advance do you work on the pieces for a collection?
Four months.

Where do you find inspiration?
It depends. Usually people get inspired by artists, you see a painting and then it makes you feel this way – this is more for the original vibe, for the show.
For a bag, I feel like it’s a mix of something I would love to have and that’s missing. It could be also finding a handle I love, and then figuring out, like a puzzle. Sometimes it’s something like the function – like this kind of bag, this kind of girl. Sometimes it’s a little less dreamy, you kind of have to get real with bags. With shoes you can design shoes more dreamy. With bags you know who is going to be the client and the muse.

How about for jewelry?
I did jewelry for Proenza one season when they used ropes, they told me that we should have some jewelry for the lookbook, not to sell it, just to have something interesting to add. And so just by hand I did something super crafty with beads and stones and I showed them and they thought it was really cool and they decided to use them.

How do you produce something like that in mass?
Well then it was a long process to get things looking crafty but also usable. This season the jewelry for Jason, it’s all brass so it’s not crafty. I did sketches and went to the factory and showed them exactly what I wanted it to be done. It was such a short time, to really get it done. The inspiration is all coming from the bag.

How closely do you follow trends and how do you know if there’s a trend that the industry is feeling?
For bags there are trends for sure, you know Mansur Gavriel, Floriana is a friend of mine and she told me about the bucket bag a long time ago and then she launched it and now everyone is doing a bucket bag. And then the Trapeze tote from Céline and now there are trapeze totes everywhere. I try to really not follow that and do the opposite, so if it’s a bucket bag, I am not going to design a bucket bag. Or if the trend is soft totes, I am really not going to try soft totes.

What’s an average day like for you?
Morning is always about emailing Italy because of timing. Then I always try to keep an hour to just chill and look at different products, and a few blogs and always on the Internet you find cool stuff, just what’s happening. I look at bags, I try to go to some museums and watch some movies, but I like to try to focus on one thing, like today is going to be a bag day, tomorrow is going to be a jewelry day and shoe day. I really don’t find it interesting to jump from one thing to another. I get confused.

Do you spend the rest of the day doing a lot of sketching?
Yeah.

What do you like the most about your work as a designer?
I think I like when I sketch something and you know when you’ve sketched something there’s something there. That moment when it clicks and you stop and you’re like “okay, I know this is a good one” and there’s like 20 bags but this one you know is the one you want. That’s my favorite moment.

What’s the most challenging?
When it doesn’t click, when it doesn’t happen. The worst is when you sketch something and you’re like “that reminds me of something” or you do something and the following day you see a bag in the street and it’s already been done. I’m not crazy about shows either.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from anyone?
I would tell you some things that my mom tells me. When you work in fashion you forget sometimes, because you can panic for the silliest things. Sometimes I will wake up at 4am worrying about the stitching. My mom will always say, “I’m going to tell you something and don’t get mad at me, but it’s only a shoe.” So I would say don’t get so serious about it. There are going to be many shoes, many bags, and as long as you’re happy about what you just did, it’s good.

When you have an assistant working for you, what do you look for in someone that you would hire?
A nice person that anticipates everything. It’s hard to find someone that’s going to be professional and anticipate the problems we’re going to have. It’s really about that, and a lot about timing and being creative and taking the time to be creative.

What would your advice be to an aspiring designer?
Work hard when you’re young because then you can really have fun. But you have to work very hard and don’t expect people to love you. Try to find different ways to make it happen. If you want to have a good bag, you can make it happen in 4 prototypes or 1. If you’re clear and can explain things very well, you’re a good manager. You have to work on the way you communicate ideas. You have to be aware that it’s about it’s about expressing your enthusiasm.

There are going to be many shoes, many bags, and as long as you’re happy about what you just did, it’s good.

What is an average salary for someone who works on a design team?
You can make a lot of money. But when you start, you get nothing for like 5 years. But when you do get it, you can have a very good life. You really have to prove yourself.

What’s your dream for your career?
I think I would be happy working with a team with nice people and have every day be exciting. Just continue what I have with Marie, it’s great. I don’t believe in crazy hours. You don’t get a better result working 10 hours a day. It’s nice to come in and just do it.

Do you ever dream about having your own brand or are you happy working with other brands?
It sounds great on paper, but when you have your own company, half of your brain is crazy with numbers. So not for right now.

The Flower Market, Part 2

As promised!! A few more photos from the beautiful Marni pop-up!

The Flower Market, Part 1

At the end of Milan Fashion Week, Marni hosted a one day pop-up flower market at Rotonda della Besana in honor of their 20th anniversary…

Veronika

I’ve been a fan of Veronika’s style for a long time. You probably recognize her, she’s the fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar in Berlin.

She has such a cool approach to mixing pieces and accessorizing– I feel like she might be able to teach me a few things ;)
I love how she is wearing this really feminine dress with a tough pair of Nike sneakers (you probably recognize them, they are Riccardo Tisci for Nike). I’ve been wearing a lot of sneakers this fashion week, they’ve become a real staple (but of course, I only packed one pair for Paris!).

I hope to show you more of Veronika’s style soon!

Photo par Sandra Semburg.

My Carry-On

Ahhhh my carry-on…

I already told you I was able to minimize my packing for this fashion week, but my carry-on is the same every season. It’s the most important bag I pack every trip, because inside I have my camera, my computer, and all of the essentials for getting me through a long flight…. So, here are a few of them!

Eye mask: So I can get a little bit of rest– this one is extra comfy on the eyes!

Headphones: They are noise cancelling, so when I am sleeping (or watching a movie) it’s perfect.

Cashmere scarf & socks: I always get SO cold on planes (which I hate) so I always pack a big cozy wrap. And a pair of socks to go with it!

Beauty products: I try to keep this pretty minimal. In here I keep some lipbalm, face lotion, hand cream, an eye serum, hand sanitizer and a red lipstick for when I get to my destination.

A snack: Sometimes that airplane food is well…not the best… so I try to have a healthy snack with me (okay and I also bring some chocolate…)

What are some of your carry-on essentials?

Suitcase, Rimowa; Eye mask, Muji; Scarf and socks, White + Warren; Pouch, Comme de Garçons; Passport cover, Smythson; Headphones, Monster; Avène Eau Thermale; Face Lotion, Kahina Giving Beauty; All About Eyes Serum, Clinique.


By admin

My Carry-On

Ahhhh my carry-on…

I already told you I was able to minimize my packing for this fashion week, but my carry-on is the same every season. It’s the most important bag I pack every trip, because inside I have my camera, my computer, and all of the essentials for getting me through a long flight…. So, here are a few of them!

Eye mask: So I can get a little bit of rest– this one is extra comfy on the eyes!

Headphones: They are noise cancelling, so when I am sleeping (or watching a movie) it’s perfect.

Cashmere scarf & socks: I always get SO cold on planes (which I hate) so I always pack a big cozy wrap. And a pair of socks to go with it!

Beauty products: I try to keep this pretty minimal. In here I keep some lipbalm, face lotion, hand cream, an eye serum, hand sanitizer and a red lipstick for when I get to my destination.

A snack: Sometimes that airplane food is well…not the best… so I try to have a healthy snack with me (okay and I also bring some chocolate…)

What are some of your carry-on essentials?

Suitcase, Rimowa; Eye mask, Muji; Scarf and socks, White + Warren; Pouch, Comme de Garçons; Passport cover, Smythson; Headphones, Monster; Avène Eau Thermale; Face Lotion, Kahina Giving Beauty; All About Eyes Serum, Clinique.


By admin