What inspires you?
It’s a combination of so many things: a collection of emotions, journeys, encounters, the people around me, nature and the elements, light, and some movies. All these together forge a narrative, which moves me and takes my breath away. It's the start of a process in which I transform, hybridize and combine these elements by triggering deliberate accidents in a quest for spaces that take me out of my comfort zone. I like to see it as a journey, an “in-between” pursuit or as a sort of sensory wandering.
Who are the people you really admire in your profession?
Three people, for very different reasons: Azzedine Alaïa for the really new and unique model he has managed to impose on the system by being irreverent and staying true to himself; Yoji Yamamoto, because he was a revolutionary and resolutely refused to compromise, and for his mastery of tailoring; and Madeleine Vionnet for her architectural genius.
What compliment would you like to hear or hear again about your work?
It's not so much a compliment as something a woman once told me as she put on one of my pieces: "I feel more myself in this garment than before I put it on." When you hear that, you know you have achieved your aim, because that’s exactly what we try to do as designers: to create a habitat or an expressive medium or help people experience an identity that allows them to get back in touch with themselves. This is the kind of emotional reaction we are looking for. I thought about how she would keep this garment her entire life, and how it would be a witness to her journey, identity and story. That’s what fashion should do.
Is there a city or destination that inspires or reflects your personality?
Yunnan, which is a mountainous province between Vietnam, Laos and Tibet. Some fifty ethnic groups live side by side at this crossroads, with its hybrid know-how and traditions. It is a sort of hippieland where artists and backpackers rub shoulders with the locals. It's where I go to reboot.
How would you describe your personality and approach to life?
I’m an instinctive person. I let myself be carried along by my emotions, sensations and desires, and the opportunities that come my way. I'm not always rational. I try to stay true to my primary aspirations and instincts. I believe we have a lucky star that watches over us or charts our course. I don't like clutter. I need purity. I regularly go through my belongings. They need to stimulate my emotions. The clothes and objects I own have a story and each reminds me of something; they have a function. I would rather invest my time in the community than material things. Days only last twenty-four hours; it is better to use them to build relationships than to be looking to make a profit in some way or the other.
Which ideas inform your creative work?
I like fluidity, and moving, fuzzy shapes, transition and perpetual transformation. Clothes are complete when they are worn; they must feel as natural as breathing to the wearer.
Who do you dream of dressing?
I would have loved to have designed for Michael Jackson. I would have added shiny crystals, something to project a video on, and maybe created an interaction with his dance moves.
What has been your biggest challenge?
I produced up to eight collections a year, with a new creative vision every time, and managed projects on the side. I needed to give myself space to breathe, to work at pace, with the seasons following on from one another without end. I always find it frustrating to work in cycles. It is a rhythm that leaves no room for error, whereas this error is often a magical act.
Do you have rituals that you follow?
When I start a project, I always give myself some extra time. I allow for a destructive phase in my project, a period of latency and time wasting. That’s how I would define luxury. The real luxury is to be able to waste time, wander, doubt things, destroy everything you have done and then go beyond it, and never to lock yourself in your own cabinet of curiosities.
Which style annoys you?
Anything decorative, superfluous or ornamental; form without function. It’s my personal taste, but it adds weight to my thinking. Ornament is like an unbearable noise to me.
Where’s your favourite spot, the place where you can usually be found?
I like to walk around the Buttes Chaumont or spend time on my terrace from where I can see the whole of Paris. I often go to the OFR bookstore, where they select and hone knowledge very carefully, or to Deyrolle, which is such an inspiring place. I also like "Le Très Particulier", a small restaurant which manages to be both really beautiful and cozy.
Your most cherished object? How much does it weigh?
My father gave me some fossilized dinosaur eggs he found at the Drouot auction house. They bear witness to the passage of time; a memory of eternity and origins. They take you places and put things in perspective. Their combined weight is 20 kg.
What has weight in your life?
My daughter. My most beautiful creation. Everything else is fleeting.
Which LE GRAMME objects do you own? How do you wear them?
I have several bracelets in 925 Black Sterling Silver Le 41g and Le 21g and two bracelets from the recent Beads collection, Le 25g in polished Streling Silver 925. What I like about Beads is the contrast between the traditions of the pearl necklace and the elementary nature of the precious metal. There's an element of latency here too, as we don't really know how to react to this hybrid object, which is so simple yet coldly sensual. I wear my two Beads as a necklace and the other bracelets over woollen sleeves. I like the fact that they structure a garment without really being seen as jewellery.
As for my daughter, she wears Le Milligramme.
How would you define LE GRAMME?
Like a stiletto heel. A very elementary heel, a stem with an industrial design. I have in mind the Irvin Penn photo of a foot wrapped in a hospital bandage - the simplicity and sensuality of the image.
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