Roger Vivier Designer Bruno Frisoni Talks French Style, Flatgate and Modern Icons
"French women always look natural; I think Hollywood could learn a lot from this."
Roger Vivier is a favorite of some of Hollywood's most well-heeled stars, including Cate Blanchett, Kirsten Dunst and Jennifer Lawrence. The Parisian accessories brand's creative director, Bruno Frisoni, came to Los Angeles to co-host a dinner with Lisa Eisner, Anne Crawford and THR power stylist Elizabeth Stewart on April 26. January Jones and Demi Moore were both present (and proudly carrying their RV bags!). Here, Frisoni talks L.A. sightseeing, sneakers (the new flats?) and what Hollywood actresses can learn from French women — plus, his thoughts on last year's #Flatgate during the Cannes Film Festival. Vive la comfy (chic) feet!
Pret-a-Reporter: What have you done since arriving in Los Angeles?
Bruno Frisoni: I went to LACMA to see the Rain Room, which was beautiful. I also wanted to see Ray and Charles Eames' Mondrian-inspired house [in Pacific Palisades]. And we drove out to Malibu to have lunch at Neptune’s Net, which was quite exotic for me. It was very fun, and we were lucky because the weather was fantastic. It's still cold in Paris, so I'm here chasing the sun. ... Next, I'm off to Bali for vacation.
Malibu and Bali ... do you surf?
No, but we're going to Sumba, which is a surf spot, but it is also just a beautiful place — very natural. Mostly, it's about being together with my group of friends for a week. I think I need it.
Speaking of needing a vacation, you have been working overtime. You've introduced several new Roger Vivier styles in the past year — including sneakers. What inspired you to do that?
In general, I think there is a change happening in fashion and a notably younger spirit. You can see everyone is evolving, and it's a more laid-back approach to dressing. More and more, fashion is coming from the street, but adapted in a very luxurious way. Sneakers felt new and exciting and surprising, but like a logical next step for the brand. Sneakers have become an iconic wardrobe piece. Everyone is wearing sneakers, and not only for shopping or going to the gym — they've become the new ballerina [flats], in a way.
Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy and Twiggy all wore Roger Vivier shoes — major style icons. Whom do you consider to be a modern style icon?
I consider Scarlett Johansson to be the new Marilyn Monroe. She really embodies our brand in an incredible way. Also, Cate Blanchett [who wore a Roger Vivier bag and shoes in Blue Jasmine] for her kind of established look. ... Cate's always incredible.
What do you think Hollywood can learn from French-girl style?
French women always look natural. It's about looking like you just got out of your bed — you brushed your teeth and combed your hair and nothing more, but you look incredibly fresh. This is really a French attitude — not to look like you have been done. Effortlessness. I think Hollywood could learn a lot from this.
The Cannes Film Festival is coming up soon — have you ever been to the festival?
Never. I don’t consider it my job to be there. I'm not selling a movie, but it would be fun to be the date of someone. If an actress friend asked me to go as their date for dinner, I would join in.
Roger Vivier is perhaps best known for its chic flats. What did you think of "Flatgate" during last year's Cannes Film Festival, when women were required to wear high heels on the red carpet?
For me, it's the same feeling as when women started to wear pants, and they weren’t allowed to go to the office because certain presidents or CEOs wouldn’t allow them to do so — they wanted women wearing skirts and dresses. It's thinking that women are only sex symbols or “sex toys” because they are wearing a high heel. Don't get me wrong: I love women in heels, but I think everyone should be free to wear flats or even go without shoes. Why not, if they are beautiful feet? Even just jewelry instead of shoes for the red carpet could be beautiful. Anything is possible. The whole "Flatgate" sounds so out of fashion and dated — very retro.
You're off to Bali and skipping the Met Ball, but what's your advice for anyone attending on how to best embrace this year's "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology" theme?
Courreges. Need I say more?