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Quentin Veron


July 18 2011
Fashion

Interview

Meeting with a fashion designer in a dream-like universe.

- In what way is your work innovative, in relation to that of other furriers?
- My work is unique in the way I cut the leather, alternate strips of leather with strips of fur, so as to create new effects. I play with the fact the furs aren’t the same colour all over - the dull side underneath, shining at the tips -, with their colours, their textures. I work on the inlay in a different way from furriers who, traditionally, don’t mix more than two materials. I don’t hesitate to mix different kinds of fox with goat, to create different volumes and materials. For example, with animal furs having a real relief to them, we can play with contradicting these textures so as to create new textures when different furs meet.

- Does this creativity come from studying at the Berçot Studio?
- Possibly. In the fur industry, there are either furriers, or fashion designes who don’t know fur and don’t want to try to. I wanted to understand the work of fur, that’s why I did my training at an atelier’s studio. I really worked like an apprentice, I learnt everything from scratch for two years. Then, I started to take little scraps of furs, to do tests, using my creative eye which developed at school. I discovered endless possibilities! Fabric is 2D. Fur is really 3D! What counts for me is the visual, my eye is the designer, but I’ve learned the techniques to improve this visual.

- What furs do you prefer?
- 99% of the time I work with fox. For my Autumn/Winter 2011 show, I played around with goat skin. I called upon my hairstylists to create some effects, who were able to plane certain areas, put it on shoulders, arms, creating unique pieces at the last moment. Only couture would allow that.

- How was your taste for fur born?
- I’ve always loved wearing fur, to start with out of curiosity. I couldn’t understand how one was able to make a jacket in fur. The ambiance in a studio really reminded me of the time when I lived with my father who is a professional horse rider, where I worked with horses... My family is into horse-riding, I really hung around stables... Fur work reminded me of this artisanal spirit, the smells, the touch... Then, next, the satisfaction of seeing that we could create exceptional pieces.

- How do you cope with the anti-fur campaigns?
- Fur is as old as the world, I only use reared animals and I’ve always been in an environment which respects animals. I think that when you work with honesty, that when you’re not mistaken in doing bizarre business in China, that when you know where the animals have come from... There’s nothing to be reproached on.

- You work with Saga Furs?
- Yes and we mention them on the labels. For us, it’s very important; it’s like the hallmark on jewellery. It’s like a promise of quality. If a client asks us, we’ll lead him to Saga and he’ll see how it works. We have a very good relationship.

- Do you wish to continue to concentrate on fur?
- For the moment, yes. Leather will come, certainly knitwear... Half knit, half fur, jumpers with fur collars, things in this spirit... They’re pieces that I’m already making for myself because I like wearing fur every day.

- How many collections have done to date?
- I’ve done two prêt-à-porter shows, two couture shows and a one prêt-à-porter collection which didn’t show. For the moment, the ready-to-wear and couture collections aren’t so different, mais everything will take its rhythm bit by bit. I’m going to effectively do pieces more influenced by couture.

- Are you more enthusiastic at the idea of making commercial collections or unique pieces?
- Both interest me. I love making commercial pieces where I know that I need to pay attention to the price.

- What’s the average price of a garment in store?
- For prêt-à-porter, around 2000.

- You’ve distinguished yourself with original pieces, like these sleeves with just a collar…
- Yes, that’s really my signature. I started with the idea and the desire for people to always be wearing fur. On an evening gown or on a leather jacket, for me that’s an excellent piece. Kim Kardashian bought one of mine, for example. She wore it over a really simple, black ensemble – leggings and a t-shirt. It makes a look immediately, just like the small shoulder pads that I brought out two seasons ago.
I feel that in a look, there always needs to be fur somewhere. Even
in Summer
, you can find a way. It might be a key-ring, part of a pair of trousers...

- Absolutely, so do you design accessories?
- I do: sleeves, shoulder pads, key-rings... But in terms of proper accessories, I’m waiting to try my hand at leather goods with a good finish... I’d like to proceed step by step, taking my time. At the moment I’m pretty much on my own, which means that I can’t leave the studio for two weeks to do a collection of leather goods. Last season, I had 150 orders and I did them all, everything from A-Z, in the studio. I wouldn’t want part of my collection to be made in Italy.

- How would you feel about working for a very well known fur label?
- I don’t know if that would interest me, they already have their clientele, they don’t need me… Of course, fur is my prefered choice and I’m the only one to touch trendy young people, who have a bit of money to pay for a piece and who love to dress a bit rock ‘n’ roll. I would prefer to work for a label which isn’t specialised in fur – that would be much more enriching because what I’m designing is a universe of its own.

- Describe this universe.
- It’s the universe where I’d like to live. It’s a mix of Tim Burton – I’d love to see his characters in real life, living, around me – prehistory, the middle ages, the 19th century, a bit dark and poetic.

- And what about the themes for the collections?
- The first was fairytales but written as “Fairy Tails” (with Cruella Devil, Alice in Wonderland, Beetlejuice). Then, there was "The Court of Miracles" and “The Darkness of Happiness”, which corresponded to my state of mind at that time, things that I’d lived through, that I needed to express... For Autumn/Winter 2011 couture, it was the first time that I could self-produce and therefore be absolutely free. I chose the theme which spoke the most to me: “the Middle Ages”. Carved up armour, asymmetry, backbones, crests, also my signature. I created my own middle ages, in relation with what impression I had of that theme.

- Your preconception of clothes was relatively dark in comparison with your previous presentations…
- I didn’t want to overdo my pieces. I wanted people to concentrate on my techniques that I have developed still.

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Quentin Veron is represented by Ana Luiza Fashion Office.

Press Presentation Couture spring / summer 2012
Wednesday 25th january 2012
From 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Les Arches du Marais
11, rue de Braque
75003 Paris


Press Contact Thomas Zürcher

Credits photos : Jenny Lexander
Interview conducted by Florence Julienne © Modemonline