Tell us a bit about you, your background, how did it all come about. When did you decide that you wanted to become a fashion designer?
Born & raised in Paris, I was blessed to grow up with super cool & openminded parents. My mother works in the world of cinema and my father in the glass production industry. They raised me to be curious and exposed me from a very young age to the world of art, including cinema, museums & architecture. I was always very intrigued by a woman’s body. Studying the female form became a passion for me and then my obsession for fashion followed shortly after.
I’m very inspired by French literature with regards to how they describe the garments. After attending an impressionism exhibition where the models wore the garments from the paintings, I thought I wanted to learn how to create garments to embellish women, to make them feel sexy & to empower them.
I studied at L’ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne (now IFM) completing my bachelor’s degree in Stylism and Pattern Making. I then moved to Florence to complete my master’s degree in Collection Design at Polimoda.
Are there any persons/designers/artists that you consider as core inspirations?
Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier and Alaia, they are the greatest designers in my opinion. They had the idea of making women magnificent & were pioneers in creating techniques to embrace the female form. They took risks and had fun in the process, always remembering to not take themselves so seriously. Jean Loup Sieff and Helmut Newton are also among the artists I take my inspiration from.
You state that you always loved artists like Araki and Emma Summerton and you are highly inspired by Shibari artist Marie Sauvage, how did you discovered Japanese rope bondage and how did your relationship with it evolved over time? What does it mean for you?
I discovered the bondage trough Araki’s photographs, always inspired by eroticism. There are few artists that manage to show erotic art without being too vulgar. Araki manages to capture sex, femineity, but also vulnerability.
I met Marie when I arrived in Florence just over a year ago. We became good friends and she taught me about shibari and how to tie ropes, we collaborated on different art projects, and I adore her. I already had the idea of doing a collection about bondage but after meeting Marie my relationship with ropes evolved from something erotic and sexual to something so much deeper.
Is there a difference between pieces designed to look sexy and clothes which actually “feel” sensual in your opinion?
Designing cloths to look sexy is very subjective because it will depend on the person who is wearing it. The way she will style the clothes, live in the clothes. Designing a garment with a sensual idea behind will always look sexy no matter who is wearing it, no matter their style.
Can you share an insight into your latest collection entitled “Shibari” here in our pictures? Why are the texture details so important?
I worked on different layers of the highest quality of materials, creating a concept of confinement but with romantic twist. The fabric is so important, the details are equally as important, and both are inspired by lingerie. I chose not to use ropes because I didn’t want to make it to be too literal and I tried to explore different ways to express what shibari is for me, through leather, attachments & my refined attention to detail.
It feels like contemporary fashion is increasingly drawing from the erotic subcultures, would you say that this is a good or a bad thing for the subcultures itself?
Subcultures will always be an endless inspiration for art, fashion, cinema ect.. I would say it’s always refreshing to get inspired by something particular and unusual but always use the inspiration itself with respect.
Shibari, bondage and the world on BDSM is very vast and to be coherent you have to really take one precise direction.
Would you say that bodies with a rope become living sculptures?
The beauty of a body in ropes is that all bodies have different curves and shapes so each time is a different outcome and a different sculpture. The way the hand attaches and detaches the knott from your body is also an artistic experience. I like it to be an ephemeral moment. All performances are unique, depending on the model and the atmosphere. Marie Sauvage knows exactly how to capture this moment and that’s what makes all of her performances very unique.
Do you think that sociocultural norms are a form of oppression by choice?
The sociocultural norms are important in our society, and I believe if we can go against them that is whats makes certain subjects more interesting. People were very surprised I was inspired by bondage for my collection, sex is a taboo but it’s everywhere. Fantasy concerns everyone but we are not allowed to talk about it. That’s also why I choose fashion, you can say whatever you feel with fabric. Most of the greatest collection were inspired by very abnormal subjects and that’s what makes them so special.
What’s your perspective about fashion nowadays?
Fashion has a turning point, when I started to study, it was all about fast fashion, buying more with less quality. I can feel that this is changing, customers are looking for more exclusive designs with coherent storytelling, good quality fabric, ethical production. They want to invest in their wardrobe and they want their investment to last and that comes from quality over quantity. To be honest it gives hope to smaller designers. I believe people should be more aware of what they are buying as much as designer are creating.
How has the pandemic impacted your life and work?
The pandemic started during the last year of my bachelors degree and it was very difficult to be creative during the lockdown. My inspiration comes from meeting new people, travelling, parties and visiting museums. After that I choose to pursue my studies in Florence, the city was empty, but it was an endless source of inspiration. The pandemic gave me this new idea of clothes, creating something you could wear to house parties, lingerie for everyone to see and admire.
Future plans you would like to share with us?
I’ve learnt that we cannot predicting what the future has in store for us. But what I can say is that I’m confident and excited to be a part of a new movement towards women feeling more empowered by their beauty and sexuality. I graduated 2 months ago and just returned to my hometown Paris. I’m excited for the future, to continue to collaborate with different artists and learn from the greats.
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Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Fashion: Mathilda Moos / @mathildamoos
Interview: Iro Bournazou / @irwb
Soundtrack: Soft and Furious – And never come back
Models: Lorena Maraschi and Lucia Spiazzi at Next Models Milan / @lorenamaraschi @spicylucyyy