"Big breasts and lips. No! I hate those girls. I hate famous women. My ideal woman is Serge Gainsbourg. Not that he was a woman." — Isabel Marant
[Isabel Marant in Russh Magazine]
I really, really love Isabel Marant's line of clothing. And her diffusion line too, Isabel Marant Etoile. While this article in the New York Times is certainly on the money (and thank Christ for an honest fashion critique - neither sycophantic nor full of misguided rage), it hasn't quelled my obsession with her silk miniskirts, her loose dresses, her sloppy mohair jumpers, her suede ankle boots. And, perhaps, it's her lifestyle that is appealing too - her holiday house where she spends each weekend, her views on the internet, the way she hardly wears any make-up or does her hair. We all want to be French, insouciant and a bit dishevelled yet artful and pretty. I think. As her artistic director Arnoldo Garon writes in Hobo Magazine, she "has brought about an idiosyncratic universe, a world where femininity and elegance is paired with neglect and effortless androgyny". In non-fashion speak, rejoice slightly scruffy girls who like drinking wine and hanging out more than they do blow-drying their hair. It would appear there are quite a few of us, given the difficulty in snaffling a pair of her cult 'Dicker' boots.
[Isabel Marant's holiday home, images from the New York Times]
Marant on the internet and why she doesn't really dabble in social networking (her clothes have also only recently become available to purchase online): "I don’t like the idea of being flooded with image and information. I don’t belong to the generation of spending time on the internet. I think it’s too fast and too fake. It’s like going to a museum on the internet – where is the pleasure? It’s sad because everyone is running after everything, but after what? Everything is too quick. There is no room in your heads for all this information. No one retains anything." — Isabel Marant
And Marant on the annoying designer infatuation with retro-fitted story concepts for each and every collection. We get it! You watched a movie... It's okay to just make really nice stuff!
Arnold Goran: There’s this thing too, more so in the fashion world, that on television you always hear designers telling these stories. At least, I always have the impression they’re feeding me stories. “Women this year are so. This year I see the woman like this, or this year she is very frivolous...” Bullshit, she’s no more frivolous than any other year! You, I don’t have the impression you’d be into that.
Isabel Marant: No, it’s true, I’ve got a bit of a problem with that. Actually when I started I did have themes somewhat, often around travel, the exotic – you do tell yourself stories. I find there is something a bit false in it because, me, I still make real clothes, wearable, everyday clothes, and there is a naive and childish side to wanting to recount Africa or India, even if ultimately there are connotations that arise. I work more around the attitude, the woman, the silhouette that I’ve started to instill in my collections. Starting off and sticking with a story at all costs doesn’t interest me. I think it’s interesting to have a universe to depart from. I imagine a silhouette, I know I’d like to have a girl with legs, with certain shoulders; or even her posture, the way she stands can interest me, all of a sudden I’ll think of a certain top that will allow me to bring this out. The more I evolve in my work, the more I have subtle inspirations around how to create this attitude that I like, how to make things that are feminine but not too girly. I tend to ask myself almost philosophical questions around clothes. I feel that side of it, clothes-as-kleenex, and that doesn’t interest me. I want to make real clothes that you keep in your closet a long time, that you don’t tire of, and that you can juxtapose with the next collection.