Designers Dish, PFW Spring 2015 Edition: Alexandre Vauthier
The Paris-based designer looks to American football to up his red carpet game
Since Alexandre Vauthier launched his eponymous Paris-based house five years ago he's dressed everyone from Rihanna to Sharon Stone in his signature sexy-sporty style. After a strong collection at Haute Couture Week in July - so strong Miley Cyrus shopped directly from his runway for her VMAs look - he presented his ready to wear collection at his atelier in Paris this week. The designer tells Pret-a-Reporter about his latest inspiration and his love of LA.
How do you describe this collection?
I tried to make this collection a balance between sporty and sophisticated, so I was obsessed with the tailoring, super luxurious fabrics and the right cut, but this time I wanted something more sporty. Last season I had colorful prints but this season I wanted to have a big impact with color itself - red, yellow and white. It’s a very sunny yellow with a touch of green inside to be a little bit ‘ice lemon.’ It’s all super light and fresh for summer, but still built around black and white and gold, the DNA of the house.
You’re French – where did you get the American football inspiration?
I don’t know. I do a lot of sport and I have a lot of interest in the technology and fabrics from the industry - from swim to running and workout wear, football and basketball materials. I’m always in sports shops and there’s a lot of beautiful things inside, really! I also think sport is super important for every woman. All the women I dress have a coach or something, or run in the morning. I think sport is now in the quotidian life of everybody. You need to take some distance from the world, do yoga or workout or eat healthy, because we are all super busy and are searching for well being. Miley, Rihanna, Carine Roitfeld - all these kinds of women do something. It's not to have a super good silhouette, but it's for the mind, to put the pressure aside for a bit.
Haute Couture SS 2015 (left), Ready to Wear SS 2015 (left)
Do you collaborate directly with these clients for the red carpet looks?
Depends. Sometimes they want something very precise and they come to the maison for that. For example Gaga and Carine wanted something we worked on together. Sometimes for the red carpet they want to create something together, or sometimes they want exactly what they saw in the defile. [For the VMAs] Miley called really early for this look she was super precise. It was from the couture collection, she saw it on the runway and she said I want that – exactly.
I don’t think that’s true. At the beginning it really was true, because my first collection was with the very strong shoulders, but the collections have taken another evolution and become more sophisticated, more precise. I’ve evolved each season as you can see with the celebrities I dress. Of course we have Rihanna, Beyonce etc., but Sharon Stone, Emanuelle Siegner, Vanessa Paradis, Cameron Diaz and these kinds of actresses that are super different, but they all have something to say in their career. They all are hard workers, super-cerebral and super-focused. I also work like that and perhaps they can feel it.
Do you have a muse?
I may have a preference for sure, like in life the more you work with people you may have an affinity, but in respect to everyone I work with they’re all too different, truly. It’s really something special and a different thing with each person. I started very strong with Rihanna at the beginning, because I did the preface to her book, two videos and the beginning of her tour. She’s something very special since she was there from the beginning of my company, and Roisin Murphy also. But I don’t have a favorite or not, each one is something exceptional and I love the globality of it.
The house is only five years old. What expansion plans do you have for the next five years. Shops in the US?
At the moment I’m going to start doing pre-collections soon, which will require a lot of additional structure in the company. I don’t know where I’m going exactly, but I try to work philosophically. Give me a year and a half, and then I'll tell you.
Do you get a chance to visit Los Angeles often?
I love LA because it has so many different faces. There is downtown, there is West Hollywood, there is Malibu and you can meet super interesting people in the music, cinema and art worlds. My best friend lives there, so it’s like the ‘family coast’ for me. It’s a destination where I can forget everything, enjoy the sun and to be super focused on me for a while. I need that to come back and be like a warrior in Paris.