Meet Etienne Derœux, an emerging French fashion designer who recently presented his debut S/S 2012 collection in Paris, at Six Showroom. It features an amazing sense of purity. His approach to fashion is intellectual. For Art is Alive, he talks Jean-Paul Sartre, Madeleine Vionnet, and the excitement around his new brand.
When is your brand born?
The Brand was Born on April 1st 2011.
Who, from the fashion or “creative world” do you take your inspiration from?
I read a lot, I watch a lot of movies, I listen to a lot of music, I visit many exhibitions.
I try to nourish myself with what I see, what I discover. My inspiration comes from everyday life. Besides That, ‘My Dear Bomb’ by Yohji Yamamoto is a book I often go back to when it comes to fashion, as well as Madeleine Vionnet’s and Mme Grès’ works, among other references.
Can you tell us a bit more about your background please?
I decided I wanted to do fashion quite early but really decided to give it a try when I finished high school. I started as an intern at Jean Louis Scherrer Haute couture in Paris with Stephane Rolland when I was 17. Then I moved to Australia where I took short courses in Fashion to prepare my entrance exam to Antwerp royal academy. In 2008 I entered Antwerp fashion school where I stayed one year, then moved to La Cambre in Brussels.
After two works experiences at Peter Pilotto in London and Matthew Ames in New York, I realized that the condition to my freedom of expression and creativity was to be my own boss and to launch my own label.
Can you tell us about your latest collection?
My Spring summer collection is based on three major inspirations which are ‘L’être et le Neant’ a book written by Jean-Paul Sartre, the work of photographer William Eggleston and elementary geometry book for children.
Through these topics I was willing to create a collection of elegant basics along with innovative shapes, with very high quality finishes and materials.
The main purpose of my cloth is that they can be worn either in a casual or a more classy way, since their goal is to suit the body and adapt to different kind of styles. Each piece in the collection is conceived as an extension of the personality made to bend to the desires of the body they dress up. It’s about being what you want to be thanks to cloths, not being ruled by a piece of fabric.
What do you think about French Fashion’s scene?
The french Fashion scene is a bit antithetic, the contrast between the big houses and the young designers is obvious, there’s no such things as the British fashion Council, The Ecco Domani foundation, the CFDA or even big awards to support small French fashion structures.
In between Hyeres festival which is a great place for a designer to be discovered, and l’andam price for confirmed talents, there is nothing in between, when designers would actually need help to grow. That blocks the French Fashion scene in my opinion, and influential new designers have troubles to emerge.
It’s actually an economic nonsense in a country where the fashion and textile industry is so important.
Have you had any support from other fashion figure?
A lot of people are showing me their support and interest. Some people are fashion related, some aren’t. I’m making clothes for people, not for fashion figures.
What are you expressing through your designs?
A desire of freedom and novelty at first, and also a way to consume fashion differently.
I refuse to use synthetically fibres in my collections, so everything is basically 100% pure natural fibres. I also number every garment by hand and limit my production to 100 copies of each styles to preserve rarity and exclusivity for my clients.
Are you showing at Paris Fashion week?
I’m presenting my debut S/S 2012 collection in Paris at Six Showroom.
What projects do you have upcoming?
I’m currently working on my winter collection, there are new challenges because I’m willing to develop some exclusive knits for this next season, and also start working on shoes that can be produced and sold in the future.
I also have a photography project to illustrate my collection that i’d like to present to festivals for fashion and photography in order to introduce a different vision of my work.
then about more down to earth projects, I need to find a Press agency and to work on my website and E-shop.
Where can we find your designs?
My Designs will be available at ‘Hunting & Collecting’ in Brussels, ‘Front row’ in Moscow and at http://www.etiennederoeux.com from January 2012, and hopefully, there are more stores to come.
To finish with, what would you wish to this blog and what do you think about it?
The only thing I can wish to a blog is that the internet forever stays this perfect place for self expression.
I’m proud to be featured among all those prestigious topics and I hope my work will be better known thanks to this article.