Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, we count collections with Etienne Deroeux.
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In the space of just a few seasons, Etienne Deroeux has refined a poetic but precise, Bauhaus inspired signature. After studying Fashion at the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts and La Cambre School of Visual Arts, the design talent launched his eponymous line with the simply named ‘Saison Une’. From this moment right through to the recently presented ‘Saison Quatre’, the 24-year-old designer’s work has revelled in the virtues of simplicity, quality and purity while offering an understated luxury. Asymmetrically draped dresses, graphic jackets in luminous blends of colour, fabrics and leather selected from manufacturers and tanneries have become faithful allies in this adventure. Attached to a true savoir-faire, his designs are entirely produced in a small factory in the north east of France. Deroeux refuses to use synthetic fabrics, and produces in very limited numbers, believing that fashion is about long lasting garments that can be integrated into the everyday lives of women. It seems that “made in France” has become, in the past few months, a true movement – and Deroeux is one of the few new designers truly attached, and committed, to local craft industries. Intrigued by his autumn/winter 13 inspiration, evoking a possible “merge of fashion and the aims of socialism”, we asked him a few questions about his France-based production and vision of design.
How old are you? 24
Where do you live? Lille & Paris.
What’s your home like? Both homes have white walls and wooden floors, and both are filled with books and clothes. Trying to keep it nice, I want both places to chill and invite friends.
What made you want to become a designer? The idea of drawing things that become real.
You studied in Antwerp and Brussels, what do you think is different between Belgium and France when it comes to the approach of fashion? I don’t think there is a difference to find. Most of the Belgian designers have their shows in Paris, and most of the French Houses have Belgians or Belgium trained members in their design team. It’s like a couple: Belgian Fashion needs Paris, and Paris needs the Belgians.
Your collection is made in France and only produced in limited numbers. What do you think it adds to your designs? I’m trying to offer clothes that last, cut in the best materials, made by people committed to quality products. My aim is to make things that serve people’s lifestyles, it’s not about just selling products with no soul. Having limited production, and quality manufacturing add a personal dimension to the garment, when you buy it, it makes it totally yours.
Who or what inspires you? Travelling and random encounters most generally.
What’s your favourite part of the body and why? Shoulders and hips. That’s what you start with in the making of clothes.
What do you love doing on Sundays? Sleeping late, going out for coffee, and buying stupid things at the flea market.
What’s your favourite place in the world? Very hard to pick one, and there are still a lot I haven’t seen, but the Palacio Belmonte in Lisbon is for sure one of them.
Are you in love? As much as I can be.
Text: Léa Taleb
Photography: Bruno Werzinski