monsieur hervé: ready to wear campaign

June 26th, 2013

“The story of the bandage dress is important as a fact my work storyline.”
– Hervé Leroux, AKA Monsieur Hervé Léger

For his first campaign, for the Fall/Winter 2013-14, Hervé Leroux chose to collaborate with The Stimuleye for creative direction: photographer René Habermacher in tandem with stylist and fashion muse Suzanne von Aichinger, bringing forward the modernity in Hervé’s timeless designs.

01_THE_STIMULEYE_HERVE_L_LEROUX_RENE_HABERMACHER
Gwen Loos and Anna Martynova intertwined in slate and black draped front dresses by Hervé Leroux FW2013.
Photography by René Habermacher

As you’ve read during our interview and couture atelier visit, Hervé Leroux, born Hervé Léger, is known for his talent for creating garments using traditional tailoring techniques while taking full advantage of developments in silhouette contraction-embracing modern fabrics.

Monsieur Hervé worked as a hairstylist and a milliner before Karl Lagerfeld offered him a collaboration with Fendi, and then Chanel, as a senior assistant. Soon after opening its doors in 1985, Maison Hervé Léger became internationally famous for pioneering the bandage dresses that were about techniques of reforming the body, focusing on the three key words for femininity: curves, waist and form. The “recipe for the 90’s”, as Suzy Menkes once wrote in the Herald Tribune, was about curve-cleaving elastic bandages and a high-octane technique that defied tradition, an effect which Hervé achieved by molding his fabric to the female form instead of draping and cutting it.

07_THE_STIMULEYE_HERVE_L_LEROUX_RENE_HABERMACHER04_THE_STIMULEYE_HERVE_L_LEROUX_RENE_HABERMACHER
Left side: Gwen wearing a ruby deep double V-neck viscose dress recalling Hervé's iconic bandage dresses.
Right side: criss cross draped black silk jersey pieces. Photos by René Habermacher

After separating from the company which bears his name and adopting the name Hervé Leroux, as suggested by Karl Lagerfeld, Monsieur Hervé recalibrated his vision of glamour, towards a modern sensuality crafted by the hands of a real artisan. Every piece of both the Ready-To-Wear and the Haute Couture collections is created by Hervé’s own hands in his new atelier on 32 rue Jacob.

The Hervé Leroux Fall/Winter 2013-2014 Ready-To-Wear collection is about sober, soaring elegance, reflected on 50 hand-made pieces. For Monsieur Hervé, it is crucial that each piece be as specific and precise as a painting by Pierre Soulages, an important influence on the designer.

“It’s in doing that I can find what I am looking for.”
– Pierre Soulages

03_THE_STIMULEYE_HERVE_L_LEROUX_RENE_HABERMACHER05_THE_STIMULEYE_HERVE_L_LEROUX_RENE_HABERMACHER06_THE_STIMULEYE_HERVE_L_LEROUX_RENE_HABERMACHER08_THE_STIMULEYE_HERVE_L_LEROUX_RENE_HABERMACHER

The cut is soft, sensually embracing the female curves, revealing the secrets of the master for both of his obsessions. The fabric is draped only to create luxurious body landscapes on his monochrome canvases, paying homage to the morphology of the body.

Hervé creates a collection that can be referred to as a “second skin” – a fluid, easy-to-move silhouette, which slides on the body, becoming at once feminine and powerful.

02_THE_STIMULEYE_HERVE_L_LEROUX_RENE_HABERMACHER
Gwen sports a Pumpkin viscose aerodynamic dress. Photo by René Habermacher

CREDITS
Creative Direction – The Stimuleye
Photography – René Habermacher
Styling – Suzanne von Aichinger
Jewelry – Fabien Ifires
Hair – Panagiotis Papandrianos
Make-up – Yannis Siskos
Manucure – Yumi Toyama
Models – Anna Martynova & Gwen Loos – NEXT
Styling Assistant – Chafik Cheriet
First Assistant Light – Laurent Pascot
Capture Assistant – Franck Aubert
Retouching – Dimitris Rigas
Text – Filep Motwary
Art Direction – Antoine Asseraf

Thank you Versae Vanni


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HYERES EXPRESS: PETROS EFSTATHIADIS

April 26th, 2013

Portrait by Filep Motwary.


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HYERES EXPRESS: JOHN MANN

April 26th, 2013

Portrait by Filep Motwary.


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HYERES EXPRESS: GRACE KIM

April 26th, 2013

Portrait by Filep Motwary.

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HYERES EXPRESS: PETER PUKLUS

April 26th, 2013

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HYERES EXPRESS: EMILE BARRET

April 26th, 2013

Portrait by Filep Motwary.


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HYERES EXPRESS: EVA STENRAM

April 26th, 2013

Portrait by Filep Motwary.


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HYERES EXPRESS: ANNA ORLOWSKA

April 26th, 2013

Portrait by Filep Motwary.


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HYERES EXPRESS : DAVID FAVROD

April 26th, 2013

portrait by Filep Motwary.


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HYERES EXPRESS: DOMINIC HAWGOOD

April 26th, 2013

Portrait by Filep Motwary.


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HYERES-EXPRESS 2013 DESIGNER PREVIEW: YVONNE POEI-YIE KWOK‏

April 24th, 2013

Netherlands (25). and last year I graduated from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute graduate (2012). She is now in research of  possibilities to start her own label.

Portrait Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres ?
It’s an honor to be selected for one of the top fashion competition in the world. It’s really nice to be in the South of France, meeting new people and working in a nice environment.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words ?
Beautiful, cozy, atmospheric.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far ?
Working in the garden at the Villa Noailles with sunny weather and great surroundings.

In three words, what is your collection about ?
Marionettes, handwork and youthfulness.

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help you in the future ?
I think it’s a great platform to present yourself internationally. Getting in contact with different company’s, people in the industry and press is a great starting point to start your own label or to work for a fashion brand.

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29


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HYERES EXPRESS 2013 / DESIGNER PREVIEW / XENIA LUCIE LAFFELY

April 24th, 2013

Swiss. Studied history of art and modern French before starting fashion design at the HEAD-Genève. About to start an internship at 3.1 Phillip Lim, with the prints team.

The stimuleye
Portrait by Filep Motwary.
How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?
Three years ago when I came to the festival for the first time, it was love at first sight so to be a part of it today is a great honoured and I’m so touched and excited.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words?
Warm, sharp and respectful.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far?
Drawings and making collage.

In three words, what is your collection about?
Preciousness, sentimentality and drawings..

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help you in the future ?
It will help me to be more aware of my own work and of the fashion world.

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29


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HYERES EXPRESS 2013 / DESIGNER PREVIEW / HENNING JURKE‏

April 24th, 2013

Germany, Berlin. 28 years old. Studied at The Berlin University of the Arts, gratuated in October 2012. Working on his portfolio.

Portrait by Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?
Being selected feels like a dream came true.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words?
Inspiring, pleasant, fantastic.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far?
To meet the team of the Hyères Festival. It is great to have this people who give the support for me and my work.

In three words, what is your collection about?
Anticipation, melancholia, luck.

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help you in the future?
The Festival is a great platform to represent me and my work as a designer. The team helps each designer , giving a great support with the shows and also the showroom. I hope to find a job as a designer in a house…

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29


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HYERES EXPRESS 2013 / DESIGNER PREVIEW / SHANSHAN RUAN‏

April 24th, 2013

A Chinese national living in Paris who graduated from ESMOD, and works as freelance for a Japanese fashion houses and fashion galleries.

Portrait Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres ?
Unexpected and magic! I ‘ve been following Hyères while I was still a fashion school
student and I never got the time and the courage the send my file. Now it has been three years since my graduation and I would love to do something for my own, without too much restriction. It’s great Hyères gave me this opportunity.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words ?
Energy, Exchange, Experience.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far ?
Hyères allows us to work with the professionals from the fashion industry. I mean not only the ‘Glamour’ part of fashion, but also the very ‘technique’ part, the fabric and accessories suppliers, the production factories, the dyeing experts, the pleating artisan. It is great to get to know them and to work with them. I’ve learned so much.
I appreciate their patience and kindness, without their help I will never complete the
collection as I expected.

In three words, what is your collection about ?
Movements, Sentiments,Memories.

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help
you in the future ?

Hyères gives us opportunities to know people, to build the connections, but also, get us , designers known by other people, to let people hear our voice, know about our work, our stories. Hyères is not just an event that happens and ends, it’s a continuation.

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29


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HYERES EXPRESS 2013 / DESIGNER PREVIEW / XING SU‏

April 23rd, 2013

From China/Northern Ireland/Canada. Age 26. Studying at Fashion Institute of Technology, NY.

Portrait by Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?
It is an incredible compliment to be selected for a fashion festival with such a long and distinguished history. I’m excited and a bit anxious.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words?
A warm fantasy.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far?
Working with an amazing professional team to elevate a first collection and being surrounded by other designers who share similar goals, ideas, and opinions about fashion.

In three words, what is your collection about?
Play and balance.

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help you in the future?
Exposure and publicity are so critical to one’s success in fashion now, and I can’t imagine a better platform than the Hyeres Festival.

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29


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HYERES EXPRESS 2013 / DESIGNER PREVIEW / SATU MAARANEN‏

April 23rd, 2013

Helsinki, Finland.Graduated this Christmas from Aalto University, School of Art, Design and Architecture. At the moment she designs prints and garments as a freelancer for different companies.

Portrait by Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?
It feels really great. I am superhappy about it. Hyeres is impressive opportunity to present your work for international audience.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words?
Delicious food, sunshine and same-minded people.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far?
The favorite part of the process has been doing all the openscreen prints. To do it freestyle is fun and relaxing for me.

In three words, what is your collection about?
Landscapes, old Haute Couture and innovative materials.

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help you in the future?
It will help me to get new working opportunities and to create important connections. It is also going to be interesting to get feedback from all the fashion professionals..

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29


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HYERES EXPRESS 2013 / DESIGNER PREVIEW / DAMIEN RAVN

April 23rd, 2013

Norway (31). MA graduate from the Royal Academy in Antwerp. Runs his own label and teaches design for 3BA at the Fashion Department of the Warsaw Fine Arts Academy.

Portrait by Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?
Purely very honored.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words?
Historic, impressive and panoramic.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far?
Working together with all the sponsors to develop new parts of the collection especially for the festival.

In three words, what is your collection about?
Bonded minimalistic maximalism

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help you in the future?
I know Festival Hyeres is a wonderful opportunity to show your collection to the world and it will hopefully open some doors in the future.

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29


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HYERES EXPRESS 2013 / DESIGNER PREVIEW / TOMAS BERZINS & VICTORIA FELDMAN

April 23rd, 2013

Tomas Berzins / From Riga, Latvia / 21 years old / graduated from ESMOD Paris 2011 / co-owner of victoria/tomas label. 

Victoria Feldman / From Moscow, Russia / 24 years old / graduated from ESMOD Paris 2011 / co-owner of victoria/tomas label.

Portraits by Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres? 
This is just great to have the opportunity to present our experimental collection, that was developed specially for this Festival. As well to have people around who are interested in it.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words? 
Eat, Pray, Create.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far? 
Most of the clothes we create are ready-to-wear. Participation in this Festival opened the doors to step a bit aside from wearability and to work more as an artists, bringing out many handmade and sophisticated technics that would not be easily adaptable to real urban life-style that we love so much. It gave us a certain freedom to combine both visions that we really care about.

In three words, what is your collection about? 
Heritage, emotions, aggressiveness.

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help you in the future? 
This is a very rich start for a young designer and this is a priceless experience that you get, as it will be there for all your life.

Portraits by Filep Motwary.

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29


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hyeres express: FLORIANE DE SAINT PIERRE

April 22nd, 2013

Paris-based Floriane De Saint Pierre needs no introduction as today she considered as one of the ten most powerful women in fashion and beauty. She set up Floriane de Saint Pierre & Associés back in 1990. Twenty three years later she is the person all important fashion houses turn to in search for help to find an executive or designer. The list of successful matches consists of putting Christopher Bailey at Burberry, finding Alber Elbaz’s first creative director position, among so many others.

This year, she serves as jury member for the 28th edition of the Hyeres Festival, and answers the questions of the Hyères blogs.

Floriane de Saint Pierre, portrait by Ben Baker.

MalibongweTyilo: Having been responsible for hiring some of the biggest names, what would you say is the most common quality amongst designers who are able to head these successful mega brands?
Each of the designers has a crystal clear vision of their personal aesthetics. The most important factor for them has been their ability to look ahead of their time and translate their vision into something that you identify with.

FilepMotwary: How relevant is creativity to the way the fashion industry functions today?
We can draw a parallel between the street photography of fifty years ago and what we see in fashion and design bloggers today- there has always been creativity, but what we are seeing is a huge shift in its expression. The expression of creativity is effortless today. However, creative design has never been more relevant and necessary than it is today. From fashion brands to Apple and Evian, etc. global brands absolutely recognize the importance of design as a factor in strong-value creation.

AntoineAsseraf: Does your work end once a designer has been selected and hired
– or do you stay involved somehow ?

We always stay in touch.

BrunoCapasso: Today the world imposes a new way of thinking, a reinvention in fashion, what new thing do you search in the new designers? How far does the media influence and disrupt your choices?
Designers must possess a personal aesthetic that resonates not only in fashion, but functions as a global creative proposition. Everyone today associates themself with a creative tribe and they are very demanding with the integrity- design, quality, services, and reputation- of a brand. Media is great for this- it is what gives design talent the chance to become visible and if there is genuine talent there, the media will be very supportive and loyal.

SeanSantiago: The disconnect between Hedi Slimane’s last collection for Saint Laurent Paris and the work of his predecessors couldn’t be more striking or controversial. When judging these young designers based on their creativity and ingenuity, do you find yourself reconsidering the standards to which you hold a commercial designer like Slimane?
A product today makes sense only if it captures and reflects or even anticipates the profound sociological evolutions of its time. Hedi Slimane is a designer who thinks globally and very much ahead of his time. He knows what Saint Laurent means today.

VogueGermany: Is there any candidate you’re already keeping an eye on ?
Yes, of course!

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29


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MONSIEUR HERVÉ

January 25th, 2013

What’s in a name ?

You can ask Kenzo Takada, Martin Margiela, John Galliano, Valentino Garavani or Helmut Lang – designers who, for various reasons, left the company which bears their name, and then had to make themselves a new name, in fashion or elsewhere.

Or you can ask Monsieur Hervé Léger, the legendary French designer who took fashion by storm with his body-conscious designs, ultimately embodied by the “bandage” dresses. Monsieur Hervé Léger does not design for Hervé Léger, the company. Monsieur Hervé Léger designs for Hervé L.Leroux, a nom de mode suggested by Karl Lagerfeld.

Photography by René Habermacher

Filep Motwary, who met Monsieur Hervé through model and muse Suzanne Von Aichinger, talked with the designer as he prepared his new couture collection for Summer 2013, now on display in Paris in Colette and on presentation in Monsieur Léger’s new but history-laden atelier.

Filep Motwary: So, how is your day so far?

Mr. Hervé Léger: Well it’s cool. I am peaceful today. Yesterday I was not, but today I am.

F.M: You are getting ready for your Couture collection ?

Mr.HL: Yes, you see I am a professional, I try to do everything in the right context and I do not like to keep my people working at night and we are trying to be efficient and of course we will be ready on time. You know I’ve been creating for a long time, but because I didn’t want to make shows, my comeback is under new conditions. And it figures that some people always followed me and now I sell worldwide. Business is good now finally again and I am pleased.

(As we speak, Suzanne Von Aichinger and René Habermacher are working in the showroom photographing the garments),

F.M: I understand. Do you mind if you help me fill some gaps of your life’s storyline, because it’s out there, but not fully completed… So, it was during the late 1970’s that you started-off your career as a hat maker and hairdresser?

Mr.HL: (Laughs) It’s a crazy story, but… I’ll try to make it short. I had done some studies like everyone, I went as a young man to the Beaux Arts in France though I only stayed for one year as it was the 70’s and France was all about manifestations at the time and intense political changes. As students, we were on the streets demonstrating and I wasn’t learning a lot since everything was on strike.

I also wanted to be independent from my parents and wanted to do something by myself, to work. I am very good with my hands; I am a craftsman and can do everything with them in terms of creation so I decided to be a hairdresser. Although I didn’t study hair, I learnt the job very quickly by opening the door of a hair-salon telling them I wanted to learn. They took me and stayed there for a while. Then I started to make hats, after finding a book at my grandmother’s house, which was full of illustrations on how to make them. The first customers arrived and I was working at home. So there goes the “hat story”.

Then one day someone who was famous in the 1970’s asked me to do a very particular hat, a-giant-sort of “Belle Époque” hat with a lobster on it (laughs). The guy’s name was Tan Guidicelli, whom you probably might know. It wasn’t long enough until he asked me to make three dresses for his show because his atelier was very busy and his show was in three days. Although I had never designed any dresses before, I said “Ok, I’ll do them” and when he saw them he said “ you got a real sense of fashion and you should stop hairdressing and come work with me”. So that was my first fashion encounter.

Of course I dropped hairdressing and started to learn sewing. Later I went into design. My second big encounter was Karl Lagerfeld.

The 1980’s were an easy time. You could easily meet someone. People were more open. Even during my days as a hairdresser, with my friends, you could end up having dinner with Claude Montana, Mugler, Lagerfeld etc. It was not such a big deal as it is today. It was proper dinners you know, not charities. So at the time I met Karl at the house of a journalist friend and something happened immediately. We started talking about corsets (at the time I was fascinated by corsets). So that was on Saturday and on Monday my friend from “Woman’s Wear Daily” called to say “Karl wants to see you.” So I went with a few sketches and he said, “ Well, I don’t care about your sketches, I’m looking for an assistant at Fendi in Rome” and I said “Yes!”.
So by next Friday I was on the plane flying to Italy.

Then I went to Chanel for one year and worked for him until I was fired.
I created my own label in 1985 but the bandage dresses came out only in early 1990’s. I don’t consider the beginning of my career started in the 80’s. My career, as I see it started in the 90’s.

F.M: Tell me about the bandage dress…

Mr.HL: The real story of the bandage dress is important as a fact of my work storyline. I was having a show at Angelina Tea Salon in Paris, and I wanted something glamorous for the finale. I didn’t have the fabrics. A few days later, I went to a factory and found some bands of metallic yarn, sort of lurex. I asked, “What is this?” and I was told “its for the garbage”. So I took that and I started to put one yarn next to the other and started molding the bands on the dummy, exactly like you do hats. And that’s how the first bandage dress was born. I did the show and it was a success.

I was hooked on these new for me materials and started to experiment. In the beginning, I did not want to put any zippers because I wanted to create a dress with no seams. The problem was that I did make the dress with no seams but when one of my clients got herself in, she couldn’t get out (Laughs).

Then came the presentation of nine dresses in the office of my press attaché at the time. The fashion journalists from American Elle made pictures and became a success very quickly.

F.M: This technique you are working on, the way you make your garments is really one of its kind. Allow me to say that I see them as dresses for women to please men…

Mr.HL: It’s true! Its because they make women look great. The fit is great because it shapes the body. For example, the body of a young girl is not my cup of tea. I like bodies with a bosom, with a waist, curves…

My dresses can give a shape even to bodies that are not perfect. This is why I think men love them the same that women who wear them. They seem almost like a modern corset with no bones. The fit that a woman experiences at Herve L.Leroux is the fit I invented at Hervé Leger. Even in my couture dresses today, I use the bands and my own technique, the one I invented then.

F.M: Hervé, I want to ask you about the true story about what happened. How did you lose control of Hervé Léger in 1999.

Mr.HL: People say that I sold it. That’s a lie, I mean I wish I would have sold it.

When the bandage dresses started to be famous, a man that was fascinated by them approached me. He said to me “I went to a party in Caracas and a woman arrived in one of your dresses and everybody went crazy.” He “chased” and sent me some bankers asking to be my partner. Of course I said “Yes” because I wanted to develop this business and I didn’t have to run after any partner anymore…

It was a nice combination and it was Seagram, a very powerful group who invested money and soon Hervé Léger became a major house.
Though I had to be very conscious about the number of sales, otherwise they would drop me. The story is that the guy from Seagram decided to get rid of a few companies they had in order to invest on a bigger French company called Vivendi. At the end he sold everything, including me, although he assured me before that he would find me a new partner and he would help to finance the changes.

I had someone who wanted to buy the company from Seagram, they put the dossier in the bank’s hands and then they sold it to Max Azria. So he bought it, though I tried to make it work but it fact it didn’t. At the time I was only left with 5% of the company…
When people invest in a company, especially in the fashion industry, the designer or the name behind the company, has to stay part of it otherwise it won’t invest.

Some people like Donna Karan, did it in a very clever way for example.
I guess it didn’t work for me because I didn’t have good lawyers at the time…

I didn’t agree with the strategy and they fired me from the house I had created. The worst of it all was that he didn’t know what to do with the house of Léger for a long time. In 2007, which is quite recent I may say, at the same moment when I decided to do ready-to-wear again, he opened the archives he started to re-do my dresses from back then for Hollywood stars and the bandage dresses were successful again.

F.M: And what did you do?

Mr.HL: Wolford contacted me and they asked me to work for them… Then came my shop. The problem was I couldn’t use my name anymore. It’s Karl Lagerfeld who came up with the idea of Hervé Leroux. He said “you’ve got red hair” so it has to be called Hervé Leroux and put the “L.” in the middle, who knows one day you can do again “Hervé Léger Leroux.”

F.M: So, back to your collection. How did you start again?

Mr.HL: In 2000 I did a comeback with ready-to-wear and I had immediately lots of customers coming, especially from America. Then came another incident, 9/11. No one came after that.

It affected everyone and the business went downhill. That’s when I decided to stop ready-to-wear as it was very expensive to create, have production control, distribution etc… So since then, I focused on Couture until 2007, only for private customers and some shops that wanted to buy a few of my pieces. It was a difficult time but I survived.

It was in 2007 when my customers wanted my ready-to-wear again and it went very good. We are in Colette and so many other prestigious boutiques around the world now. I am very satisfied.

F.M: You are a designer that works with couture methods, a real artisan. How do you see the use of “future” references and approach in fashion in combination with technology?

Mr.HL: I think moving towards the future is good for this business, generally speaking..

Sewing a dress is always sewing a dress.
For me what is more important is that the clothes look good and made with good materials. I know nothing about technology whatsoever. I know that my clothes are very true; I use very particular techniques to make them. I am more of a couturier rather than a stylist. I don’t go scouting for old clothes to re-do them, I don’t search for ideas around. Even at moments when I wanted to copy someone, I just couldn’t do it you know?

Other’s people’s clothes don’t inspire me. I am obsessed by my own ways of creation and I feel lucky to have customers starting from 16 to 70. I am never about trends; I see no use in them. Today I have the feeling that it is all about money. Designers today don’t spend hours fitting a dress on a body. They do it on dummies. I feel comfortable with the way I work.

F.M: How were the 1980’s and 1990’s fashion scene compared to what we see today?

Mr.HL: Oh my God, things were so happy back then, so happy. The 70’s, the 80’s and the 90’s. People were passionate and they could make money from that passion. Bankers, investors or whatever you call them didn’t really exist then so designers were freer. Only one thing Filep, the aesthetic of the girls then is what is missing from today.

Or the power the shows had back then. Think of Montana and Mugler!! Oh my God, the girls were so beautiful, the way they walked. I feel lucky for living through that era working with all of them; from Linda to Cindy… I had them all.

And they were so full compared to today that everyone is so skinny. And all my models loved the clothes; you know a lot of clothes would disappear after the show (laughs). Even during fittings those girls would feel the clothes, they were posing.

Today my favorite show is Victoria’s Secret because it’s a happy one. I am not saying girls are not beautiful today, I just think shows today have become boring and less inspiring. They look like robots and there is no charm. I really wonder if I was to do a show today how I should do it and not look ridiculous and dated.

And sometimes I speak with journalists and they are bored of the current situation too.
Anyway, I am not ready to do a show now also because I am not a kid. If I do a show it has to be made the right way as a good show also costs a lot of money.

F.M: Maybe you could do a little show in a Hotel Suite like couturiers used to do back in the 50’s.

Mr.HL: Hmm, yes. For this season I just wanted to show the work the way it is. Starting on Monday, Colette will have 5 of my dresses in the window and on Thursday I am showing another 12 pieces in my showroom as I have been invited by the Chamber of Haute Couture and it feels wonderful.

F.M: What is this collection about?

Mr.HL: You know I never start saying “I’m going to do this and that”. I just grab my fabric and start working. All I can say is that 80% of the collection is done and it looks like a walk in a Japanese garden. The drapes are very graphic in the sense of Japanese design…

F.M: Why does couture still breath? Is it merely a question of tradition? Why does it still interest people?

Mr.HL: It’s exceptional I would say with an excellence. Although the world has changed and we are in the middle of a crisis, luxury is always surviving. What is luxury about today is another story than what it used to be. There are a lot of luxury houses that produce clothes or bags in Taiwan etc. but, there are still women who want to dream. I see my clients… And the movie stars I dress – of course they don’t buy the clothes (laughs).

There are still women who are not in the spotlight, not in the newspapers yet they prefer couture because it is special. They are in search of the perfect fit and for me the fit is something important.

F.M: Why is couture so personal as it requires the customer and the designer in a very private session?

Mr.HL: There are less and less couture houses as time goes by. Chanel is a real Couture house for example because they have the right hands to do the artisanship, Gaultier also as well as Dior. Couture has a certain way of doing it, it has its own rules, and also the fabrics are richer. Everything is on made on perfect scale. There are more and more rich people and the opposite, which I find very depressing. We can say there are people who are rich today and they are richer than what the term “rich” meant 20 years ago..
Those who spend, really spend…

F.M: What provokes the strongest emotions in you nowadays, compared to what made you emotional in the past?



Mr.HL: When I was “Hervé Léger” I was never satisfied. Nothing was good enough and I always thought I could do better. Today, although I still want to do better I become emotional by looking at my own dresses, a feeling I never had before.
I am happier today because I don’t have anybody else involved in my business; I have a great team of loyal people working with me. Also what is very emotional for me is when I see women trying my clothes on.

F.M: What is next for you?

Mr.HL: I’m working on developing my business. A perfume that I am working on. I want to start doing accessories, shoes, lingerie and swimsuits. Also my customers locked me in my atelier designing dresses – at least I am famous for something (laughs)- but you know I am very good in designing suits, coats, pants and blouses…

Basically when you are wearing Herve L.Leroux, is for the evening. I want to make day-wear too. Although every time I do they never buy it, but I’m going to push.

The interview is a collaboration project between Un nouVeau iDEAL and The Stimuleye.
interview FILEP MOTWARY
photography RENE HABERMACHER
fashion editor SUZANNE VON AICHINGER
hair PANOS PAPANDRIANOS
make up YIANNIS SISKOS
model ANNA MARTYNOVA@ NEXT MODELS

thank you VERSAE VANNI @ NEXT PARIS


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